Stability augmentation

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Helicopters, being fickle and demanding to control machines, have inspired inventors to develop technologies to help tame them. Some of these technologies are now commonplace, others are less common, and some are only used in special circumstances.

Some of the stabilization technologies used on modern helicopters include:

The flybar helps stabilize the cyclic response of a helicopter, via a Bell-Hiller mixer.
The gyro helps stabilize the heading of the helicopter by controlling the tail rotor thrust. Solid state heading hold gyros are now common.
An electronic flybar, such as the Mikado V-bar, uses an arrangement of gyros controlling the cylic servos to perform the function of the normal mechanical flybar. These are often used on scale helicopters with multi-blade heads.
Autopilot systems are commonly used in aerial photography, and less commonly by beginners, to stabilize the helicopter into a hover when no control input is given.


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