Gyroscope Collection

The collection serves to illustrate the operation principle and historical development of gyroscopes and inertial navigation systems. It developed between 1961 and 1990 after its foundation by Prof. K. Magnus (1912-2003) at the former Institute of Mechanics (later Institute A for Mechanics) of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Stuttgart, and it was intended for research and teaching purposes. Later, daughter collections were also established at the Technical University of Munich and the Johannes Kepler University of Linz.

The three parts of the collection contain more than 300 objects and include most of the known types of gyroscopes for flight, land vehicle and ship navigation (gyrocompasses, directional gyros, gyro horizons, P- and I-rate gyros, etc.) as well as accelerometers of various types. In addition, there are complete inertial platforms. Other instruments for aircraft guidance such as compasses, altimeters and variometers complete the exhibits.

Components of the instruments such as rotors, slip rings and encoders as well as turntables for testing inertial sensors are also present to supplement the exhibits. Many objects were taken from decommissioned aircraft and ships. Some of them have been cut open or disassembled as examples, while others are still ready for operation. Most of them are between 40 and 70 years old. This covers the development of mechanical gyroscopic instruments from the time of H. Anschütz-Kaempfe (1872-1931) and E. Sperry (1860-1939). 

The creation of the digital collection accessible here was made possible by the BMBF-funded project Gyrolog.

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