Collection Item Summary:
This artifact is a fragment of a gyroscope that may have been part of one of the first airplane flights to be automatically stabilized, in 1916. The accession record indicates that the bellows from this gyro was separately accessioned as NASM 1488, 1965-0034. It was given to the National Air Museum in 1964 by the Sperry Gyroscope Company of Great Neck, New York, its manufacturer. The gift was of 60 such items from Sperry. The documentation on this collection's history and significance is sketchy, as the Sperry Company was unable to find much in its own files at the time of the gift. Therefore it is not possible to verify this artifact's role in the development of autopilots.