Futaba GY 520

Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Futaba GY 520

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Futaba’s new GY 520 AVCS Rate Gyro is not only tiny; but it will also definitely surprise you with its performance. It’s small and super lightweight, easy to set up and full of features for both the beginner as well as F3C and 3D pilots who thrive on perfection. It can be used on just about any size helicopter—from small mini electrics to bigger 90 size. The GY 520 has both AVCS (Active Angular Velocity Control System), also known as Heading Hold mode along with a Normal mode. All the electronics are in the main body with only a short 4-inch pigtail or (S.Bus) connector that your servo (not included) and two extensions (included) plug into your rudder and gyro channels on the receiver. Programming is done by observing the color-changing LED light that’s located on the top corner of the GY 520 as you depress a small push button located on the side of the unit. With all the features and with its performance, the GY 520 is definitely a great product for the price.


The GY 520 has a small square footprint of 20.8mm or 0.81 inches and will fit very nicely on the frame of a small electric and really gets lost on bigger ones. It’s a true heading lock rate gyro that features Futaba’s AVCS technology with the ability to switch over to normal mode for setting up your linkage. You can use a wide variety of digital or analog servos and it’s able to be set in the programming stage. Setting up the GY 520 is easily done by watching the bright LED flash different codes and colors. It isn’t hard at all—just follow the manual and you’ll get the programming down in just a couple of minutes. Another cool feature is that you can set the GY 520 in a F3C or 3D mode. The F3C mode has a softer, less sensitive fall and a slower pirouette speed in the AVCS mode, while the 3D mode is more aggressive on your input from the stick and also has a faster pirouette speed. In the setup mode, you’re able to set the servo type, reverse setting, limit setting, F3C or 3D setting, response setting and if all goes wrong, a reset to factory default setting to help you start over. If you’d like to really fine-tune your GY 520, order the Futaba CIU-2 computer interface, download the free software and connect your GY 520 to your PC. You can now download the settings from your GY 520, modify the settings and download them directly into the gyro and save different settings on your PC.


Features CIU-2 Interface

The CIU-2 plugs into a USB port on your PC and will open up a whole new area to really fine- tune your GY 520. The biggest advantage for me was the ability to set the rudder expo on the normal mode to match the AVCS mode and set the pirouette speeds. As a default, the AVCS mode expo is set to -40%, and in the normal mode, is set at -10%. This is only one feature out of others that can truly transform your GY 520 and it is definitely worth getting.

My findings

The GY 520 is small in size, but really is a precision rate gyro and fully adjustable. The pirouette speed on the F3C mode is a milder 450 degrees per second, while the 3D mode pirouette speed is at a fast 720 degree per second. In AVCS heading hold mode, the GY 520 holds extremely well in any wind direction and is very crisp and solid when coming to a sudden stop. You really don’t need the CIU-2 interface to get you up and flying, but it’s a great addition to have when you’re looking to get the most out of your GY 520 gyro.


Model: GY 520

Manufacturer: Futaba                futaba-rc.com

Distributed by: Great Planes      greatplanes.com


Overall Length: 20.8mm x 20.8mm

Height:                          11.0mm

Weight:             8 grams

F3C / 3D Modes:         Selectable

AVCS / Normal Modes:           Selectable

High Speed Control:     280Hz/560Hz variable

Optional PC Interface:  CIU-2





Retail:   $280

Street:  $200



·        Easy-to-follow users manual

·        F3C or 3D mode selectable

·        Bright LED light for programming

·        Small and lightweight

·        Optional PC interface available


GY 520 Operating Parameter Setting: (Factory Default*)


Servo Selection

Digital 1520uS servo*

Digital 760uS Servo


Reverse Setting




Limit Setting

Left and Right Travel Limits


F3C/3D Mode Settings

F3C Mode*

3D Mode


Response Settings





Data Reset

Resets 1~5 to Factory Defaults


Optional CIU-2 interface Operating Parameter Settings.

Gyro ID:                       Number

Channel:                       Rudder, Gain

Flight Mode:                 F3C, 3D

Servo Mode:                Digital 1520, 760, Analog

Gyro Reverse:              Normal, Reverse

Mounting Surface:         Upper Side, Bottom Side

Response Settings:        Fast, Standard, Slow

Control Response:        Right, Left

AVCS Response:         Rt-in, Rt-out, Lt-in, Lt-out

Pirouette Consistency:

Expo:                           Normal, AVCS

AVCS Settings:            Yaw, Gain, Range, D Gain, D Damp, Base Gain

Limit:                            Lt, Rt Travel Limits

Updated: July 16, 2015 — 3:50 PM
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