Everything You Need to Know About Turn Coordinators

Serving as an integral device found in all aircraft, a turn coordinator is a flight instrument designed to inform the pilot about the aircraft’s rate of turn, quality of turn, and other roll information. Such information enables pilots to navigate the sky with ease. That being said, this blog will provide an overview of turn coordinators and their importance.

Essentially, a turn coordinator is composed of two components that each relay information about the aircraft. The first component consists of a miniature aircraft lined with tick marks designating straight flight and the standard-rate turn. The standard rate of turn is defined under the instruments of flight rules (IFR) and states that standard rate is 3 degrees per second. This designation allows air traffic controllers to determine how long an aircraft will need to complete the assigned turn.

Meanwhile, the second component consists of a black ball that is installed within a tube to measure the strength of the force of gravity and the force of inertia caused by a particular turn. Sometimes referred to as the slip and skid indicator, this second component tells the pilot if the aircraft is in coordinated flight. For instance, when the airplane is flying in a straight path, the ball will be centered; otherwise, the ball will veer to either side of the center. To maintain a coordinated flight, the pilot must use the rudder pedals.  

The turn coordinator is not only important for maintaining a coordinated flight, but for a number of other reasons. To begin, an uncoordinated flight is less efficient, resulting in wasted energy and higher fuel consumption. Furthermore, it results in a higher stalling speed, meaning that the aircraft’s wings will lose the ability to maintain flight earlier. The latter is actually one of the main causes of aviation accidents.

Turn coordinators operate using gyroscopes that are powered by the aircraft’s electrical system. Sophisticated aircraft, like commercial jets, use advanced turn coordinators that take advantage of laser technology. Nonetheless, to maintain a safe and efficient flight, pilots must have an in-depth understanding of the turn coordinator system their aircraft has.

Similar to other aircraft flight instruments, turn coordinators need to be routinely checked to ensure their optimal functionality. A malfunctioning turn coordinator could result in a loss of life or other dangerous aircraft incidents. Additionally, the improper calibration of such flight instruments can put passengers and aircrew in danger. If you find yourself in need of turn coordinator components or other related aircraft flight instruments, rely on Aviation Store Online.

Aviation Store Online is a premier distributor of electrical connectors, aircraft avionics parts, NSN components, and more. As our inventory stays continuously stocked with popular part numbers, top-requested items, and hard-to-find products, customers can fulfill their operational requirements with ease. More than that, Aviation Store Online has a network of distribution centers that stretch across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, allowing us to expedite the shipping process for our domestic and international customers alike. Additionally, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation, and our strict NO CHINA SOURCING pledge ensures that all of our products come from trusted global manufacturers.

Peruse our ever-expanding listings at your leisure and fill out an RFQ form when you find an item that meets your part requirements. As you complete the form, we ask that you include target prices, desired quantities, expected shipping time frames, and more as necessary. Such information can help one of our expert team members curate a customized solution that keeps your unique demands in mind. Initiate the procurement process with a competitive quote and see how Aviation Store Online can serve as your strategic sourcing partner. Alternatively, call or email us directly; we are available 24/7x365!


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