PDF | This project will describe the physics of a common Frisbee in flight. The aerodynamic forces acting on the Frisbee are lift and drag, with lift. Issue 1 | Article The Aerodynamics of Frisbee Flight. Kathleen Baumback. University of South Florida. Advisors: Masahiko Saito, Mathematics and Statistics. Use aerodynamic principles to predict the flight direction and distance for a Frisbee.

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The downward arrow mg is the weight of the Aerosynamics mass times gravity. Lift is generated by the Frisbee’s shaped surfaces as it passes through the air. In this project, we will call the frisbee’s tilt relative to the ground right when it is thrown the launch angle. A frisbee without a a rim can still fly, but it won’t fly as well as one with a rim.

Rotation makes sure that the pitch angle will not change. The frisbee can be seen as a wing with an airfoil that looks the same from both directions. This one should address the topic nicely. What differences do you notice? By spinning, it can be stabilized: Our Experts won’t do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

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Drag can also be calculated by using an equation very similar to lift: Pilots enjoy working and helping people in the “third dimension. The key to the stability of the flying disc is its spin.

What about across or with the wind? By spinning, it can be stabilized:. Aerodhnamics differences do you notice? Louis Desroches Two key forces that act on a Frisbee during its flight are lift and drag. Sort by User Name. As with regular wings, the angle of attack vrisbee the dynamic pressure determine the lift of a frisbee.

This effect also allows the disc to be thrown at a higher angle of attack before it stalls.

Soaring Science: The Aerodynamics of Flying a Frisbee – Scientific American

They also help troubleshoot launch or flight failures by testing suspect parts. Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project. It acts perpendicular to the direction of flight and drag. Difference between spinning and non-spinning frisbee source.

Science Buddies materials are frusbee for everyone to use, thanks to the support of our sponsors. The typical mass of a flying disc is between 90g and g.

The Aerodynamics and Stability of Flying Discs

As you practice your throws and become more accurate, you are learning about the aerodynamics of Frisbee fisbee intuitively. This can be caused by throwing the Frisbee at an angle.


When you threw the Frisbee tilted down a little, did it fly not nearly as far—and did it also go off to the side? For the simple lift and drag relations presented above, this ratio is simply the ratio of the coefficient of lift to the coefficient of drag using the empirical values. A completely flat disk will fly but the “angle of attack” becomes more of a factor as to how well it flies.

It is also apparent from the equations of motion that a greater moment of inertia I would also increase stability. ArtSkills Trifold with Header.

Soaring Science: The Aerodynamics of Flying a Frisbee

If the front edge of the Frisbee is tilted down, the launch angle is negative. Also, do you have any idea how different shapes could effect the C value besides a frisbee? Learn more about the News Feed. Is there a relationship between launch angle and distance?

Angular Momentum –A rotating body’s resistance to change in its orientation and rate of rotation. The backward arrow, Dis the force of drag.