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Flight Dynamics Measurements on an Instrumented Frisbee



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Lorenz Frisbee Aerodynamics 1 Flight Dynamics Measurements on an Instrumented Frisbee Ralph D Lorenz Lunar and Planetary Laboratory University of Arizona Corresponding author Dr R D Lorenz M RAe S Lunar and Planetary Laboratory University of Arizona 1629 E University Blvd Tucson AZ 85721 USA T 1 520 621 5585 F 1 520 621 4933 E rlorenz lpl arizona edu Submitted 9 November 2003 as a Rapid Communication to Measurement Science and Technology Paper was rejected by referees as the lack of angle of attack measurements makes it impossible to compare drag coefficients etc with other published data Therefore if referencing this work please cite as R D Lorenz Flight Dynamics Measurements on an Instrumented Frisbee unpublished note 2003 Keywords Frisbee Disc Wing Aerodynamics Accelerometer Lorenz Frisbee Aerodynamics 2 Abstract In flight measurements of the accelerations on a recreational flying disc are made with miniaturized accelerometers and a microcontroller data acquisition system using off theshelf components These data are used to determine the aerodynamic performance of the disc and illustrate several of the complex gyrodynamic aspects of frisbee flight 1 Introduction and Motivation The impressive flying characteristics of a spinning disc were discovered rather than invented Such a disc is commonly termed a Frisbee after a Connecticut baker whose cake tins were the first documented examples of recreational flying discs the Frisbee designation a mis spelling of the baker s name W R Frisbie is now a registered trademark of Wham O Inc Despite their familiarity however their flight dynamics have not been thoroughly explored The broad aerodynamic characteristics are reasonably well understood e g 1 and the aerodynamic properties of spinning discs have recently been thoroughly documented in wind tunnel tests 2 However wind tunnel tests on somewhat idealized models mounted on force balances under steady state conditions do not graphically demonstrate the dynamic behaviour of



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