Flying disc

Flying disc

Flying discs (commonly called Frisbees) are disc-shaped objects, which are generally plastic and roughly 20 to 25 centimeters (8–10 inches) in diameter, with a lip. The shape of the disc, an airfoil in cross-section, allows it to fly by generating lift as it moves through the air while rotating. The name Frisbee is a registered trademark of the Wham-O toy company, but is often used generically to describe all flying discs.

Flying discs are thrown and caught for recreation, and as part of many different flying disc games. A wide range of flying disc variants are available commercially. Disc golf discs are usually smaller but denser and are tailored for particular flight profiles to increase/decrease stability and distance. Disc dog sports use relatively slow flying discs made of more pliable material to better resist a dog's bite and prevent injury. Ring shaped discs are also available which typically fly significantly farther than any traditional flying disc. There are illuminated discs meant for night time play which use phosphorescent plastic, or battery powered light emitting diodes. There are also discs that whistle when they reach a certain velocity in flight. The disc of choice for Ultimate is the 175 gram Discraft Ultrastar.Fact|date=September 2008


The clay target used in trapshooting, almost identical to a flying disc in shape, was designed in the 19th century. The modern day era of flying discs began with the concept of designing and selling a commercially-produced flying disc.

The Frisbie Pie Company (1871–1958) of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made pies that were sold to many New England colleges. Hungry college students soon discovered that the empty pie tins could be tossed and caught, providing endless hours of sport. Many colleges have claimed to be the home of "he who was first to fling." Yale College has arguedFact|date=June 2007 that in 1820, an undergraduate named Elihu Frisbie grabbed a passing collection tray from the chapel and flung it out into the campus, thereby becoming the true inventor of the Frisbee. That tale is dubious, as the "Frisbie's Pies" origin is well-documented. Walter Frederick Morrison claims that it was a popcorn can lid that he tossed with his girlfriend (and later wife) Lu at a 1937 Thanksgiving Day gathering in Los Angeles that inspired his interest in developing a commercially-produced flying disc. In 1946 he sketched out plans for a disc he called the Whirlo-Way, which, co-developed and financed by Warren Franscioni in 1948, became the very first commercially produced plastic flying disc, marketed under the name Pipco Flyin-Saucer. Morrison had just returned to the US after World War II, where he had been a prisoner in the infamous Stalag 13. His partnership with Franscioni, who was also a war veteran, ended in 1950, before their product had achieved any real success.

In 1955, Morrison produced a new plastic flying disc called the Pluto Platter, to cash in on the growing popularity of UFOs with the American public. The Pluto Platter became the design basis for later flying discs. In 1957, Wham-O began production of more discs (then still marketed as Pluto Platters). The next year, Morrison was awarded US Design Patent 183,626 for his flying disc.

In 1957,cite news |title='Frisbee' marks 50th anniversary of name change |url= |publisher=CTVglobemedia |date=2007-06-16 |accessdate=2007-06-19 ] Wham-O co-founder Richard Knerr, in search of a catchy new name to help increase sales, coincidentally gave the disks the brand name "Frisbee" (pronounced the same as "Frisbie"), after a contemporary comic strip called "Mr. Frisbie". ["New York Times" (1 July 2002). “ [ Arthur Melin, 77, a Promoter of the Hula-Hoop, Is Dead ] ”. ] The man who was behind the Frisbee's phenomenal success however was "Steady" Ed Headrick, Wham-O's new General Manager and Vice President in charge of marketing. Headrick redesigned the Pluto Platter reworking the rim height, disc shape, diameter, weight and plastics, creating a controllable disc that could be thrown accurately. (cite book |last= Morrison |first= Fred |coauthors= Phil Kennedy |title= Flat Flip Flies Straight True Origins of the Frisbee |publisher= Wormhole Publishers |year= 2006 |month= January |isbn= 0-9774517-4-7 )

"Headrick had an eye for product design... The 'NEW LOOK' contributed mightily to its phenomenal success... I've never known what financial arrangements Headrick had with Wham-O. It would have been interesting to know, but knowing wouldn't have changed anything. It was enough to know that under Headrick's guidance our increasing bank account was due to what he was doing." -Fred Morrison
Sales soared for the toy, which was marketed as a new sport. In 1964, the first "professional" model went on sale. Headrick patented the new design as the Frisbee patent, highlighting the “Rings of Headrick” and marketed and pushed the professional model Frisbee and "Frisbee" as a sport. (US Patent 3,359,678). [] rs|date=September 2007 ]

Ed Headrick, commonly known as the "Father of Disc Sports", (cite book |last= Malafronte |first= Victor A. |coauthors= F. Davis Johnson |title= |publisher= American Trends Publishing Company |year= 1998 |month= May |isbn= 0966385527 ) later founded "The International Frisbee Association (IFA)" and began establishing standards for various sports using the Frisbee such as Distance, Freestyle and Guts. Ed is also commonly referred to as "The Father of Disc Golf" [ [ “Steady” Ed Headrick: The Father of Frisbee and of Disc Golf] ] the popular sport he founded after leaving Wham-O.

Flying disc games

*Disc dog
*Disc golf
*Dodge disc
*Durango boot
*Double disc court
*Fricket, also known as disc cricket, cups, Suzy sticks or crispy wickets
*Hot box


Lift is generated in primarily the same way as a traditional asymmetric airfoil, that is, by accelerating upper airflow such that a pressure difference gives rise to a lifting force. Small ridges near the leading edge act as turbulators, reducing flow separation by forcing the airflow to become turbulent after it passes over the ridges.

The rotating flying disc has a vertical angular momentum vector, stabilizing its attitude gyroscopically. Depending on the cross-sectional shape of the airfoil, the amount of lift generated by the front and back parts of the disc may be unequal. If the disc were not spinning, this would tend to make it pitch. When the disc is spinning, however, such a torque would cause it to precess about the roll axis, causing its trajectory to curve to the left or the right. Most discs are designed to be aerodynamically stable, so that this roll is self-correcting for a fairly broad range of velocities and rates of spin. However, many disc golf discs are intentionally designed to be unstable. Higher rates of spin lead to better stability, and for a given rate of spin, there is generally a range of velocities that are stable.

Even a slight deformation in a disc, called a "Taco," as extreme cases look like a taco shell, can cause adverse affects when throwing long range. It can be observed by holding the disc horizontally at eye level and looking at the rim while slowly rotating the disc.

See also

* Aerobie
* Chakram
* Boomerang
* Flying disc techniques
* Genericized trademark


Further reading

*Morrison, Walter Frederic, and Kennedy, Phil; "Flat Flip Flies Straight! True Origins of the Frisbee", Wormhole Publishers, Wethersfield, CT (June 2006); ISBN 978-0-9774517-4-6
*Stancil. E. D., and Johnson, M. D.; "Frisbee, A Practitioner's Manual and Definitive Treatise", Workman Publishing Company, New York (July, 1975); ISBN 978-0-911104-53-0
*Norton, Gary; "The Official Frisbee Handbook", Bantam Books, Toronto/New York/London (July, 1972); no ISBN
*Danna, Mark, and Poynter, Dan; "Frisbee Players' Handbook", Parachuting Publications, Santa Barbara, California (1978); ISBN 0915516195
*Tips, Charles, and Roddick, Dan; "Frisbee Sports & Games", Celestial Arts, Millbrae, California (March 1979); ISBN 978-0-89087-233-8
*Tips, Charles; "Frisbee by the Masters", Celestial Arts, Millbrae, California (March 1977); ISBN 978-0-89087-142-3
*Lorenz, Ralph; "Spinning Flight: Dynamics of Frisbees, Boomerangs, Samaras and Skipping Stones", Copernicus, New York (September 2006); ISBN 978-0-387-30779-4

External links

* [ World Flying Disc Federation] – international sports governing body for flying disc games
* [ Official Frisbee website] by Wham-O, manufacturer of Frisbee brand flying discs
* [ ffindr!] the frisbee tournament portal
* [ Acrobatic Frisbee Show]
* [ Hard Disc Frisbee Forlì A.S.D. (frisbee freestyle and more!)]

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