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Four-Wing Paper Boomerang

SUBJECT: Aeronautics
TOPIC: Boomerang
DESCRIPTION: Plans for building and flying a four-wing boomerang from a manilla file folder.
CONTRIBUTED BY: John Hartsfield, NASA Glenn Research Center
EDITED BY: Roger Storm. NASA Glenn Research Center

MATERIALS:
Manilla file folder (one folder makes two boomerangs)
Scissors
Pencil
Pattern

PROCEDURE:
1.First print out a copy of the page found here. GO TO TEMPLATE
Cut out the pattern of the Four-Wing Boomerang and trace it on to one half of the file folder. ( This pattern can be enlarged and used with other materials such as cardboard, styrofoam meat trays, and thin plywood. When thicker materials are used, the top surface of each blade should be rounded or even shaped as an airfoil. Wooden boomerangs should always be used outdoors. )

2.Cut out the boomerang .


FLYING THE FOUR-WING BOOMERANG:



Hold one wing of the boomerang between your thumb and index finger. Keeping the boomerang vertical, impart a spinning motion to the boomerang as you throw it straight forward. The boomerang will travel straight out from you a few feet, circle, and come back. By the time it returns, it will be spinning in a level plane. Catch the boomerang by clapping it between your hands or thrusting your finger up the hole as it momentarily hovers. Try throwing the boomerang horizontally and observe its flight.

DISCUSSION:
An explanation of boomerang flight is beyond the scope of this activity. Forces at work during boomerang flight include aerodynamic lift, torque, gyroscopic procession, and wake effects. It is recommended that you refer to books on boomerangs for an explanation of how they work.



TRY THE FINGER BOOMERANG ACTIVITY PAGE
LINK TO THE WORLD OF BOOMERANGS


Boomerang Association of Australia Links

The first is a thorough intro to the world of boomerangs, including looking at terms like airfoils, dihedral, asymmetrical lift, and the like; while the latter is a scholarly look at the history of boomerangs over the past couple centuries.

http://www.boomerang.org.au/articles/article-boomerang-glossary.html
http://www.boomerang.org.au/articles/article-what-is-a-boomerang.html


Return to Aeronautics Activities
Return to Aerospace Activities Page
Objects that Lift


SUGGESTED REFERENCES:
Hanson, M.J., The Boomerang Book, Har-
mondsworth: Penguin Books, Inc., 1974. (Written for children)

Mason, Bernard S., Boomerangs - How to Make and Throw Them, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1974.

Ruhe, Benjamin, Many Happy Returns - The Art and Sport of Boomeranging, The Viking Press, New York, 1977.


Aerospace Education Services Project
Oklahoma State University


 

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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