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
Manilla file folder (one folder makes two boomerangs)
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.
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
LINK TO THE WORLD OF
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.
to Aeronautics Activities
Return to Aerospace Activities Page
Objects that Lift
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
Ruhe, Benjamin, Many
Happy Returns - The Art and Sport of Boomeranging, The Viking Press, New
Education Services Project
Oklahoma State University