The Physics behind Frisbee

Have you ever wondered how the Frisbee flies? The answer is very simple – it’s all about Physics. The forward flight of the Frisbee is due to the air that pushes at the leading edge of the disc. The air stays over and under the flying disc.

Since the edge of the disc is tipped up, some of the air is deflected downward and when it pushes downward, the air is again pushed over the disc. The force which allows the Frisbee to fly on air is known as aerodynamic lift. You can compare the flow of the air to the flow of fluids. The air tends to follow curve surfaces. The design of the Frisbee was carefully thought. Because of the bend on the Frisbee, air is easily sucked upwards and downwards thereby making the disc stay afloat despite of the force of gravity. Another good way to describe a Frisbee on flight is the so called ‘Bernoulli Effect’.

As a Frisbee player, you must be aware that you can’t make a Frisbee fly when it is upside-down. The disc’s rotation is also crucial. For instance, if a player throws the Frisbee upright, it will result to a poor flight. The Frisbee will simply flutter and tumble like that of a falling leaf; this is because the aerodynamic force is not perfectly centered. Because of the Frisbee’s angular momentum, it can stay on a certain orientation. The flight of the disc is usually affected by the aerodynamic twists and torques.

Because of the disc’s ingenious design, the maximum lift is perfectly placed at the toy’s middle. The angular momentum of the disc is also maximized because of its thicker edges. The disc also has top ridges and it is not for any design purpose. The ridges introduce microscopic air turbulence above the disc’s label. Because of the turbulence, the disc can fly farther and longer on air.

A lot of people are confused with the physics behind the Frisbee and so they would just rather toss and catch a Frisbee rather than think about how the toy works. It’s really quite amazing that the Frisbee started as amnempty pie tin and at present, it’s flight can only be explained by physics.

If someone asks you how the disc flies, you already have an idea. If you still can’t get the concept of aerodynamics, you can simply answer that the Frisbee flies because of its ingenious and complex design; that way, you won’t have to go down the details. Still, the aerodynamic concept and the Bernoulli Effect are not really difficult to understand. If you take time to read and comprehend, you will immediately understand how the toy works.

From just a simple toy, the Frisbee is now being played as a sport. In fact, there are many types of Frisbee games today which include Ultimate Frisbee, Flutter Guts, Friskee, Dodge Frisbee, Disc Golf, and a lot more. Because of the disc’s ingenious design, it has evolved from being a simple toy to very exciting sports.

Now that you know physics behind the flight of a Frisbee, you will no longer wonder how it is able to withstand the gravity and stay on the air for a long period. Get your very own Frisbee now and play together with friends and even other family members. You can play in your own yard or even at the park.