Saturday, 24 August 2013

It's a bird, it's a plane, no , it's a ....boomerang?

Trigger boomerang
George Dimantiev's "Trigger" mta boomerang.

Yup, it's nothing like the Australian aboriginals bent sticks we all know as boomerangs, but that's what it is.
Did you know that experiments have proved that boomerangs still work in outer space? i.e. the basic mechanics are more to do with physics than aerodynamics, although here on earth the latter does come into play.
My interest in boomerangs started a few weeks ago as a lightbulb moment during thoughts about how to keep Pukekos out of our vegetable patch; Pukekos are a sort of avian combine harvester, and our plastic bb gun wasn't fierce enough to deter them, on the rare occasions of a direct hit.

Actually it started long before that. When I was a kid, at one stage a cereal manufacturer actually gave away small plastic boomerangs in their cereal boxes, and I recall hours of fun flying my Weetbix Boomerang.

I haven't got anywhere near accurate enough with them, but is been fascinating research.  like almost anything, boomerangs have evolved a competitive sports element, where distance , accuracy, and mta (maximum time aloft) are competed for.

Interest in boomerangs seems to have waned in recent years, which is a pity, for their creation combines elements of art, science, and craft.

A guy called Pierre Kutek has kindly created a big collection of plans, and another Pierre, Mr  Boillon, has an even larger gallery of thousands of different designs - he's even reviewed their performance. I've take the liberty of loading his index into a database and created a report so I can sort by name or his boomerang performance score.

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