Abstract

Frisbee is a popular item for both entertainment and professional sport. The aerodynamics study of the frisbee is crucial to understand its movement and optimize its design. In this paper, I used basic fluid analysis to investigate the effects of parameters on the flying trajectory, as well as maximum distance and maximum height of a frisbee. First, the aerodynamic forces on a moving frisbee, including lift force, drag force, and gravity, were analyzed. Second, a set of governing equations describing the movement of the frisbee was derived. Third, a Matlab-based program to evaluate the trajectory of a flying frisbee was developed. Finally, I designed the user graphic interface and published the software for public use. By inputting the settings of the frisbee movement, such as frisbee diameter, initial velocity, attack angle, wind speed, etc., any user, without knowing the aerodynamic theories, can use this software to quickly determine the trajectory and the maximum distance of a moving frisbee. With the developed software, I investigated how the parameters influence the aerodynamic characteristics and a frisbee’s flying performance.

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