Trying to understand the physics if the flight better
I've been playing for about 8 months now and have made a lot of improvements since then, but I feel like I am at the point where I need to better understand the flight physics before I can make any more big advancements. I looked around a bit but. Didn't see the answers I was looking for. I have looked at the stuff on snap but I'm still a bit confused on that vs arm speed. I know each plays a part in distance but which causes the disc to flip and which has a greater affect on distance?
People mention how the pros can throw a putter over 350'. Does this kind of distance come from a lot of arm speed and then a decreased amount of snap so the disc doesn't flip? Or am I just misunderstanding things at this point? Any help is appreciated guys.
I'm no pro, but I think it helps just watching a lot of videos of pros throwing.
I think they just simply know how to control their discs. Understand yourself, and your gear. That's what it boils down to to me.
Its like this:
Snap = Spin. Spin prevents the disc from deviating from it trajectory (flipping). This seems counter intuitive, but the physics back it up. Google Bike tire gyroscope. Perfect segue.
A disc is a gyroscope (assuming you spin it fast enough). By snapping a disc you create what is called "gyroscopic neutrality." Best way to understand this is that the turkey will defy gravity. Hence the turkey will fly for longer. this is really what allows advanced players to throw mids and putter farther than beginners. Similarly, this is why certain discs are better for beginners. They are more easily made gyroscopically neutral. (Physics nerd bug off for the slightly imprecise terminology).
This is not to say that snap won't make a disc TURN, but that involves altering the poitn of precession. Needless to say, this isn't the reason discs FLIP, this is the slow drift that certain discs have in late flight.
So, the question you are burning to ask... "Well what the heel does armspeed have to do with it?"
Armspeed is where the aerodynamic forces of a discs design come into play. The gyro keeps the disc from deviating, but the aerodynamics cause something different...they cause LIFT. Lift is the reason that discs don't god straight to the ground. Certain discs cause more lift than others... Armspeed also creates velocity, which is a crucial part of the distance formula. But, armspeed can be your enemy...
So, snap makes a disc hold a line, and armspeed makes the fly like a wing...what makes it turn and burn?
It is lift...damn...
Lift causes flip, so what causes excessive lift. Well one thing is a disc designed to lift. Which is analogously a disc designed to flip. So a "flippy" disc is really just a disc that wants to lift. But other things cause lift too.... The biggest one is wobble. Some people call it OAT, others cringes at that term. They identify the same thing. A wobbling disc opens the bottom of the flight plate to the air rushing past it. This causes the leading edge to raise up and lift. The lifting causes flipping. This is why a clean release is SO important. To review a point from above: Snap is spin, spin makes the gyro work, when the gyro works (1) the turkey flies (2) the disc stays on line (it doesn't lift/flip). This is why a pro can take you beat to **** DX Blizzard disc and throw it on a pure hyzer. I like to demonstrate with a 161 DX Stingray. Throw it about 350 on hyzer. Then hand it off to a new player and get them to try and not flip it over.
Still with me? Sure hope so...
So this is staring to paint the picture of how to throw far. You must throw (1) clean and (2) without wobble and (3)on line (nose angle, etc) (4) and with some velocity. In that order. this is the algorithm that makes the truth in the truism; smooth is far. Think about clean snap like throwing a spiral in football. You won't ever throw that piece of **** 15 yards if you don't spin it. Discs are the same way.
DGCR - fill in the gaps...
(For credibility sake, I threw a 179 Marshall Street Roc 505' at Nationals two weeks ago. Real distance, not internet distance.)
spin makes the disc hold the angle it is on.
Speed makes it flip.
Here's the physics approach:
An airplane wing generates lift because, for certain values of the angle of attack (the angle of the wing relative to the passing air), a pressure differential is created, with lower pressure above the wing.
If we view the disc in a Langrangian reference frame, a similar differential occurs--but mostly between the front and back of the disc. When you throw, the two major components of acceleration you impart on the disc are "armspeed" or forward acceleration and "snap" or rotational acceleration.
To digress briefly from this, each disc has a "design speed" at which it follows the flight paths you see on Inbounds or one of the company charts. An Aviar has a "design speed" of "2" and a Wraith "11". Those numbers are just relative. In order to achieve that design speed, you have to be able to generate sufficient forward acceleration. You may notice that it's easier to do this with a runup (which changes your personal reference frame to have a velocity of a couple mph). This is also why it's easier to get lighter discs up to speed, if you want to use the kinetic energy equation to model it (KE = 1/2*m*v^2).
However, forward velocity alone does not generate enough lift. As alluded to by another poster, the gyroscopic effect is responsible for the flight we all want. Again referring to a Lagrangian reference frame, as the disc moves through the air and rotates, the front of the disc "sees" air moving faster than the back (imagine a hurricane--as it tends to move northward, the NE corner tends to be the strongest for much the same reason). Like an airfoil, this difference in apparent velocity on the disc results in a pressure differential, seen more easily as lift. Hence, it's easier to get a lot of distance and carry with more snap on the disc.
The "secret" about these two characteristics is that they don't have to go together, and ideally shouldn't. If you try to throw an Aviar with the same armspeed as a Boss, it's likely that it would turn over on you in a hurry. The reason for this is because at velocities above the design speed of any disc, it will tend to "turn over" on you, and likewise at velocities below the design speed it will "fade". This is made more apparent by a pure headwind or tailwind. A headwind makes the "apparent velocity" of the passing air much greater from the disc's perspective, and a tailwind makes the "apparent velocity" much lower. Doubtless that's something you've observed... and that's why.
The simple answer for most throwing practices is that you can put as much snap on any disc as you want, and it will carry. Armspeed has to be managed more carefully, otherwise the disc will be moving faster than it's design speed and flip (you can counter this somewhat by throwing an artificial "hyzer flip" with a putter by releasing it hyzer).
However, don't confuse this for "go throw everything hard." If you've hung around the site for a few days, you've probably seen the abbreviation OAT, or off-axis torque. This is a difficult concept to observe in real time, but the idea is that you impart a third kind of acceleration as you throw--but not in the plane of the disc's movement. This causes "wobble" out of the hand, and tends to make the disc more understable. The best way to reduce your OAT is to learn to drive with a putter, throwing it flat, flat, flat. Then graduate to a stable midrange, then a stable fairway. Basically if you can throw perfectly flat drives with those, throwing something a bit faster shouldn't change the snap upon release, only the armspeed.
Good luck, any questions?
Thanks for he responses guys!!! Mullethead still abut confused. Generally speaking arm speed on the throw is what will flip something and snap is what will get distance because of the gyroscopic effect?
click and read: Explanation of the physics of flying discs. :thmbup:
THIS ^^^^^dead on.
The gyroscopic effect on the disc keeping it from flipping is not entirely accurate
on a rhbh throw there will be more lift on the left side of the disc due to it's half of the disc moving into the wind and thus creating more lift than the right side of the disc where the disc rotates with the wind and creates less lift...thus ALL throws eventually flip if the disc is spinning and the more they spin the more they flip....sorry it's just basic aeronautics
The stabilizing effect that gyroscopics is for real but so is the lift and anti lift of the disc due to spin
to those of you who say a disc just flips due to arm speed...thats so silly......If u threw a disc and it didnt spin it would not just suddenly flip hahahaha...with that logic if I threw a javelin it would always turn right and kill people in the stands instead of going straight
A disc thats spinning will hold a line better due to the spin holding off low speed fade not because it is spinning.....the main reason that a pro can throw a stingray and have it not flip is because they are spinning it fast (resisting low speed fade) but don't throw the the disc with maximum armspeed, thus there isnt as much lift due to slower windspeed lifting the disc
Any power arm who throws a disc with max spin and max armspeed will flip the disc
Lots of misinformation in here. Sorry Opti but you're completely wrong about spin causing lift. Also mullet is mostly wrong as well. The basic shape of a flying disc will cause lift. The disc "turns" when the center of lift is behind the center of rotation. The disc "fades" when the center of lift is ahead of the center of rotation. Both of these things happen because of procession. Spin and the gyroscopic effect stabilizes the disc, or in other words keeps it flying straight. The greater the gyroscopic effect, the greater the stability. Not greater overstability, but stability.
There are ways you can throw to enhance these actions, particularly manipulating nose angles. Also the dreaded OAT, be it not following through with your arm in the same plane as the rest of your throw or wrist roll will change the way a disc flies.
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