Picture of Giant Flying Discs
This was an experiment to see if I could make an enormous Frisbee-style flying disc. The goal was to make one that was as massive as possible, but still actually flyable. 

I ended up making two versions--both of which did indeed fly, although with varying levels of success. 

The smaller of the two versions is 4 feet in diameter and weights 3 pounds, 7 ounces. This version has proven to be extremely durable and it flies perfectly. Plus it was relatively easy to make, as well as to throw. 

The second version is 8 feet in diameter, and weighs a whopping 15 pounds. This beast will actually fly, but it is terribly tricky to throw. To get any substantial flight distance out of it, it has to be launched from either the top of a cliff, or from a long, steep hill. It's not the most practical thing, but I had fun making it and figuring out how to fly it.  

I highly recommend making the 4-foot version, and have included full instructions on how to make one. I have included some basic information on how the 8-foot version was made as well, if anyone is so inclined to make their own super-jumbo frisbee.

Here are videos of both versions of my homemade giant flying discs in action.

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so this is where those ufo stories come from!

NathanSellers5 months ago
Yea! Rock Canyon Park! Such a prefect place for throwing giant Frisbees.
seamster (author)  NathanSellers5 months ago

Ha, yes indeed! I didn't even know the guys in the video. I just walked up and asked if they want to throw this around while I recorded it "for the internet." They were happy to oblige!

Kysmach11 months ago

These look great ! I wanna make one :D Thanks for sharing !

Teisha1 year ago

Very cool and creative! Thanks for sharing!

seamster (author)  Teisha1 year ago
Thanks! The smaller one was a lot of fun. It was eventually given to a neighbor kid and we moved away. I've wondered how it held up over time..

Yeah, the smaller one looks like a lot of fun! The larger one almost looks like a parachute -- I wonder if the design could be modified to support a person, or at least a heavy weight. I'd want somebody else to test it first though! So neat.

what we need are some 20' tall players, then we could really see some distance!

what we need are some 20' tall players, then we could really see some distance!

Holy cow, that looks cool! I bet the catch-and-throw learning curve is bit steep, though....fun project!!

sunshiine3 years ago
I'll bet it gave you a great work out! Thnaks for sharing.
RSV263 years ago
whats with the colours?
seamster (author)  RSV263 years ago
what do you mean?
RSV26 seamster3 years ago
why the blue and green comdo?
seamster (author)  RSV263 years ago
I think it looks nice. Do you not like it?
RSV26 seamster3 years ago
no i just thought it looks like ben 10
seamster (author)  RSV263 years ago
Ah, okay. I had to google that, but it does indeed have a resemblance to the Ben 10 logo.
makendo3 years ago
Awesome. Having made one of your Captain America shields, and having had it beaten upon, left out in the rain, and generally abused by two small boys, I can attest to the robustness of your construction methods!
Excellent twirling launch of the 8-footer... almost like a slow-motion shot put...
seamster (author)  makendo3 years ago
Thanks! I wish I would have recorded my initial attempts to throw it because I tried to toss it like a regular frisbee a few times before giving up and trying other methods. The thing is so cumbersome and awkward, and I'm sure I must have looked like a real doofus...
Congratulations, well-deserved win - looking forward to lots of high quality video in your new projects!
seamster (author)  makendo3 years ago
Thank you! I'm pretty excited about winning the Hero camera. I've wanted one for a while, but it's just something I never would have purchased. Happy day! (Except once I get, I'll most likely play with it for a while, then sell it and buy some paint, maybe some lumber, or some fabric.... it really is a vicious cycle.)
static3 years ago
Far extreme. Jolly the Jolly Green Giant can play Frisbee with his dog.
The discs lack speed and rotation in order to stay longer in the air. When I throw a flying disc and I want it to fly as far as possible and as stable as possible. I give it as much spin as I can by flipping my wrist very hard and fast. This way the disc spins very fast so it doesn't go left nor right and stays in the air much longer because it acts like a wing of an airplane.
I think this is what you should do with this big a disc as yours. Put the disc on a motor which you can hold in your hands and run from the hill while letting the motor spin the disc. And when you're running at a good pace release the disc from the motor. This way you have your rotating disc flying at a speed you ran.
The disc will stay stable (because of the rotations) and stay in the air because of its velocity.
I love this ible and would love the see some progress :-) Would be nice to see a huge disc fly for minutes. Reminds me a bit of the movie " Close encounters of the third kind"
NEXT: Giant flying disk motorized launcher.
Something like the ramp from wich Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum lift off in Independence day, but with a rotating platform. 
You are partially correct, and wrong in others.

Discs stay in the air because of LIFT. This is generated by the rounded edge pushing air up and over the top which causes a low pressure area to form on the underside. The air flows over the top, and since it is curved it is longer meaning this is where the lift is generated.

What keeps it flying straight and level is the rotation of the disc. This is a centripetal force and what keeps it straight. The speed at which you spin the disk makes no difference to how far it flies--if you spin your disk at 500RPM and drop it it will fall straight down--but it does contribute to keeping it in the air longer as it will want to stay level longer. It is like a gyroscope.

So here it is broken down:

Fast Spin = Stable flight.
Powerful Throw = Longer flight.
Exactly what I meant! But because of my poor English not correct written, sorry.
Thank you for correcting me :-)
Alphageek633 years ago
Cool design. For the larger one, I wonder if you could put a couple of small, raised finger holds on the underside, opposite each other for balance. I'm thinking something like the handholds you see on kids climbing walls. You could probably make them out of that very light modeling compound, let them dry and glue them on about a foot from the center. I'm thinking that you position the finger holds front and back, hold this thing overhead with your hands at the finger holds. Start running, and right before you release it, you send the finger holds in opposite directions for a counterclockwise rotation. I've tried this with nothing in my hands, and it might work.

It might be a little awkward, especially the rear hand, but it's hard to imagine throwing an 8' frisbee without being at least a LITTLE awkward!
seamster (author)  Alphageek633 years ago
That's a pretty good idea. I may have to give that a try next time.

natospec3 years ago
could always use a beam compass.
randumbum3 years ago
Hella sick disks!
I think the problem with the 8' disk is that the curvature is too sharp. If you could get the same diameter by only making the disk half as tall, I think it would fly better...
Instead of rope at the edge, maybe try flexible black plastic water pipe. That would give you a stable circle to tape the cardboard to that would still be flexible enough to survive (crash) landing.
seamster (author)  Silvester105283 years ago
I think you are exactly right.

It ended up being much more bowl-shaped than I had intended, and I wasn't very happy with it. (The flights showing in the video are the best I got out of at least 20 throws!)
Use some rocket motors and short wings to add spin and lift.
builderv3 years ago
cool very cool nice job
I like it, very cool. I might have to create a design of my own.
jdlbb3 years ago
The foam insulation is expensive. Couldnt this be done with a hula hoop and the same nylon fabric?
seamster (author)  jdlbb3 years ago
I don't know if a hula hoop would produce the same results, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

I bought a 4' by 8' sheet of 1-inch foam for $15. My total cost for the 4-foot version would have been about $40, but I had a lot of the materials already on hand.
chrwei3 years ago
construction adhesive or an adhesive caulk would probably be easier and last longer.
seamster (author)  chrwei3 years ago
That may be true, but I used hot glue because I had some on hand.

Is construction adhesive flexible at all, or would it tend to crack? I've never really worked with it.
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