Indoor Boomerang

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Introduction: Indoor Boomerang

I teach a class called "Make and Throw a Boomerang in One Hour." Actually you make three boomerangs in this class:

1. A light weight indoor boomerang to learn the basics.
2. A heavy cardboard one that flies outdoors in a light wind
3. A boomerang made from heavy polystyrene foam that flies in light to moderate breezes.

All three use the same template. This instructable is for the indoor model.

Step 1: Template

1. Download this template
2. Cut it out
3. Trace around it onto a piece of cardboard. Cereal boxes work well as does the poster board.


Step 2: Start Cutting

Ready to cut

Step 3: Cut, Cut, Cut

The card board can bend a bit as you cut as long as you don't overdo it and put a heavy crease in it.

Step 4: Camber the Leading Edge

Boomerangs use aerodynamic lift (among other things) to help it fly and return. This is a "right handed" boomerang, pinch and bend along the "leading wing" as shown below.

Step 5: Camber Trailing Wing

Pinch and bend the trailing wing.

Step 6: Tuning

This part can be tricky but typically both wings need to be bent up just a little bit

Step 7: Throwing

Throwing is just like a real boomerang.

Safety First:

1. Do not throw at anybody. Yes this is cardboard but NOT practicing dangerous behavior can be a useful process.
2. D0 not throw it like a frisbee. It tends to make a rapid ascent and and even more rapid descent in most instances with little predictability. Again not super dangerous with cardboard but . . .

Throwing:

1. The grip is a light clasping between the thumb and knuckle/first joint of the index finger.
2. The throw is like snapping a whip. You don't need to "twist your wrist" to make it come back.

Youtube helps as always:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTjl6zUnh8Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z6x2yYfGlw

These youtube videos are for outdoor but very good:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC61CtcYSGI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4ihRxoeaPk

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32 Comments

How big a room do you need to fly this?

Pretty big. 15 feet by 10 feet and a high ceiling helps. However scale it down to half this size and almost any room will do.

Cool i will try this

coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool man

DOESNT DO A CIRCLE AN COME BAK .. WHY??

Several things maybe happening:

1. If you are left handed the airfoils are "opposite" of what they should be. Either make a new on "backwards" of try thowing right handed.
2. Throwing like a frisbee. Parallel with the ground will make it go way up sharply and back down sharply.
3. If it is "almost" coming back then you need to make minor adjustments on how close to perpendicular the boomerang is when you throw.

Look around on Youtube for "how to throw a boomerang" and you will find some good tips.

It is not easy to throw one and have it come back in even the best circumstances. There is considerable finesse involved in both making and throwing boomerangs.

Keep on trying though! Let me know how you are doing and I will see what I can do to help.

Best,
Ed

Thanks! I have had some pretty amazing flights with these little dudes.

what about corogated cardboard...?