Indoor Boomerang

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Posted in PlayPaper-airplanes

Introduction: Indoor Boomerang

About: Wide range of interests supported by my day at Nonin Medical.

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

    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

    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.

    It might work with a slightly larger version. In general when I have tried to use corrugated cardboard it doesn't seem to hold the creases and bends that poster boards does.

    Good luck!

    Best,
    Ed

    Hi,
    you should be able to download the pdf template:

    https://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FV6/XSK6/FVDC2X2A/FV6XSK6FVDC2X2A.pdf

    If not send me your email address and I will send it to you. If you want to download the complete pdf instructions you now have to be a "pro" member of Instructables. . .or something like that.

    Good luck and keep me posted. I am here to help.

    Ed

    awesome boomerang. one tiny problem i have: it needs quite some force and space. can help me out?

    1 reply

    If you bend the wing tips up it should fly in a tighter circle.

    Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTjl6zUnh8Y Not quite as hard but that is kind of the idea.

    Ive found that throwing with your elbow instead of with your wrist or hand it works better.

    1 reply

     Hi,
         I am glad you are enjoying the mini-rang.  The same pattern can be used on heavier cardboard and a sheet polystyrene material available at many hobby stores.  Cut it out and bevel the edges the same way, bend the wings for tuning the same way.

    Except for two things

    1. to bevel the polystyrene use a pair of pliers
    2. to tune the polystyrene mini-rang the wings get bent down a little instead of up.

    I will try to post some more instructions and pics soon but I don't have a camera and need to schedule in photo shoots with a friend.