Introduction: Foam and Tape Boomerang

About: Hey my name is Drew Curlin! Im a freshmen engineering major at Texas A&M

This is a small, foam boomerang that utilizes tape for strength. The inspiration for this build came from FliteTest's boomerang video, and the template that I used for my boomerang can be found and printed off their website. The great part about this boomerang is that it was easy to build, cheap(as in basically free), and can be thrown in small areas like a decent sized back yard. However, you can add weight to the "wings" of the boomerang to make it go farther. If you like it please vote!

Step 1: Template Preparation

First of all, these boomerangs can be built on many different materials. I did not want mine to fly far and had plenty of insulation foam at hand, so I chose to deter from the normal plywood structure.

Then, I printed out my simple boomerang design. As I said earlier, you can find this design on FliteTest's website. The template should be 12 inches from wingtip to wingtip, as you can see. I tiled my plans when printing so it did not cut off the wingtips.

After that, I taped it to the foam and cut the design out with a razor.

Step 2: Giving the Boomerang an Airfoil

As you can see in the first picture, the foam is rough and has no chance of flying after being cut out.

Now you have to give the boomerang its airfoils, both to make it float, and to make it turn in the air. A boomerang has wings similar to helicopter blades, and each blades airfoil seems to be pointing in opposite directions. If you look closely at my boomerang, which is a righthanded, you will see that the right wing's airfoil is facing in what seems to be the opposite direction of the other.

I sanded the airfoils, and I don't recommend trying to cut, because you won't be very precise.

The sanding takes a really long time, and my hand started cramping, but the airfoil is the most important part, so be patient.

Step 3: Taping

The taping is probably the most important, or second most important part of building the boomerang. Without the tape, a foam boomerang will fall apart immediately on impact with anything hard.

This taping process was hard. I have used tape to cover larger surfaces of foam, like the flying wings I make, but the detail work is very difficult. I used packaging tape on the entire boomerang and used duct tape for strength. Make sure to use the duck tape on the bottom because it does not stick very well around the airfoil. I made that mistake and it both looks ugly and flaps up every once in a while.

I then took it outside to test fly... It did not work at all. I concluded that it had too much drag because it would not spin long at all.

Step 4: Sanding Again

Yup, I had to remove all the tape, sand the entire boomerang thinner, retape, and then test fly again. I also added some nails in the ends to help it rotate as much as possible. Good news is, it flew great after that and comes back to me when I throw it right. Throwing is difficult, and I have gotten it stuck in a couple of trees.

I quickly spray painted it white, as you can see in the intro picture. Depending on how well you tape it, you could do some sweet decals.

Tape Contest

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Tape Contest