General Tuning Information
- Read this Before you Attempt to Modify your Boomerang
Tuning boomerangs is used to modify the way a boomerang performs or to
increase its flight range. When you are changing the characteristics
of your boomerang remember that SMALL modifications can produce
HUGE changes in the performance. Remember that each time you make
a change to your boomerang the flight can be significantly different.
The easiest way to tune your boomerang so that it flies how you
want it to, is to make one small modification at a time, then
test throw your boomerang to see how the flight changes. If you
need to make more adjustments repeat the process, always making
one small change at a time. Tuning your boomerang is all about
Trial-and Error. It takes a lot of practice and patience but eventually
you will be able to make your boomerang fly almost exactly as
you want it to.
There are generally three methods that are used to tune a boomerang:
bending, twisting, and adding weights. Bending and twisting should
only be performed if your boomerang is made of a flexible material.
You should never try to bend or twist a wooden boomerang as they
will break very easily if you try to modify their shape. Although
Paxolin is a very flexible and relatively strong compound it does
break if too much pressure is applied, especially in cold weather.
Always be gentle when you bend or flex your boomerang and always
keep in mind that a little goes a long way and you can always
bend or twist your 'rang more.
To check to the original "Tune" of your boomerang,
place it on a hard, flat surface with the decorated side facing
up and gently press down on the elbow. If your boomerang lies
completely flat or both arms are slightly pointing in the air,
your boomerang has a "neutral tune."
|Bending your Boomerang
When you bend the arms of your boomerang either up or downwards,
you are adjusting the dihedral, which is the angle above or below
the straight/neutral position. In general, bending the arms will
modify the distance, hover, and trajectory of your boomerang.
Remember even a few degress in change will alter the flight of
your boomerang significantly.
Bending up is generally recommened to increase the catchability
in situations where there is no wind. By bending one or more of
the arms of your boomerang up you are adding dihedral to the wings.
This generally results in a higher trajectory, earlier lying down
(shorter circle), and a longer hover. When you add dihedral to
the lift arm the boomerang will tend to lie-down sooner in the
flight and then zoom higher. This requires the thrower to alter
the throw to a more vertical and higher release. You will get
a higher and more circular flight with a nice hover at the end
of the flight, making the boomerang easier to catch. Adding dihedral
to the dingle arm (trailing arm) will result in a higher trajectory
and a great hover, but at the expense of a lot of distance.
Bending down the arms of your boomerang is recommended
for long distance, throwing in wind, or fast catch. Bending the
arms of your boomerang downward will decrease the dihedral of
the wings and will result in: a lower trajectory, a reduced hover,
and lying down later in the flight, which produces more distance.
By reducing the lie-down of the flight the boomerang will tend
to fly in a figure-eight shape helping to increase distance. Since
the boomerang is flying lower it is less effected by the wind,
which combined with the reduced hover makes bending downwards
a great tuning idea for windy conditions. It is suggested that
the throw be adjusted accordingly by holding the boomerang with
more tilt (flatter), throw lower, harder, and at times, more into
|Twisting the Arms of you Boomerang
|Twisting the arms of your boomerang, either clockwise or counter-clockwise,
alters the angle of attack, which is the angle at which the leading-edge
cuts through the oncoming air-flow. Twisting the arm counter-clockwise
will add positive angle of attack to the wing, whereas twisting
clockwise adds negative angle of attack. Tuning your boomerang by
twisting is used to adjust: spin-rate and wind stability, distance,
lie-down, and the type of trajectory. Twisting counter-clockwise
(adding positive angle of attack) will reduce the rate at which
the boomerang spins, making it more stable in the wind. Twisting
counter-clockwise will also reduce or eliminate lie-down, greatly
reducing the distance of the flight. In general, adding positive
angle of attack (counter-clockwise) will create a lower, circular
flight pattern. Adding negative angle of attack (twisting clockwise)
will create an eliptical flight path, often with steeper ascents.
As with bending, twisting your rang in either direction requires
adjustments in how you throw your boomerang. After twisting counter-clockwise,
it is recommended that the thrower throw the boomerang a little
lower, with more tilt (flatter) and more into the wind. If you twist
clockwise you should throw more vertically and less into the wind.
|Modifying the Weight of your Boomerang
Adding weight to a boomerang is generally done to increase
momentum, which results in a longer distance and greater wind
stability. The easiest way to add weights to your boomerang is
to tape coins, or small pieces of lead to the bottom of the wing(s).
The following rules of thumb should be taken into consideration
when trying to modify the weight of your boomerang:
- The closer to the tip of the arm the weight is placed, the
greater the effect will be.
- Adding equal weight to each wing will result in a longer,
slightly more eliptical trajectory. The throw should be adjusted
by using more tilt and throwing more into the wind.
- Adding equal weight to each wing and a weight 1/3 as heavy
to the elbow will keep the flight similar to the unweighted
flight, but will increase the distance. The throw should be
adjusted by using more tilt.
- Adding weight to the lead arm only will delay the lie-down,
increase distance, and reduce or eliminate the hover. The throw
should be adjusted by adding more tilt, throwing lower, and
more into the wind.
- Adding weight to the dingle arm only will produce an earlier
lie-down, reduce the distance, increase the hover, and result
in a higher flight. The throw should be adjusted by throwing
higher and holding the boomerang more vertical.
Information in this Section is Courtesy of Blue Star Boomerangs