Ringing in a world record.
It slices through air with the greatest of ease. It sails so far that it holds the world record for the longest flight -- 1,046 feet, 11 inches -- by a thrown, heavier-than-air object. It makes a Frisbee look like a tired dinner plate. This newly invented flying ring, called the Aerobie, is quickly spinning into the hands of aerodynamics aerodynamics, study of gases in motion. As the principal application of aerodynamics is the design of aircraft, air is the gas with which the science is most concerned. fans throughout the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
What makes the Aerobie go, says inventor Alan Adler Alan Adler is an American inventor. He specializes in flying toys, such as footballs with fins and flying rings and discs, such as the Aerobie. In 2005 he invented a coffee brewing device and method called the Aeropress. External links
Palo Alto (păl`ō ăl`tō), city (1990 pop. 55,900), Santa Clara co., W Calif.; inc. 1894. Although primarily residential, Palo Alto has aerospace, electronics, and advanced research industries. , Calif., and lectures in electrical engineering electrical engineering: see engineering.
Branch of engineering concerned with the practical applications of electricity in all its forms, including those of electronics. at Stanford University, is a special rim along the ring's outer edge. "The trick was to make the ring aerodynamically stable so that it would fly straight," he says. "The challenge was to design an airfoil section that had one characteristic flying forward and a different characteristic flying backward."
When Adler began this project a year ago, no one knew whether such a design was feasible. For stability, the ring's center of lift had to be over its center of gravity. This perfect balance could be achieved if the trailing half of the ring had a higher lift-slope (the ratio of a change in lift to a change in the angle of attack) than the leading half. But because the ring would be spinning, no known airfoil had the right characteristics to work as both a leading edge and a trailing edge.
"I nearly abandoned the quest on several occasions," says Adler, "but kept going and eventually tested an outer rim design which had a spoiler spoiler: see airplane.
1. spoiler - A remark which reveals important plot elements from books or movies, thus denying the reader (of the article) the proper suspense when reading the book or watching the movie.
2. lip on the upper edge to reduce the lift-slope of the leading half. The model was more stable than anything I had seen before." He tried different rim heights and angles before he came up with his thin, flat, record-setting ring. With this design, says Adler, "the Aerobie works over an amazingly broad range of speeds." And even a 6-year-old can quickly and easily learn to toss it.