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  • Physics question

    From what I've gathered it sounds like the more worn in or beat up a disc gets, all else held equal, the more understable the disc will become. Beyond this it sounds like in general premium plastics that seem to be smoother and less wind resistant tend to have more overstable ratings (see the ratings of the high speed drivers on Innova's disc selection chart).

    Furthermore, it seems like the faster a disc travels, the harder it will turn to the right (for RHBH). For slower armspeeds, even understable discs won't turn real hard.

    Assuming I've got all this correct, the conclusion I reach is that for the action of wind passing by a disc rotating clockwise to overcome the disc's natural tendency to fade to the left, the wind passing by and over the disc has to be traveling at a particular speed. As the air passing by slows down, the turning action seems to hit a critical point where the disc will straighten and fade. Not only this but the rougher or less aero a disc is (like my beat up Cobra), the critical point is going to be slower than a more aero, "higher speed" disc (like a champ Ape).

    ...Does that all seem right?

  • #2
    The rotational speed of a disc actually has a lot to do with it. The way it works is the center of the disc is what the actual mph of the disc is doing while the outside left rim (assuming you threw the disc RHBH) is doing double speed while the right side is effectively doing 0. This is assuming you threw the disc perfectly flat with no off axis torque.

    Doesn't really answer your question but adds more fuel to your thinking process.
    "Honest work is for the downtrodden and the Polish"
    Cleveland Brown

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    • #3
      This is a dramatic oversimplication, and this also doesn't answer the original question, but...

      Remember that discs behave like both wings and gyroscopes. That extra airspeed on the left edge (that General Scales mentioned) causes more lift on the left side ("wing") of the disc, so it turns right at high speed. But the low-speed fade to the left is a gyroscopic effect — which I couldn't even begin to explain. A disc that's flying dead straight has those two forces (among others) in perfect balance.
      Oregon disc golf map

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