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Returning Boomerangs

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Introduction to Returning Boomerangs
Wooden boomerangs.

When most of us think of boomerangs, we imagine somebody throwing a curved stick that eventually turns around and comes back to the thrower's hand. This device is simply amazing, and a wonderful application of some laws of physics relating to aerodynamic lift and angular momentum.

A returning boomerang is a specially crafted, lightweight piece of wood, plastic or other material. Effectively, they are two wings fashioned together into one piece, but some modern boomerang designs have three or more wings.

Most returning boomerangs measure one to two feet across, although larger and smaller varieties exist. When thrown correctly, a returning boomerang flies through the air in a nearly circular path and arrives back at its starting point. Returning boomerangs are not suited for hunting, unlike the non-returning boomerangs from which they evolved.

Common Boomerang Flight Paths


Closed ellipse with an S curve trajectory.
Elliptical with
an "S" curve.
Wind direction
Wind direction -  down or from the north.


Circular trajectory. Elliptical trajectory. Path shape - open ellipse.

Circular

Elliptical

Elliptical


Top-down View

Continue to Boomerang Flight. 

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