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Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics


Thomas Kirkman, Physics


In this project, two disc flight simulations were created in Mathematica. The first predicted the flight trajectory of a disc in two dimensions based on angle of attack and initial velocity input parameters. The second simulation predicted flight more accurately in three dimensions, taking the torque into account and showing the roll at the end of long flights. Equations for the simulations came from the forces known to act on flying objects as well as coefficient functions for lift, drag, and torque roll moment. Fundamental aerodynamic properties and flight patterns of Discraft Ultra-Star flying discs were measured with the use of video recording and an onboard flight data recorder for comparison with the results of each simulation.

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