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boomerang
wide open space
wing shape
dangerous animals
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wild animals
My Boomerang Won't Come Back – A Grandfather, Grandson, Experiment
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My Boomerang Won\'t Come Back – A Grandfather, Grandson, Experiment

Why won't my boomerang come back?

In a previous article I talked of the wish to build a boomerang as a project for an educational exercise in aerodynamics for my Grandson. I researched the project, maybe to extreme, and found a site with instructions on shape and construction. A piece of plywood found and with the machines available today, cut and shaped the boomerang in double-quick time.

The dimensions followed to the T, the aerodynamic shape, the dihedral ends per diagram and the last finish like glass. A coat of varnish added and my boomerang an item of beauty.

Now as I, no expert in the art of throwing the boomerang, more research needed. My first thought being a sideways horizontal type toss being the required way, I soon found out I was totally wrong. The expounders of the art called for an almost vertical toss that would cause the boomerang to curve to the left and climb with a rotational return flight path towards me. No way did I expect it to return direct to my hand, but a drop close by expected. I could understand the aerodynamic shape would cause the item to move towards the left as the lift created by the wing shape would pull it that way. How it would change to a horizontal plane and return, beyond my comprehension. But how could all those experts of Australia have expected this to happen in the beginning, so why should I?

A place to test our boomerang? This needed careful consideration, not sure how the thing would react, unoccupied space seemed the safest. Close to where we live is a small game park, the public are welcome to wonder amid the wild animals they have in the enclosure, not dangerous animals, antelope. But one thing about the park, is the wide open space available for our testing of the aerodynamically built item.

Not knowing if this sort of thing allowed, we proceeded to a less visible area from the main restaurant. Making sure there no other walkers, the test ready to begin. Getting the Grandson partially behind me to make sure this boomerang expected to return, would not need a hurried trip to the hospital, I prepared myself. A few back and forward movements of the arm had me satisfied the item would fly out my hand as instructed.

The first attempt, pathetic, not enough force in the toss, the boomerang bounced along the ground like a rabbit looking for its warren. Sending the Grandson to fetch the boomerang, (after all why else was he there) I took a couple of dry swings to make sure I was not about to dislocate my shoulder, or any other like medical problem that could arise from my age. All seemed well within the arms ability, and a second attempt, ready, steady, go for launch, “Watch carefully son.” my confident instruction “and dodge the damn thing if I can't catch it” (the safety angle covered as well). I drew back my arm and gave this piece of wood a toss of confident forcefulness.

What happened you ask? My boomerang won't come back, in fact it took such great fright of returning to who had thrown it, it continued off flying beautifully till it landed, dead centre in the small weir. It began its flight with a slight curve to the left, expected, it changed to a horizontal plane (mystifying) spinning with great intensity, but the expected return flight, totally lacking. It continued to partially float in the air till lift was almost absent, then fell to its demise in the weir like a duck that had just been shot by a hunter. The weir covered with water lilies, the possible floating to the side impossible, so with a good laugh and my hand on his shoulder as we walked back to the vehicle, it decided the experiment had been a success.

The boomerang had flown, far and aerodynamically, the return to hand? quickly forgotten due to excitement from having done something illegal, you're not allowed to take weapons into a park, and this was a weapon, I had managed to convince him.


Street Talk

LOL it did fly!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Agreed Shawn a small consolation it did fly.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

Ha success none the less, well done to you and yr grandson! Lucky you dont depend on that for finding food :p

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree I had such high hopes and actually got excited when it first took off, but not to be. I'm sure a lot of it is in how it is thrown, of which I have no coach, but I do have all the excuses.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Lemuel  

Nice escape there in your last paragraph Rob. Perhaps you made your boomerang in such a hurry or was it the throw? Anyway, what are experiments for, right? I'm glad to read some precious moments spent together by Grandfather and Grandson maybe I'll check your click-thru.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Lemuel I remember my Grandfathers so well, one was a black smith and the other a carpenter, you can imagine what they taught me. It is strange that all those good times I can still remember as though they were yesterday. What can one do with a child today? Pull a computer apart? That should be fun as he teaches ME how to put it back together again.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

Great article, Rob. So fully descriptive I could feel that I was there with you. Love all the comments here as well - almost as much fun as the article itself!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks AJ yes somehow my tossing a stick into a weir has a lot of people talking, I love it, wish I could do it more often.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Did you know that a boomerang that will not come back is generally called a stick? Geat story. My Grandson is not even walking yet so will have to wait a while to do those sort of things

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Now you tell me, I could have saved an awful lot of work and merely found a good looking stick.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Rob, I told you to go buy the plastic thingy at the toy store!! This boomerang is obviously a killer (of dreams??). They're designs that are intended to clobber the heck out of the poor creature... but not return! You could tell your grandson about this design and how you were perfectly successful... in injuring a fish (or your pride?)!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

A fish or my pride? I think the fish were safe, my pride? not to worried there he is still young and believes everything Granddad says. So in his eyes it was a success, forget about mine.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Really enjoyed this one!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Maria

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

ROFL.. that was CLASSIC!!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Not all success for the flying SA designed boomerang.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

LOL Rob....One thing is for certain is that you grandson will have some great memories of the episode...and maybe a good laugh or two....

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

The laughs are all that matter, Kevin it is those that I remember of my grandpa, the times of joy and laughter.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Sounds like fun! We had to put out boomerang project on the back burner since our car is in the shop. We hope to start our experiments, too.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Rebecca I have been waiting to hear of your success, so that I can ask the how. Mine flew like a bird ( a smile on my face) and dropped like a stone (a grim look, fortunately my grandson was behind me and never saw it) time to smile and make excuses, with the hope of trying again.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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