Stats Made Easy

Practical Tools for Effective Experimentation

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stat-Ease credited with reporting the world's largest flying disk

Our periodic search of internet netted a Google group exchange on "...the biggest Frisbee made"* in which someone named "Burp" (whose email starts with "Beerme"!) provides the link to this incredible photo. It was sent to me in 2002 by Darrell W. Pepper, Ph.D., Dean, College of Engineering, University of Nevada Las Vegas, who said "I enjoyed your article in the September issue of the Stat-Teaser regarding the flying rings/disks with your daughter (Sixth-Graders Experiment with Flying Disks). I just thought you might like to know that we built the world's largest flying disk (10 ft in diameter) some years ago - as well as a 10 ft ring (using mylar and PVC pipe). I also had a grad student do his MS thesis on frisbee/disk aerodynamics a few years back. See the attached picture of one of our former engineering students (who also played center for the UNLV football team) actually throwing the disk (Adler design - like Aerobie but solid). The disk was made from composite material and foam - total weight was about 20 lbs. The student tossed the disk about 75 feet. By the way, when we transported it to Reno for the annual AIAA meeting (about 400 mi), a wind came up and blew it off the trailer - the student walked over 1000 feet in the desert to pick it up (an unofficial distance record?) The following year I had some students work on a giant machine to toss the disk. It never materialized, but the idea seemed good. We then went on to build solar airplanes, etc. One more thing - there was a report of a UFO disk-shaped object flying over the highway."

PS. Other readers of my original article on the experiment by my daughter weighed in on the effect of color on the plastic disks' physical properties, the impact of a learning curve for throwing them, and the throwers' level of expertise -- see item #2 at my October 2002 DOE FAQ Alert. (Feel free to subscribe at DOE FAQ Alert signup.)

*If you are a fan of flying disks and do not mind some playground language, take a look at the topic in


Post a Comment

<< Home