Variations on normal by Dominic Wilcox

Giant Frisbee Human Transportation
June 14, 2009, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Drawings

Giant Frisbee Human Transportation

Whenever I visit the park there are always some excellent Frisbee throwers. I find it slightly mesmerising watching that Frisbee glide on the air back and forth. While I was mid mesmerisation I thought to myself what if there was a giant Frisbee that we could strap ourselves into and go on journeys.


7 Comments so far
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Giant frisbee vehicle? I’d like to take that for a spin.

Comment by PohTayToez

This idea is best executed in outer space, and will generate tons of gravity from the rotational motion. (see the “Stanford Torus”).

However, for replacing airplanes>>

The first thing you must consider in every vehicle is acceleration, and for this projectile-vehicle to actually take flight, you need to get it at a really high speed really fast, like from not spinning to wheel of fortune bonanza tym fast.

And we have our first problem. This will rip the people who are attached to it from their limbs, similar to being pushed back into your chair when a car starts, but with a factor of 187238. We can also encase the entire person, but that is quite a horrible thing to experience.

I suggest that we put the frisbee on a stick first, and let it gain speed slowly so the people accelerate with the frisbee and don’t get torn away from their limbs then release it.

Second problem, large air-travelling objects, well, fluids, get a lot of drag force (friction with the air), which would make traveling properly a problem. This is a challenge for the material of the frisbee and just how streamlined you can get the shape in that big size.

Air friction also generates heat, and the passengers can burn from that when spinning in high speeds mid-air. This can easily be remedied by a heat resistant material or coating.

Another problem would be how to land the frisbee.
Maybe we can use magnets, but they would just cause the Frisbee to crash. If the frisbee just stops moving, the same thing will happen if the frisbee starts moving really fast immediately: an episode of Happy Tree Friends. Of course we can invent really really precise systems to fix this, but the weather is very unpredictable and we cannot rely even on our ultra precise systems. (see “Chaos Theory”) Perhaps it is more feasible in short distance travels for this reason.

Comment by ppk

Well thought out. I’ll get my people to cancel the launch till we work through your issues.

Comment by mrdominic (admin)

I believe I have some solutions to the problems you presented. What if the design was altered, so that rather than simply strapping people to the inside of the Frisbee, there would be a sort of corridor that ran along the inside ring of the Frisbee. The inner layout would be similar to that of a traditional airplane, only the cabin would be circular rather than straight. This would protect the passengers from the elements, and provide a much more comfortable ride. In addition, this cabin would be attached to the rest of the Frisbee by bearings, or similar friction reducing device. In this way, as the outer Frisbee spins, the passenger area is actually stationary, or spins at a much slower rate. This would remove the bone crushing centrifugal force, and actually allow the passengers to “move about the cabin”.

As for landing, maybe magnets could be used after all. Imagine magnets in the center of the Frisbee, and along the rim. A disc-shaped landing pad could have magnets that oppose the magnets on the Frisbee’s rim, but attract the magnets in the center of the Frisbee. If properly calibrated, this would allow the Frisbee to come to rest on the pad without actually touching the ground. As the Frisbee descends, the magnets would decrease in power, allowing for a gentle deceleration.

Comment by PohTayToez

good thinking, if we keep this up we could launch sooner than I thought.

Comment by mrdominic (admin)

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