Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vortex Flyer

Here is a very simple flying toy. Just like with the classic fold-and-tape paper airplane design it is based on, this simple flying ring is thrown straight ahead and given a little spin.

You don't need to throw it hard, and you don't need to spin it too fast. A gentle forward throw will make the vortex flyer travel in a straight line more than 12 feet (3.65 meters)! This paper toy is light enough for safe, indoor play.

Build this really easy paper toy with pieces from the free Poplocks Free-forms template and the free Page of Poplocks.

Click Read More to see the instructions.

You will need 4 large strips and 4 double poplocks
(I cut some in half to make single poplocks for this build - it's lighter!)
Download a printable sheet of Poplocks
Learn more about how Poplocks work 

Line up the ends of all 4 strips. Connect with a Double Poplock

Put Poplocks in the holes to the left and right.

Wrap the ends together and lock with a Poplock.

Rotate the connection on both sides a little bit.
Now when you throw it, it will barely wobble!
Here's a side view to help you set the angle of the two
halves of the ring. It may change between throws. Stack
more Poplocks in the holes to make the connection hold firm.

Throw the ring straight, away from your body
while giving it a turn with your fingers.
The angled-in, hollow face of the ring is the leading edge.

Throwing Tips:
  • Grasp the ring by it's outer face using your fingers. Throw the ring with the angled-in side facing forward. Give it a small spin with your fingers. More spin equals more flight time before it stalls.
  • Don't hurt your hand and wrist by trying to spin the vortex flyer too quickly! 
  • Set the angle right for better flight. If the angle is too extreme, the ring will stall and fall quicker.
  • This build will tend to rest as an oval shape. Hold with your fingertips at the wide, springy ends to get a better grip.
Make it Your Way - Experiment:
  • What happens if you set the angle of the two halves of the ring so the ring is a normal looking ring?
  • How differently does the ring fly if it is made of 6 long strips instead of 4. What about 8 strips?
  • Can you figure out how to make the ring so that it keeps a rounder shape, and not an oval shape?
If you have any questions or comments, leave them here and I will help and improve this entry.

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