altitude temperature etc... on disc flight

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altitude temperature etc... on disc flight

Postby Craig » Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:33 pm

Any guidance from anybody on how altitude, termperature and relative humidity affect disc flight?
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Postby mkpowers » Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:36 pm

high temperature could warp a disc if you leave it out in the sun.
not sure about humidity or altitude
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Postby Blake_T » Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:03 pm

humidity makes discs less overstable.

altitude makes discs more overstable.

low and high temperatures affect the characteristics of the plastic, but this isn't uniform across all discs. some manufacturer's plastics are less affected as well. general rule, colder = more rigid and more overstable (but not all that much).

temperature is a bigger factor with regards to humidity, e.g. condensation when cold or hot.
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Postby Smyith » Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:03 pm

i have noticed that in winter my drives general go about 50-100 feet farther than in summer when i 95 and 100% humity (Midwest weather can really suck). But anyway i noticed that humidity seems to effect things. Also my pro plastics seem to throw better in winter.
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:52 am

My local course flirts with holes in the 200 foot range. So when I played San Antonio, I figured I would have a terrible score, but I found that I was parring and making birdies on these longer holes.

The heat was comparable, but humidity was not. It is much more humid where I live than San Antonio (at least on that day, and probably most days).

I figured it was humidity that made my drives longer. I was throwing avengers and 1 starfire that I was trying out with similar results.
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Postby Goob The Noob » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:36 pm

I find that discs don't carry near as well in the winter (below freezing) as compared to summer. Whether that temperature is affecting the disc or the thrower, I am unsure. I am sure that it's much harder to get a good grip with frozen hands :)
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Postby Pagan » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:34 am

Goob The Noob wrote:I find that discs don't carry near as well in the winter (below freezing) as compared to summer. Whether that temperature is affecting the disc or the thrower, I am unsure. I am sure that it's much harder to get a good grip with frozen hands :)


I've noticed that too. We live in North Dakota and played a bit before it started to get really cold. I've played whenever the weather conditions would allow it. Most times that was in weather below 30 degrees and with the wind chill the real-feel was closer to like teens. Now that the tempatures are increasing a bit and it's not that cold I've noticed my drives becoming longer and longer...

I know that my skill level is increasing and the teepads getting clearer and allowing some kind of run up / x-step is going to impact distance. However it seems that It's a little "easier" to get the disc out there consistently. It cant be all run up as now I'm still having to do a two step run up on some teepads...

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Postby discmonkey42 » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:43 am

The theory I've heard put forward on this subject (and it makes a lot of sense to me), relates to one of your points. The theory is that in the winter, you can't do a run up or good xstep. This results in you spending several months using form only to achieve quality drives. When it warms up and the teepads clear, you then incorporate your better form with clear teepads, clean runup, three more months of practice under your belt, nonrestrictive clothing, and the ability to place your plant foot down firmly without fear of slipping. All that put together is probably in large part responsible for the extra distance. I don't think the temp really impacts it all that much. Then again, it's just a theory.
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:57 am

I dont know. I live in colorado, and its often bloody cold without any moisture (a desert and the mountians, nice...) I never wear more than a sweatshirt, and if its really cold I put a nice thin wind resistant vest underneath. I cannot say these clothes restrict me at all. (but im not cold either)

I throw overall about 20' shorter when its cold with my full run up as same discs, in the same feild and on the same courses.

The altitude (its even noticable playing in denver then heading up to the mountian courses, you dont need to come from sea level into the mountians to notice) definately makes discs more overstable, and makes them drop out of the air faster. Im really interested to go play at sea level sometime and see if I would need to do something as drastic as change molds to get them to fly right...
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Postby roadkill » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:29 am

Colder air is denser. I believe this why discs don't carry as far during the winter.

I drive 50' further at 80 degrees than I do at 30 degrees. I guess it's coincidental that it equates to one foot per degree for me. :)

I've noticed discs appear to be slightly more stable in colder temps as well.

I've found that the optimal time for the best distance is summer evenings following a very hot day. If it's been 90 all day and now it's 72 and the humidity is near zero you get unbelievable thermals coming up from the ground since the air is now cooler than the ground yet still relatively warm. I've had some of my longest throws close to twilight (7-8pm) in July and early August.
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Postby discmonkey42 » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:09 am

Actually, isn't cold air thinner??? That's why your car runs better in the cold, thinner air moves through the engine more easily, etc. (I could definitely be wrong here, I'm no science guy). Also, doesn't the thermal updraft off of hot ground contribute to the distance in the summer? I agree, discs fly farther in the summer than in the winter, I just don't for sure know why. I would love someone to explain this with actual scientific terms that have a foundation in tested fact. Blake???
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Postby Tim H » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:01 pm

I found this little factoid on USAToday.com (http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wdensity.htm). It seems to me that it all depends, but it gives a good explanation of why cold, dense air is better for somethings than others.

"More dense, or "heavier" air will slow down objects moving through it more because the object has to, in effect, shove aside more or heavier molecules. "

"Cool, dense air slows a race car, but some race cars gain from dense air. Cars designed from the wheels up for racing are really like upside down airplane wings that the air pushes down on the track, increasing their grip going around curves. Denser air pushes then down harder. "
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Postby Tim H » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:11 pm

Forgot to mention another quote from the article. The article has more detail, but, "humid air is lighter than dry air at the same temperature and pressure."
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Postby roadkill » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:57 pm

Discmonkey,

Your life experience appears to be opposite mine.

I have far more car problems in the cold. Now of course if it's 100 degress out your can has an increased chance of overheating. But my car starts easier and runs better in 65 degree weather than it does in 25 degree weather.

Cold causes things to contract. Heat causes things to expand. Ever microwave a marshmallow? It will triple in size as it gets hotter.

The colder denser air causes the disc to pass through more air molecules and thus provides increased resistance.

And yes the thermals from the warm ground temp keeps your disc aloft longer that was part of my point. It's important to note though you will get greater distance if the ground temp is 90 and the air temp is 75 than if both temps were 90. Heat always rises, so the ground temp must be hotter if you want to take advantage of thermals.
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Postby krusen » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:39 pm

[quote="discmonkey42"]Actually, isn't cold air thinner??? That's why your car runs better in the cold, thinner air moves through the engine more easily, etc. (I could definitely be wrong here, I'm no science guy). quote]

Cold air is more dense.
So at slighlty cooler temps, your car takes in more oxygen, and runs more efficiently.
Turbochargers and superchargers force more air into the combustion chamber to take advantage of this effect. It's called forced induction. When this pressure gets high enough, your car will knock because the temp/pressure combination ignites the fuel too early. An intercooler can be added to cool down the incoming air.
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