Itchy wrote:First off, flight guidelines are bogus anyway.
Very true. They are a marketing gimmick, but they have been quite successful for Innova. They over-simplify the characteristics of the flight of a disc, and they use subjective numbers. The idea is that the customer (you) will:
-Grow accustomed to using the ratings, and become somewhat addicted to using them, which will discourage you from throwing Discraft (which reports only a single number, even more over-simplified).
-Think that Innova knows what they're doing. People see numbers all over the place an assume it is very technical stuff, and must be highly engineered.
Itchy wrote:A disc's flight has two phases of stability, high speed and low speed.
Only if you want to define 2 phases. There are as many phases of flight as you can slice and dice. Innova's rating system actually touches 3 phases of flight, the high speed turn, the straight glide, and the fade. Pretty much all discs thrown level will "turn" over to the right at a sufficiently high speed, and when they slow down during flight they become straighter and this is where much of the glidey distance comes from. And when it slows down further it eventually begins to hyzer out ("fade"). If the disc is flying nose up relative to the air flowing around it, the speeds at which the above transitions occur will usually increase (i.e., you have to throw faster to get the disc to turn over right), and the disc will lift up higher in the air. If the disc is flying nose down relative to the air flowing around it, the speeds at which the above transitions occur will usually decrease (i.e., you can get the disc to turn over right at slower speeds), and the disc will tend to dive down in the air.
Itchy wrote:[For a RHBH] High speed stability is when the disc spinning faster (right out of your hand) and makes the disc want to turn over to the right.
It is thought that the tendency to turn over right has nothing to do with how fast it is spinning, only the air speed and angle of attack matters. This was shown in wind tunnel experiments. But, if it is spinning faster, then for the same angle of attack and air speed the disc will turn/fade more slowly. What makes the disc turn over, go straight, or fade is the stream of turbulent air flowing around the disc, and the often off-center character of the pressure fluctuations it exerts on the disc. The form of the air flow is dictated by the shape of the disc, the air speed, and angle of attack. If the air lifts the nose, the disc gyroscopically precesses left, if the air lifts the tail, the disc gyroscopically precesses right. If it lifts dead center, then it goes dead straight. For reasons that are not well-understood, the spin doesn't seem to affect the lift of the nose vs. tail...perhaps it is because what is gained on one side is lost on the other.
Air flow is highly non-linear and turbulent, and small changes can have large effects. This is why two discs of ostensibly the same mold can fly very differently, or why the discs change their flight a great deal with age and wear, or why the profiles of many disc molds look very similar but yield very different flights.