searching Engineering Collection Change databases

Image of Publication

  • Citation only


about this publication

Abstract: Testing of fluted boomerangs and throwing sticks has shown that the Australian Aborigine preceded Western civilisation by thousands of years in the application of some aerodynamic technologies. At first glance it may seem that the longitudinal flutes on the distinctive throwing sticks and hunting boomerangs of Central and Western Australia must diminish their aerodynamic performance. Nothing could be further from the truth. These surface features enhance the performance. Wind tunnel tests show large drag force reductions in the case of throwing sticks and large lift force increases in the case of boomerangs. The fluting alone is responsible for the improved performance. In fact it can be shown that, without the fluting, some boomerangs may not have flown at all.

To cite this article: Nelson, RC. 'Groovy' Aerodynamics in Pre-European Australia [online]. In: Baker, Keith (Editor). Eleventh National Conference on Engineering Heritage: Federation Engineering a Nation; Proceedings. Barton, ACT: Institution of Engineers, Australia, 2001: 7-11. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=520325129598400;res=IELENG> ISBN: 1740922155. [cited 30 May 16].

Personal Author: Nelson, RC; Source: In: Baker, Keith (Editor). Eleventh National Conference on Engineering Heritage: Federation Engineering a Nation; Proceedings. Barton, ACT: Institution of Engineers, Australia, 2001: 7-11. Document Type: Conference Paper, Research ISBN: 1740922155 Subject: Aeronautics; Aboriginal Australians; Civilization; Aboriginal Australians--Antiquities; History; Aerodynamics; Aerodynamics--Mathematical models; Boomerangs--Aerodynamics; Aerodynamics--Experiments;

Database: Engineering Collection