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RE: [SCA-Archery] Effects of arrow/fletch size on flight.

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  • Carolus
    The furthest with a hand-held - and pulled - bow is 1,336 yds 1 3 (1,222.01m) , shot by Don Brown with an unlimited conventional Flight bow in 1987. Using a
    Message 1 of 19 , Dec 7, 2007
      The furthest with a hand-held - and pulled - bow is 1,336 yds 1' 3"
      (1,222.01m) , shot by Don Brown with an unlimited conventional Flight
      bow in 1987.
      Using a crossbow, a shot in 1988 reached just over 2000 yds. These
      are custom bows designed specifically for flight shooting.
      At 10:58 AM 12/7/2007, you wrote:



      >----- Original Message -----
      >From: Keith Crawley
      >To: SCA ARCHERY
      >Sent: 12/7/2007 1:40:23 PM
      >Subject: [SCA-Archery] Effects of arrow/fletch size on flight.
      >
      >Does anyone know of an on line source that explains in semi plain language
      >(non aerodynamic gibberish) terms the effects of various sized shafts
      >weights and fletching etc on an arrows flight. Im looking for documentation
      >or charts that could prove out the following.
      >
      >In simple terms if i took my 35 lb longbow and on a windless day without any
      >outside effects (lets say Im perfect in form and release on every shot) from
      >the archer what would fly further a heavy arrow (11/32 shaft and 175G point)
      >or a light one (11/32with 75G point) with everything else identical, shaft
      >length same sized fletchings etc.? I know the larger the fletchings the more
      >stable the arrow flys but also the faster drag will slow it down but what
      >effect does mass have on all this. With the same force (energy coming from
      >the bow) and on the same trajectory or angle whats the better choice for
      >distance shooting?
      >
      >Baron Percival
      >
      >_Not scientifically proven, but I believe that lighter arrows will fly
      >further. When the Turks
      >did flight shooting, they used very short, very light arrows, and a bow
      >with a long arrow rest
      >(to compensate for the shortness of the shaft, and prevent overdraw). The
      >fletching on these
      >arrows were also kept almost to a minimum, as the object was distance, not
      >accuracy. The
      >greatest distance achieved with a hand-held bow was, I believe, something
      >in the order of a mile
      >or more.
      >
      >Gardr Gunnarsso


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    • Carolus
      Actually, Olympic arrows are very heavy for their size. The small diameter gives them less resistance but they are made of composite construction and often
      Message 2 of 19 , Dec 7, 2007
        Actually, Olympic arrows are very heavy for their size. The small
        diameter gives them less resistance but they are made of composite
        construction and often have very heavy heads for accuracy. Olympic
        archery is usually shot at 70m for men with some shots at
        90m. Therefore accuracy far outweighs distance. I use a 2.5"
        parabolic feather on both my Olympic and traditional arrows (shape matters).
        Carolus

        At 11:08 AM 12/7/2007, you wrote:

        >I think the simple answer would be the less the arrow weighs the
        >less energy used up by the bow to push it therefore the further it
        >would travel. Probably why Olympic arrows are so small.On a thirty
        >five pound bow you would want to use 5/16 diameter shafts, not
        >11/32, with a very light head, 75 or 100 grains, and no more than a
        >four inch feather for stability. 5" feathers just create excess drag
        >and are only really useful for countering the effects of a
        >broadhead. The lighter the arrow the better without being too light
        >as that will cuase damamge to the bow.
        >Hope that helps a bit.
        >Dalton


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      • Rusty McMillan
        ... ...Bear in mind that for pure distance you want as little fletching as possible. Fletching will help stabilize the arrow in flight, reducing drag somewhat
        Message 3 of 19 , Dec 8, 2007
          --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Carolus <eulenhorst@...> wrote:

          ...Bear in mind that for pure distance you want as little fletching as
          possible. Fletching will help stabilize the arrow in flight, reducing
          drag somewhat but its greatest value is in improving accuracy...

          Carolus,

          While I agree with your arguments regarding mass vs. gravity (I'm glad
          somebody pointed that out!), you lost me on the drag issue. I thought
          the fletching stabilized the arrow by CREATING drag, and the reason
          for keeping fletching minimal is to not add more drag than is needed
          to stabilize the flight. That's what you meant, right?

          Randal
        • Carolus
          An unstable arrow will wobble in flight and thus create more drag. If an arrow is perfectly matched to the bow and the archer s form is perfect, then an
          Message 4 of 19 , Dec 8, 2007
            An unstable arrow will wobble in flight and thus create more
            drag. If an arrow is perfectly matched to the bow and the archer's
            form is perfect, then an unfletched arrow will fly in a stable
            configuration and achieve maximum flight. If, however, the arrow is
            slightly unstable when unfletched, some fletching will correct that
            and, in a stable configuration, fly further. Thus, introducing some
            drag from the fletching will reduce the drag from an unstable
            configuration thus improving performance.

            This is why I said no simple answer exists.
            Carolus

            At 06:11 PM 12/8/2007, you wrote:

            >--- In
            ><mailto:SCA-Archery%40yahoogroups.com>SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com,
            >Carolus <eulenhorst@...> wrote:
            >
            >...Bear in mind that for pure distance you want as little fletching as
            >possible. Fletching will help stabilize the arrow in flight, reducing
            >drag somewhat but its greatest value is in improving accuracy...
            >
            >Carolus,
            >
            >While I agree with your arguments regarding mass vs. gravity (I'm glad
            >somebody pointed that out!), you lost me on the drag issue. I thought
            >the fletching stabilized the arrow by CREATING drag, and the reason
            >for keeping fletching minimal is to not add more drag than is needed
            >to stabilize the flight. That's what you meant, right?
            >
            >Randal


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          • arturdubh
            Thank you, sir, for pointing out that which I had forgotten. True, gravity works equally on all objects, regardless of their relative mass -- but I was trying
            Message 5 of 19 , Dec 8, 2007
              Thank you, sir, for pointing out that which I had forgotten. True,
              gravity works equally on all objects, regardless of their relative
              mass -- but I was trying to explain in simple terms something which
              is nowhere near to being simple. It was never my intention to imply
              that the rules of gravity would be "suspended" in "special
              circumstances" (my words, not anyone else's).

              However, if you launch two indentical, but differently-weighted
              arrows (indentical fletching, indentical length, indentical shaft
              material, etc) from the same bow, in the exact same manner, the
              heavier arrow will generally travel the shorter distance. And if you
              do think a heavy "bullet" will travel farther than a light "bullet",
              try using a ballista as your "gun". (Yes, more mass generally means
              more distance -- but when you use the same powder load, in the same
              gun, the lighter bullet will travel farther because it needs less
              force to get it moving, and all that "extra" force can be used
              to "push" it faster. Generally speaking, of course - and this is
              supposed to be a simple lesson in General Physics.)

              I'm going to go do some "heavy" reading now, a novelization of a
              fictional account of the life of Arthur, The King That Never Was.

              --Artúr



              --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Carolus <eulenhorst@...> wrote:
              >
              > Actually, no. Galileo published his Discorsi e
              > dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nove
              > scienze/Discourses and Mathematical Discoveries
              > Concerning Two New Sciences in 1638 in which he
              > proved to objects of identical size and shape but
              > differing mas fell at exactly the same rate. The
              > acceleration of gravity is 32ft/sec/sec - a
              > constant regardless of mass. If I were to make
              > two bullets, one of aluminum and one of tungsten,
              > and fired them at the same speed in an airless
              > environment they would both hit the ground at the
              > same time. however, if I shoot them through a
              > still air environment, the tungsten one, being
              > heavier and thus containing more having more energy will travel
              further.
              >
              > There is no simple answer for this question. Two
              > basic considerations must be accounted for. As
              > Fritz stated initial speed is the first
              > consideration. Start with unfletched
              > arrows. Either start heavy and go lighter until
              > you see the speed fail to increase or start light
              > and go heavier until you see your speed
              > drop. There will be some effect from diameter,
              > length, shape, and density on these arrows. Once
              > you have the optimum bare shaft start trying
              > different fletching materials, shapes, and sizes
              > until you get the best performance. Bear in mind
              > that for pure distance you want as little
              > fletching as possible. Fletching will help
              > stabilize the arrow in flight, reducing drag
              > somewhat but its greatest value is in improving
              > accuracy. It placing the arrow in a particular
              > place isn't important don't worry about it.
              > Carolus
              >
              >
              > At 09:34 PM 12/7/2007, you wrote:
              >
              > >"....normally the lighter arrow will fly the farthest, because
              there
              > >is less actual mass for gravity to bring down (heavy objects tend
              to
              > >fall faster than light objects, even when they are both launched
              with
              > >the same amount of force)."
              > >
              > >Think of it this way: If you have two indentically-shaped objects,
              > >and they are both they same actual size -- but one is heavier than
              > >the other -- one of those two objects will fall faster than the
              other.
              > >
              > >When the exact same bow is used to launch two arrows, the only
              > >difference being that one arrow is heavier than the other
              (fletchings
              > >the same size/material, shafts the same length/material, etc. -
              only
              > >the **diameter** of the shafts being different), in the exact same
              > >manner -- the draw length is the same, the the way the bow is held
              is
              > >the same, etc -- the heavier arrow tends to hit the ground first
              > >because GRAVITY has a greater effect on the heavier arrow. Of
              course,
              > >this is if the arrows are launched on a horizontal path, not
              > >downwards towards the ground. But as with all generalities, there
              are
              > >always exceptions.
              > >
              > >As stated by others, this is why the Turks (and others) used light-
              > >weight arrows for distance-shooting, where accuracy was not the
              > >primary concern (presumably for sending battle-field messages -
              but I
              > >haven't done any research into Turkish flight-shooting, myself, so
              > >that's only a guess..).
              > >
              > >--Artúr
              >
              >
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              12/6/2007 11:15 PM
              >
            • Carolus
              Ah, yes. But you are now comparing apples to oranges. Remember, I stated that the velocity of each projectile was equal at the start. You are using the same
              Message 6 of 19 , Dec 8, 2007
                Ah, yes. But you are now comparing apples to
                oranges. Remember, I stated that the velocity of
                each projectile was equal at the start. You are
                using the same energy input at the start. I
                require more energy to be imparted into the
                heavier projectile, thus the increased range. To
                apply this to archery we need to incorporate the
                modulus of elasticy and the inertia of the bow
                limbs (I said this was going to be complex,
                didn't I?). The design of a bow limits the speed
                at which the limb tips move and the rate of
                acceleration of those limbs. Under no
                circumstances can the arrow be projected faster
                than these variables allow. This means that any
                arrow below a certain weight threshold will
                travel at the same speed. Given two arrows, both
                weighing less than that threshold, the heavier one will fly further.

                And yes, I have used a ballista in just this
                manner. I shot a combat legal projectile and had
                it hit with a save level of force against a
                fighter. Using that same ballista, with the same
                setup and draw, I shot a projectile made of 5/8"
                rebar which easily penetrated a target of 4
                layers of 2x4s at 60 yds. Ok, surface area
                changed increasing penetration but my point is
                that while 60 yds was max range for a light
                combat projectile, the much heavier rebar was
                still flying flat and level with lethal force at
                that range. I have no idea how far I might have
                sent it, as I had only elevated the ballista
                about 10 degrees for the shot. whereas the combat
                projectile had to be at about 40 degrees to get that range.
                Carolus

                At 10:46 PM 12/8/2007, you wrote:

                >Thank you, sir, for pointing out that which I had forgotten. True,
                >gravity works equally on all objects, regardless of their relative
                >mass -- but I was trying to explain in simple terms something which
                >is nowhere near to being simple. It was never my intention to imply
                >that the rules of gravity would be "suspended" in "special
                >circumstances" (my words, not anyone else's).
                >
                >However, if you launch two indentical, but differently-weighted
                >arrows (indentical fletching, indentical length, indentical shaft
                >material, etc) from the same bow, in the exact same manner, the
                >heavier arrow will generally travel the shorter distance. And if you
                >do think a heavy "bullet" will travel farther than a light "bullet",
                >try using a ballista as your "gun". (Yes, more mass generally means
                >more distance -- but when you use the same powder load, in the same
                >gun, the lighter bullet will travel farther because it needs less
                >force to get it moving, and all that "extra" force can be used
                >to "push" it faster. Generally speaking, of course - and this is
                >supposed to be a simple lesson in General Physics.)
                >
                >I'm going to go do some "heavy" reading now, a novelization of a
                >fictional account of the life of Arthur, The King That Never Was.
                >
                >--Artúr


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              • arturdubh
                And this is why I was speaking in ***general terms***. If I remember correctly, the original question asked for a simple explanation to a not-so-simple
                Message 7 of 19 , Dec 9, 2007
                  And this is why I was speaking in ***general terms***. If I remember
                  correctly, the original question asked for a simple explanation to a
                  not-so-simple equation...

                  Your particular experience with the ballista involved using two items
                  of differing densities -- not just mass.

                  I suggest this be ended, before someone begins deleting posts. :-)

                  --Artúr


                  --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Carolus <eulenhorst@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Ah, yes. But you are now comparing apples to
                  > oranges. Remember, I stated that the velocity of
                  > each projectile was equal at the start. You are
                  > using the same energy input at the start. I
                  > require more energy.......
                • Rusty McMillan
                  Simple or not, your answers continue to clarify my understanding. Thank you. Randal ... From: Carolus To:
                  Message 8 of 19 , Dec 9, 2007
                    Simple or not, your answers continue to clarify my understanding. Thank you.

                    Randal

                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: Carolus <eulenhorst@...>
                    To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Saturday, December 8, 2007 6:36:42 PM
                    Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Effects of arrow/fletch size on flight.














                    An unstable arrow will wobble in flight and thus create more

                    drag. If an arrow is perfectly matched to the bow and the archer's

                    form is perfect, then an unfletched arrow will fly in a stable

                    configuration and achieve maximum flight. If, however, the arrow is

                    slightly unstable when unfletched, some fletching will correct that

                    and, in a stable configuration, fly further. Thus, introducing some

                    drag from the fletching will reduce the drag from an unstable

                    configuration thus improving performance.



                    This is why I said no simple answer exists.

                    Carolus












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                  • Carolus
                    Glad to be of service. Carolus ... -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.16.17/1177 -
                    Message 9 of 19 , Dec 9, 2007
                      Glad to be of service.
                      Carolus
                      At 10:31 AM 12/9/2007, you wrote:

                      >Simple or not, your answers continue to clarify my understanding. Thank you.
                      >
                      >Randal


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