While the word Frisbee is claimed as a trademark of the Wham-O toy company, the term is often used generically to describe flying discs similar to those made by that company. They are generally plastic, roughly 8 to 10 inches (20–25 cm) in diameter, with a lip. They are designed to fly aerodynamically when thrown with rotation and can be caught by hand.
The shape and quality of frisbees varies significantly, and a high-quality frisbee easily flies several times as far as a cheap frisbee. Disc golf discs are usually smaller in diameter but are more dense and are tailored for particular flight profiles such as stability or distance. When it was discovered that dogs enjoyed chasing and retrieving the slow-moving discs, special frisbees were eventually designed with more pliable material that would more resist damage when the dog caught one in its mouth. Disc dog competitions, in which dogs' frisbee-catching skills are judged, have become quite popular as well.
Many frisbee-like discs are shaped like a frisbee with a large hole in the centre; such discs, known as aerofoils, typically fly significantly farther.
The Flyin-Saucer, originally invented by Walter Frederick Morrison and codeveloped and financed by Warren Franscioni in 1948, was unsuccessful, but a later model made by Morrison in 1955 and sold as the "Pluto Platter" was bought by Wham-O in 1957. Wham-O renamed the toy in 1958 to "Frisbee", a (probably deliberate) misspelling of the name of the Frisbie Pie Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose pie tins had been used by Yale college students in the area for similar purposes. The first flying discs were produced on January 13, 1957.
Table of contents
- Ultimate frisbee
- Freestyle frisbee
- Guts frisbee
- Disc golf
- Durango Boot
- DDC Frisbee
- Frisbee dogs
- Dodge Frisbee
- Suzy Sticks
- Beer Frisbee
The disc's rotation creates an angular moment perpendicular to the horizontal plane, stabilizing the disc's attitude in high speed flight. Small ridges near the leading edge act as turbulators, reducing flow separation by forcing the airflow to become turbulent after it passes over the ridges. Lift is generated in primarily the same way as a traditional asymmetric airfoil, that is, by accelerating upper airflow such that a pressure difference gives rise to a lifting force.
- Descriptions of Frisbee throws
- Aerobie, a flying ring used like a Frisbee
- Frisbee, A Practitioner's Manual and Definitive Treatise Stancil E.D. Johnson, M.D. Workman Publishing Company, New York (July, 1975) ISBN 0–911104–53–4
- The Official Frisbee Handbook Goldy Norton, Bantam Books, Toronto/New York/London (July, 1972) no ISBN number
- Frisbee Players' Handbook Mark Danna, Dan Poynter, Parachuting Publications, Santa Barbara, California (1978) ISBN 0–015516–19–5
- Frisbee Sports & Games Charles Tips, Dan Roddick, Celestial Arts, Millbrae, California (March 1979) ISBN 0–89087–233–3
- Frisbee by the Masters Charles Tips, Celestial Arts, Millbrae, California (March 1977) ISBN 0–89087–142–6
- In the animated motion picture The Secret of NIMH, the main character's name was changed in post-production from "Frisby" to "Brisby" to avoid potential trademark infringements.