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Aerodynamics plays big role in Grand American

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Aug 9, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Aerodynamics plays big role in Grand American

    By Les Winkeler, The Southern

    SPARTA - A shooter walks to their station at a trap field at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex at Sparta, shoulders their gun, looks to the trap house and yells, "Pull."

    Immediately, an orange target goes hurtling through the air in a predictable pattern, allowing the shooter to follow the disc, hopefully reducing it to a cloud of black dust.

    That scene is repeated thousands of times daily during the Amateur Trapshooting Association's Grand American.

    The predictable flight of the target is no accident, even during windy conditions shooters experienced Thursday.

    "Wind can be a factor," said Phil Murray, national sales manager for White Flyer targets. "When you have a wind going into the shooters' faces, it's going to cause the target to rise, just like an airplane."

    However, the design of the target can minimize variables, such as wind.

    "What you notice on this target are the dimples, like on a golf ball," Murray said.

    White Flyer owner Brian Skeuse came up with the idea of using the dimples for aerodynamic purposes, Murray said. During the course of the Grand American, between 2-3 million White Flyer targets will slice their way through the winds of Southern Illinois.

    "The shooters want to have a consistent target that is flying the same way all the time," Murray said. "The consistency is the thing. Then the shooters can get locked in on a target.

    "The idea is we want to see the highest scores that can be broken. A lot of what we'll base the success of a tournament on is the number of perfect scores."

    White Flyer is a subsidiary of Reagent Chemical and Research, based in Ringoes, N.J. Murray said the company has four target manufacturing plants located throughout the country.

    Clay targets have been in use for shooting competitions since about 1920. Before that, targets were glass balls stuffed with feathers, according to Murray.

    Successful shooters no longer get to see feathers fly after a successful shot, but they do relish reducing the targets to a cloud of dust.

    "Breakability is what the shooters like," Murray said. "They want to see a big ball of smoke. We try to develop a target that when centered well leave a big ball of smoke. That is a confidence builder for them."

    In addition to trap targets, White Flyer also produces various targets for sporting clays. The targets are made in different shapes, strengths and sizes to do different things in the air.

    "In sporting clays, you have a rabbit that's built to roll across the ground," Murray said. "We have battues that come out and turn on their side. All of the sporting clays targets are set up to look like upland game."

    While the millions of targets tossed during The Grand American are orange, White Flyer also manufactures white, yellow and black targets.

    "Twenty-five years ago yellow was the main color," Murray said. "Then, with the increased usage of fluorescent colors on signs, they became increasingly popular in the shooting sports."

    The background shooters face determines the color best suited for particular clubs.
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