Has anyone ever built a glider based on frisbees?

For instance having two large disks that spin at some rate of rotation counter to one another, rather than wings?

I doubt it: what’s the advantage?

years ago there was a conceptual drawing of a jet powered flying saucer that had a spinning outer wing with the air from the engine flowing over the surface for lift. This isn’t what I was looking for but you get the jist of it.

Isn’t a frisbee a glider based on the frisbee?

Are you asking about something that would carry a human?

I don’t believe the rotation provides any lift, just stability so the disk stays in roughly the same plane. This would delay the inevitable stall.

And when I think about it, the rotation of a solid disk would probably prevent the wing from any degree of controllability. Think about flaps and ailerons and such – it their location and orientation to the airflow is constantly and rapidly changing, how could a pilot exercise any control?

Hmmm, a kind of helicopter with a solid disk instead of a rotor? Doesn’t seem to make much sense. Presumably a disk would be MUCH heavier than a rotor while providing much less lift. Though maybe you wouldn’t need a big engine to spin it and keep it stable if the weight of the cabin hanging down along with some kind of tail might do the same function. So then you just need some large force to fling it in whatever direction you want it to go.

But to directly answer your question, I’ve never heard of an attempt to scale up a frisbee to carry a human, if that is indeed your question.

Are you thinking of the Avrocar?

Looks very similar to a frisbee but flew by entirely different principles. It mounted a vertical jet – sucked air in at the top and blasted it out the bottom. I don’t think they could ever get it more than 10 feet or so off the gound because the engines of the time just weren’t powerful enough.

I bet da Vinci considered a disk atop his motor-less, yet flightless, helicopter design, but realized by cutting slits and bending out “little wings” creates much better results, as Boyo Jim explains above.
The idea that these toys could be scaled up, well that would just be another kind of fancy helicopter, wouldn’t it?

The US government looked into it.

How would a frisbeecoptor generate any lift at all?

The title of the OP merely refers to gliders. However, I just don’t see any advantage for a frisbee glider over a conventional glider. Organising the whole spinning thing would add needless complexity to what advantage?

In this case, here’s how a “frisbeeglider” would work.
For a motorized example, this can’t be Frisbee related, can it?
For comparison, here’s how rings and Frisbees can be related.

The “stability” to stay level floating in the same plane, is a kind of lift, it’s called “aerodynamic lift” and it’s ruled by the same properties that lifts gliders. This is how the Ultimate Frisbee Guidebook describes the lift of a Frisbee.
And this, is how NASA describes the lift of a glider.

The Skyaak looks pretty cool. I love to see one IRL.

No, I don’t think so. The stability allows it to maintain the lift it has for a longer period of time, but it is not “lift” in and of itself. Imagine a conventional wing, alone, just thrown through the air. For some brief moments, while it is correctly oriented to the airflow, it will generate lift. Because it is unstable, it will will pitch and yaw, sometimes generating no lift and sometimes generating negative lift. Adding tail surfaces and altering the center of gravity provides the stability the wing needs to generate a consistent amount of lift.

I wish I could see that first link, but I’m at work and the company filter is blocking the site.

I can see the second link, and it looks to me as if this invention has some kind of fan in the center. Though it’s hard to tell because the photo quality is so poor. But if that’s the case, it puts it more in the neighborhood of the Avrocar (above) than a frisbee. As far as the ring around the fan goes, it probably has a couple of functions. One would be to compress and “focus” the fan airflow to generate greater lift, and another would be to act in a similar fashion to a parachute if the engine failed.

Instead of tying up hanger space, they could land next door at the golf course.

Dunno. What’s the glide ratio of a frisbee versus a regular modern glider?

Are you kidding? They’ll land on the roof, every time.

Some googling suggests that a frisbee manages about 4:1. Modern gliders easily achieve 40:1; certain exotic designs approach 70:1.

Essential to the high performance of modern gliders is a high aspect ratio (wingspan divided by average wing chord - usually computed as wingspan[sup]2[/sup] / wing area). A spinning disc is always going to have a low aspect ratio, and thus can’t really be an efficient way to fly.

I just watched the YouTube video of some kids throwing one around. It was about like throwing around a stick.

Very well, but in order to “lift” or “glide” it has to spin right?