Those Super Performance Bows Need Feathers
November 09: In the latest edition of Trueflight News, Trueflight Manufacturing Company, Inc., who produce the world's best feathers, have a most interesting article.
Wow! We are now seeing bows with advertised IBO speeds as high as 370 fps. These bows are certainly marvels of performance and efficiency, a real tribute to modern materials, engineering and production standards.
But how well do feathers work at these speeds? Very well! In fact, we've heard several reports that some of these super bows were impossible to paper tune without using feathers!
We have very good photographic evidence that feathers stand firm and upright doing their thing at speeds well over 300 fps. It isn't really surprising that the super performance bows do their best when shooting feather fletched arrows. These bows are putting a tremendous amount of energy into relatively light-weight arrows in an extremely small amount of time. An arrow shot at these speeds is undergoing an acceleration in the range of 500 to 1000 G's. 1G is the normal force of gravity on earth. Astronauts are limited to about 10 Gs. This acceleration is just about the highest acceleration normally encountered by any complex object on earth. Think of going from zero to 386 kph or 240 mph in 10 milliseconds in your car.
We all know feathers provide excellent guidance in "difficult circumstances". Well, getting good, straight, consistent and stable flight at such high speeds is right where feathers are at their best. The very light weight of the feathers not only adds to arrow speed, but also shifts the arrow's balance point forward. The forward balance (FOC) adds to stability, while the aerodynamic "grip" of the feather web keeps the arrow flying "dead straight".
No matter what the arrow speed, accuracy and straight flight for straight penetration are what count. No matter how fast the arrow, it won't do it's job without guidance. we're proud and happy to know that on the fastest, highest tech bows ever built, feather guidance is still the "gold standard" when accuracy and straight flight count. (Which is just about all of the time!)