For over a
century baseball fans have debated the question of whether a "curve ball
does in fact curve". Only rarely has there been objective scientific
testing in order to verify what is so obviously the appearance of a curve.
interest had stemmed from a phone call he received from United Aircraft's
Lauren (Deac) Lyman who over lunch with Walter Neff of United Airlines, had
discussed the question of the trajectory of a baseball.
who has a wind tunnel, called his engineers together presenting the problem as
follows: "Here we have a solid sphere, moving
rapidly in space and rotating on a vertical axis. You see? ... the object is to
elude the man with the stick". It should be noted that baseball
was a rather foreign endeavor to Mr. Sikorsky.
To hit a ball the maximum possible distance, the
trajectory off the bat should have a 35-degree angle.
A line drive travels 100 yards in 4 seconds. A fly to the
outfield travels 98 yards in 4.3 seconds.
An average head wind (10 mph) can turn a 400-foot home
run into a 370-foot routine out.