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Changes in the rules for construction of the men's javelin have dramatically altered the pitching moment profile as a function of angle of attack. Thus the optimal release conditions are different for the new javelin. Optimal release conditions are presented for nominal release velocities in the range 20 < vn < 35 m/s. Although the optimal release angle remains roughly constant near 30° over this speed range, the optimal angle of attack and pitching angular velocity change substantially with speed. The main effects of the rule change have been (a) to decrease the achievable range at a nominal velocity vn = 30 m/s by about 10% by making it impossible to take advantage of the javelin's potentially large aerodynamic lift forces, and (b) to make the flight much less sensitive to initial conditions.
Mont Hubbard and LeRoy Alaways are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.