These Baidu pics popped up on the NERF Reddit earlier. At first I was really excited as they appeared to be Elite tagger darts.
As it turns out they are one Baidu users attempt at improving range.
Apparently, it works.
Initially I was disappointed. Elite tagger darts would have been awesome as the lack of Clip System compatibility was one of the reasons I never really went for the old Dart Tag range. This could have easily (in my mind at least) righted all the wrongs of Dart Tag.
However, the more I think about it, the more interesting this idea is.
Thus far, the only real solution to improving accuracy has been through the manufature of homemade blasters and darts. As some of you may know, I don't really like homemade blasters and I don't use Stefan darts. The reasons for this are very longwinded but the one that is most pertinent to this article is the distinct 'lack' of materials here in the UK. I don't mean to say that you can't produce effective homemades over here, BlackBoarderV and ThatBritishGuy from Britnerf are both testaments to what can be produced in England, but unlike our American cousins, we can't simply walk into our nearest hardware store and buy everything we need. The same goes for homemade darts. If you know where to look, you can get everything you need to make hundreds of darts for a few pounds. But what if there was a way to make stock darts more accurate?
This has got me thinking.
Now, I don't know much about aerodynamics, that isn't my area of expertise, but I do know that by simply altering the texture of the surface, you can dramatically alter the aerodynamics of an object. Any fan of Mythbusters will tell you that the dimples on a golf ball have a massive effect on the way it travels through the air. Do bristles have a similar effect?
Is there something we can do to stock darts that will increase their aerodynamics? So far there hasn't been too much research into the aerodynamic profile of a NERF dart but if the claims of this Baidu user are to be believed then there may well be something to this idea.
Sure NERF darts are relatively expensive compared to making stefans, but this development has got me wanting to make myself a wind tunnel and break out the high speed camera. If we could develop a middle ground, somewhere between stock darts and stefans, then I think we could just influence the next generation of NERF dart.