Feathered Dart Flights
The dart flight has changed greatly over the past hundred years. Until the end of the nineteenth century the majority darts thrown in the UK were imported from France. These wooden darts had three or four turkey feathers that formed the dart flight. The wood dart was weighted with lead to give the dart some balance and a needle was used as point.
Later versions of the feather flight saw the introduction of the wooden spigot which was forced into a brass dart barrel. This arrangement was unsatisfactory as the spigot was subject to shrink and swell in different atmospheric conditions.
In 1949 Unicorn Dart Company invented an adaptor for the wooden spigot. The
screw threaded plastic adaptor was not affected by changes atmospheric
conditions and was always a perfect fit for the dart barrel. The wooden spigot
was force-fitted into the back of the adaptor and this carried the feather
Plastic Flight & Stem
The Paper Dart Flight
Although the first dart flights were made from feathers it wasn’t until 1898 when an American inventor Nathern P. McKenney patented the world's fist paper flight. Although darts was not a popular American pub game until the mid-twenties, McKenney is reported to have stated he had patented the flight as an improvement to a toy dart target game.
Based on McKenney's Original Paper Dart Flight Design
Why don't you have a go making your own Paper Dart Flights?
If you would like to make some retro flights the best material I found to use is a square Post-It-Note. Post-It-Notes are available in a large range of colours and they are the idea size to make a dart flight. The only change I would make to the above is to trim the side so that the flight looks like a conventional dart flight. If you have an old dart flight, use this as a template.
Paper dart flights made from modern day Post-It-Note paper.
To the left are my personal flights made for me by Harrows.
Flights can be very personal and I have designed my own set. The flights are unusual as they are based on the oldest ‘King’s’ coat of arm’s I could find. The Lion with the red tongue on a black background. The three pointed white argent and the Cross of St George for England. I don't want go into any more about heraldry as this is a darts site but there are details below about personalised flights.
Shapes & Styles
Today there are many different shapes and styles of flights on the market. There are 1,000’s of different designs, styles to choose from. The materials used to construct have also changed, Plastic polymers, nylon, foil & rip-stop nylon to name just a few. Here are a few examples of the many shapes and styles.
Like shafts, flights are a personal preference. The material used to make the flights, its shape and size will all make the dart perform differently. The traditional shapes are the Kite and Pear but recently the slim as become popular. Slim flights will help with tight grouping but they are not to everyone’s preference.
You may find different shaped flights perform better with different weight darts. But generally large flights can make the dart stall and if you are a lobber of the dart then a large flight may be best suited to your throw. Slim flights require a much harder straight throw as they give less support in flight than larger flights. When first finding a suitable flight, buy several different types and see which style suits your style of throw best.
Many manufactures and suppliers now offer personalisation of flights. If you are a regular player or member of a team or just want to advertise your pub, club, team then contact the major suppliers for a price you will find several suppliers listed on the links page of this site that can do this for you. Below are a few flight designs Harrows have produced for company advertising
The products shown above are examples of items Harrows have produced for promotions. They are not for general sale and are for illustration purposes only. If you would like to buy promotional darts, dartboards or flights contact Harrows Darts Technology direct or follow the link here www.harrows-darts.com
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