Offset Laminated Blank by Al Gerhards
This MTA was made out of a strip laminated blank (Ash or White Oak?) and constructed by Al Gerhards using his special offset lamination technique with two separate blanks glued together horizontally for added strength and stiffness. Al Gerhards made the blank and carved an airfoil on it for his own use in competition. He could not get a good hover with it, so he sold it to me and asked me to modify the airfoiling using the technology I had developed only 2 years earlier. I modified the airfoil and was able to get float times up to 30 seconds in calm, but the offset lamination technique keeps this boomerang very flat and it does not like to keep dihedral when dihedral is added in the field, so I did not use this MTA in competition. It is unique and very rare and the only classic MTA ever made by Al Gerhards. It is also a hybrid of Gerhards/Bailey technology. I would recommend keeping this MTA as a collectable but if you want to use it regularly as a MTA boomerang, you may have to steam the blades to add a permanent proper tune. This MTA is in mint condition and I guarantee that nobody else in the world has one with this pedigree.
Al Gerhards is one of America's most famous pioneers in the development of long distance boomerangs. Al was an active thrower, manufacturer and competitor in the 1970s and early 1980s. His most popular model is the Standard Weighted Hook which was made out of strip laminated hardwoods. The standard hook was occasionally made without weights, but the majority of these hook boomerangs had a single lead weight on each tip with a unique serial number stamped in the weight near the lift arm tip. The earliest examples (1970s) had an additional half weight inserted into the underside of the elbow. This was discontinued on hooks made in the early 1980s because the elbow weight was often the source for the initiation of strip delaminations. Al also made strip laminated large hooks, small hooks, omegas, traditionals and the awesome Big "U"s. The large hooks were sometimes called "White Lightning" hooks and Al used one of these to set a World Record in the long distance event with a documented throw of more than 125 yards in the late 1970s. Only 500 standard weighted hooks with numbers were made. The last one has a silver star inlayed in the dingle arm tip and this one is displayed in Al's living room in a specially made holder that also displays his world record "White Lightning" hook.
Ted Bailey is a retired Aerospace Engineer who has been making and throwing boomerangs since the early 1970s. The first boomerangs that he marketed were multi-bladers that he sold on the C.S.U. Sacramento campus in the early 1970s. In the late 1970s, Ted sold traditional boomerangs at the West Palm Beach Mall. In the early 1980s, Ted moved to Ohio and became an active Ohio tournament competitor. He developed a line of miniature boomerangs that performed well in competition. In the mid 1980s, new products included lap joint boomerangs made out of exotic woods and high performance competition boomerangs, especially Fast Catch and MTA. Ted was active in the USBA and served as Secretary, President and as a board member in the 1980s. He was the editor of the USBA newsletter, Many Happy Returns, for two decades and also produced two independent publications: Boomerang Journal and Boomerang News. Currently, Ted is involved in internet marketing of boomerang products (this internet catalog) and teaching math, physics and flight science in private schools located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Find out more about Ted Bailey on the About Ted Bailey web page.