EQUIPMENT: "BALOKOK" PROMISES FEATHER-Y PERFORMANCE
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February 11, 1998 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - A newly designed synthetic badminton
shuttle called the "BALOKOK" is now being put through the last steps of
development before it makes its debut in badminton retail outlets. This new
shuttle has an innovative design that, according to its inventor, gives it
playing characteristics that are truly very similiar to feather shuttles.
The "BALOKOK" is an innovation by Bill Carlton, the inventor of the original
plastic-skirted shuttle as well as of the first lightweight metal badminton
racket and of the more famous "Cyclops" line judging machine used in tennis
tournaments. In an exclusive telephone interview with New Shuttlenws from his
home on the island of Malta, Mr. Carlton indicated that the his new shuttle
had been tested by the International Badminton Federation and that the IBF
testers had found the "BALOKOK" to perform like feather shuttles.
Mr. Carlton also told New Shuttlenws that the "BALOKOK" was now going through
shelf-life evaluation and that arrangements for world-wide distribution are
being negotiated with various sporting goods marketers.
The elderly inventor, who had previously gotten embroiled in several patent
violation court cases involving the original plastic shuttle, made it very
clear that he had patented the "BALOKOK" design and that the design was
protected under the world-wide Patent Cooperating Treaty.
The "BALOKOK" will initially be produced by Mr. Carlton under the Carlton and
Carlton banner, named after himself and his youngest daughter. Carlton and
Carlton is not connected with the Carlton brand of badminton equipment which
the inventor had sold to the Dunlop organization more than seventeen years
According to a source who has seen the new Carlton and Carlton shuttle, the
design innovation involves the use of a tiny latex balloon attached to the
shuttle's cork and placed within the plastic skirt, thus the name "BALOKOK".
The balloon is also shaped to conform to the plastic skirt.
New Shuttlenws asked a practicing aircraft designer and competition badminton
player on how the innovative design of the "BALOKOK" could achieve performance
like that of a feather shuttle. According to this source, the balloon within
the skirt would serve to prevent the folding and warping of the skirt that
plagues the current generation of plastic-skirted shuttles and that causes
these shuttles to lose spin and to fly with a flatter trajectory when these
are hit hard. The balloon would also give more wind resistance to the
"BALOKOK" and, if the outer skin of the balloon was properly textured, would
make the combined surfaces of the plastic skirt and balloon aerodynamically
more like the dense pattern of the overlapping feathers used in the "natural"
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