Catapult Makes – Varieties Offer Pros and Cons
Catapult makes technically involve any machine that is designed for hurling, or catapulting, missiles.
When it comes to the devices made during the Middle Ages, before, and beyond for warfare, the number of catapult makes is many and the styles vary greatly. Great, too, is the number of catapult makes available today as replicas of the great machines of siege warfare.
It is believed the first catapult makes appeared on the battlefield in the 300s AD. Engineers of Phillip of Macedonia are given the credit for creating the first ballista. This model used two wooden arms, tightly wound ropes, and a cord to assist in the hurling of deadly projectiles such as spears at an enemy. As far as ideal catapult makes go, the ballista had some weaknesses. Although it was effective at launching projectiles with its torsion force and design similar to a bow, it was not entirely accurate.
The Romans simplified their catapult makes, coming up with the mangonel, which called for only one wooden arm, thus, making construction easier. This, too, relied on torsion force for propulsion. The mangonel line of catapult makes, however, came with a design flaw in that they called for a wooden barrier to be constructed. When the mangonel was activated, the barrier assisted in launch, but lessened accuracy and distance.
One of the most effective catapult makes to be designed appeared on the scene in the 12th century. Created by the French, the trebuchet and its various incarnations are reported to have struck great fear in the hearts of enemies. The design and its sheer power have launched this example of catapult history through the centuries.
Trebuchet catapult makes used a long wooden arm rested on a pivot point, which acted as a large lever. A projectile was placed on one end and warriors, in the earlier versions, pulled on ropes attached to the other end to essentially swing the arm around and hurl the stone.
More advanced designs of the trebuchet were created, using a counterweight rather than muscles to provide the energy. In these catapult makes, warriors would pull down against the counterweight, load the missile and release the arm.
The trebuchets themselves were well known for the ability to assist in castle sieges. Some examples of these catapult makes are reported to have had arms of roughly 50 feet in length and counterpoises of 20 tons. These were able to launch objects of up to 300 pounds an estimated 300 yards.
As time moved forward, so too did the sophistication of catapult makes. Even today models and replica kits are widely available from specialty stores and online through sites specializing in medieval history.
Catapult makes available today range in size, complexity and price. There are even tabletop catapult makes designed to allow creators to do a number of things. While constructing one of the various kits that replicate catapult makes from years gone by, the creator learns lessons in mathematics and physical science.
The creation of catapult mouse traps replicating, albeit not perfectly, the catapult makes of days gone by, is widely used in schools around the world to give students lessons first-hand in propulsion logic and construction basics.