Lindsey over the road has a big back yard. My family as been coveting his land for some time now. Finally I decided enough is enough, and began to plot the annexation of number 5. The first hurdle to overcome was getting past the formidable defences - a 6-foot high wooden fence with reinforced gate. Thus I began to design a weapon capable of reducing them to rubble.
"The Insensible" - a Counterweight Trebuchet
"The Insensible" - a Counterweight Trebuchet: 10 Steps (with Pictures)
Video discussing the science behind this trebuchet. The trebuchet is a medieval machine designed to hurl objects into the interior of castles under siege or even knock down castle walls. Our model trebuchet uses a swinging counterweight, instead of the simpler fixed counterweight. The swinging counterweight, though more complex to build, transfers more energy to the projectile.
In the original style, the counterweight stood back up, as it was composed of people. Once the Europeans got hold of it, and started making fixed counterweight versions, they used a winch of some sort to haul the throwing arm down. This could take the form of a capstan, operated by human or animal power, or a big hamster wheel, with humans inside it. I suppose they might even use some sort of block and tackle arrangement, likely powered by draft animals.
Free Newsletter. Sign up below to receive insightful physics related bonus material. It's sent about once a month. Easily unsubscribe at any time. The payload could be thrown a far distance and do considerable damage, either by smashing down walls or striking the enemy while inside their stronghold.