Monday, December 18, 2006

A LEGO Trebuchet

Backyard ballistics are just too much fun. Don't miss this awesome page over at Format C: describing the design and fabrication of a fully functional replica of a medieval siege engine. The designer was inspired by this picture from Wikipedia:

And created the replica from the LEGO Technique sets (The Toy of the Century).

Here's a video of the weapon in action:

For those of you interested in more modern LEGO weaponry, check out this project that created a LEGO machine gun that shoots 96 bricks per minute from a 16 round magazine.

I'm not sure where to find more details other than an attribution to "Billy Glenn." But note, you can make ANYTHING with LEGOs.

Here are some other siege weapon links for the hobbyists among you:

Ripcord's Trebuchet Page
The Hurl
Nice Google Video on Large scale Trebuchet models


Russell said...

I know how you love technical questions from English majors, so here's one for you: is it possible to build a trebuchet, Lego or otherwise, that can propel its projectile, say a standard Shuttle payload, to escape velocity?

Phillip Alvelda said...

No. It is not possible.

1.) The amount of acceleration necessary would shatter any material we can make over such a short distance as we would be likely to construct even a large siege engine.

2.) If you were to launch something with a only a large initial impulse that would otherwise be sufficient to clear the atmosphere, it would be traveling so fast out of the launcher that it would burn up in the atmosphere.