Catapults Vs Trebuchets

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Catapults vs. Trebuchets Both catapults and trebuchets were used in medieval warfare, before the development of gun powder. This was the main source of artillery weaponry at the time, and could serve many purposes. They could be modified to fling objects up and over enemy fortifications, or they could be changed to launch objects straight into castle walls in attempt to siege the castle. Both are designed to effectively launch large objects long distances from a stable position on the ground. Where they differ is how each accomplishes this task. A catapult mainly uses the elasticity in a rope, or the flexibility of its materials to fling projectiles. A rope is twisted around and around, extremely tightly around a throwing arm attached to a central shaft. The incredibly taught length of rope stores loads of elastic energy which is released in a short period of time when released. This release of energy rotates the shaft and causes the throwing arm to move in a wide arc, launching the projectile from the attached basket. Trebuchets, on the other hand, do not rely of elasticity. They rely primarily on leverage to send projectiles soaring through the air. They use a “Class 1” lever, where a force applied on one end of the lever, creates motion in the other end to move the throwing arm. This force is provided by gravity when a huge counterweight at one end of the arm falls. When this end falls, the launching end moves in an arc, eventually flinging the projectile. Trebuchets generally have a sling design, in order to fling its projectile rather than launch it. Works Cited "Historical accounts of the Trebuchet." RLT Industries, 2009. Web. 22 Sept. 2009. . "Siege Engines: Medieval Mechanical Mayhem." Ed. S. L. Kellaway. 2005. Web. 22 Sept. 2009.

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