What is over 50 feet tall, weighs about 20 tons and can throw a 50 lb pumpkin 1000 feet? It's a trebuchet of course. This trebuchet was built by a Yankee Farmer as a hobby. During the fall (when there is a ready supply of ammunition), he fires off two shots an hour at the castle up on the hill. Oh, did I mention he has a castle? What else would you aim a trebuchet at! The shot is quite amazing, the pumpkin is in the air for eight seconds. At its peak of over 500 feet you can barely see the pumpkin.

There's no charge to watch the shot, and last Saturday when I arrived with the kids there were probably 25 spectators hanging out. Of course the half-hour between shots gives you plenty of time to check out the farm stand and purchase some pumpkins or apples.

Here's a picture of the trebuchet as it is being loaded

And one more just as they prepare to load the pumpkin.

Willie was the one who clued me in on this. Willie was so inspired that he decided to dig into our Lego collection and build his own trebuchet. Just on a smaller scale. This instrument of warfare works just as well as its big brother. It can throw the little lego man about 15 feet.

Ah ... the power of legos (and pumpkins).


Is that a coil or a spring or something built into the Lego trebuchet? Or is it behind the trebuchet, has nothing to do with it, and you're just using rubber bands or something? Poor little Lego man. You guys rock. :)

Posted by Alexander Koller on September 30, 2004 at 01:53 AM EDT #

That's a coil of solder. It is the ballast that drives trebuchet

Posted by Paul on September 30, 2004 at 05:05 AM EDT #

There are a few important details to note about the legochet:
  1. The pin angle can be changed to adjust the timing of the sling. Notice the gray angle (a #5 lego something or other) on the end of the arm at the lower left portion of the picture. The little green thing just below it is a #4. It has a shallower angle and will launch the guy out of the sling sooner than the #5. This way, we can go for height *and* distance.
  2. The little lego guy happens to be a policeman. He launched better than the R2D2 and Darth figurines we had laying around. I wonder what goes through his head as he flies through the air. Perhaps nothing - he's just plastic afterall. Or, perhaps he's thinking of the human catapult.
  3. The unit has red taillights and white headlights for safety.

Posted by Willie Walker on September 30, 2004 at 12:26 PM EDT #

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