The first catapult was constructed around 300BC in Syracus, Greece. It was first used as a means to propel objects and attack places with high walls. These days, the majority of catapults are school projects based on a lesson of physics, as part of a pumpkin launch around Halloween or for some other entertaining launching sessions. Part of the enjoyment of constructing a catapult comes in the fine-tuning process. There are a few tricks to try to get your catapult to launch farther.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Spray lubricant, such as WD-40
Work with your catapult until you can reach a launch angle as close to a 45-degree angle as possible. This is the best launching angle for optimal distance.
Make the tail of the catapult longer. A longer tail will give you more shooting distance.
Make the throwing arm section of the catapult shorter. This may also allow for a longer flight distance.
Use the catapult when there is no wind. The wind factor can work for you or against you. So it is best to do it with none present, to keep the unpredictable weather elements out of the equation.
Tighten the catapult's bungees, if there is one. Try different tension levels to see if you can get longer launch distances.
Apply a spray lubricant, such as WD-40, to the pivot point on your catapult. This will allow the catapult to swing with ease without catching on anything.
Experiment launching various objects with your catapult. Different sizes and weights of objects can influence how far it goes after launching.
Launch the catapult on level ground. If you launch on uneven ground, you will be fighting against gravity and possibly shorten your launch distance dramatically.
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