The supersonic projectile exceeds the dreams of engineers: the supersonic trebuchet


Have you ever sat down thinking, “I wonder if a trebuchet could launch a projectile at supersonic speeds?” ” We neither. This is what separates [David Eade] the rest of us. He didn’t just ask the question, he answered this! And he documented the entire build in a YouTube video that you can see under the break.

The Trebuchet is a type of catapult that was popular for use as a siege engine before gunpowder became a thing. Trebuchets use a long arm to launch projectiles farther than traditional catapults. The focus has generally been on increasing the throw distance for the size of the projectile, or vice versa. But of course you’re here to learn more about the other thing trebuchets can be used for: speed.

How fast is it? How about a whip cracking and sound explosion speed of over 450 meters per second! How did he do it? Mostly wood and rubber with a few pieces of metal thrown in for safety. [David]S video explains in detail all the engineering that went into his trebuchet, and it’s a lot less than you might think. There is a very satisfying montage of full power trebuchet launches which clearly indicates that the thrown projectile far exceeds the speed of sound, with a ratio quite similar to that of a small rifle.

[David]The impressive design and layout of s makes it clear that all one has to do to build a supersonic trebuchet is to try. Just be careful, and watch where you shoot that thing before you open your eye to someone, okay?

Speaking of things that can go at unexpected speeds, take a look at these non-motorized RC gliders that approach the speed of sound a few feet above the ground. And thanks to [Keith] for the awesome tip!


Comments are closed.