On July 13, 2002, Eric took his standby machines Juggernaut and Onager
Jr to Mount Snow, Vermont.
Eric's main concern was getting all the folks he works with a chance
to play with the catapults, and it was quite fortunate that the
management at Mount Snow was willing to give up some parking lot space
for the event.
Eric (right) constructs juggernaut on site with friends from work Ben
Hinkle (left), and Padman Nagarajan (center).
Juggernaut stands waiting as the crowd gathers. A 2 liter bottle is
waiting to be flung.
Here is Eric providing instruction to a new set of
counterweight volunteers. While you may think I'm pointing out that
the center pull line has slid down the arm, I'm actually explaining
that they want to stand as close beneath their tether as possible to
better use gravity to their advantage. Additional instructions are to
reach as high up on their pull ropes as possible. Next is the
counting "1 2 3 fall". Lift your feet off the ground (don't bend your
arms if you don't have to) and just sit down. DO NOT LET GO OF YOUR
ROPE or the arm will swing around and bonk Padman on the head.
A launch in progress! Juggernaut has rather short front legs, so I've
taken to standing on the back end so that it isn't flipped over on top
of the operators. On the left most side of the crew are the more
timid operators putting themselves in danger of being whacked by the
iron ring as it comes by after the shot. On the right are the braver
of the crew who learned the safety of just sitting down after
A half gallon orange juice container flew 150 feet or so and landed
with great enthusiasm. Full separation was gained on impact!
I also brought Onager Jr with me. Here Jason Kinchen's (right)
children crank down the arm. Taking turns, they were eventually able
to get the arm cocked and ready to fire.
I finished configuring the machine for launch after the arm was
cranked down. This is the part I always find a little nerve wracking
as I trust my body-parts to the strength of my recently re-welded
trigger hinge. The cord bundle had been just recently re-wrapped
with some dynamic climbing rope which proved to be quite powerful.
And the Onager is about to be launched!
The finer points of preparing the Onager for launch is given to Ross
Sproing! The 20oz bottle goes straight up due to mis-configuration
of the throwing pouch. While the newly knit pouch made of nylon line
is extra strong and sturdy, it has a tendency to change shape,
resulting in strange launches if it isn't properly reshaped.
And Dave Foti gets a launch. (Dave joined us for the 1998 Punkin Chunk.)
Eventually we have to repack everything back into the trailer for the
trip home. Thanks to (left to right) Ben Hinkle, Rich Ohman, Padman
Nagarajan, and Raul Mitra who helped me assemble and disassemble the
machines this day despite the dangers.