Hatra Ballista Jr took its first trip to Delaware for the '07 chunk to compete in the Youth 10 and Under division. It came down on the roof of Grandpa's van, and didn't hit the field till 7:45 am on Friday.
We assembled and wound up the machine in 15 minutes, then discovered we had been given an extra hour to get ready. We started adding a little more torque, and broke our oak torsion bar. Very sad. We used the remaining stub and a loop of rope borrowed from Onager Jr to even up the bundles.
The little ballista sets up so fast, I forgot to take pictures. Here's Trevor standing with his Catapult in the Youth 10 and Under division.
Trevor and I wait for John the surveyor to get out of the way so we can start cranking back. Ballista of all sorts have arms that swing outward, making it dangerous to stand over there!
Eric was coaching Trevor through pullback. Here you can see the arms are mostly pulled back, and the pumpkin has come a ways down the runway. The whitish board sticking straight up behind the green chair is "Horn on a Stick". It holds the battery, an antique car horn, and a doorbell button.
The arms are pulled all the way back, and Trevor has hooked up the lanyard to the tiny Seacatch. (The white line he's holding.)
Trevor then honked the horn, and yells out Torsion Rules! the pumpkin sproings away.
We didn't get to test fire or relax the bundles at all first due to the short setup time, and our shot with a 2lb 10oz pumpkin went 168 ft.
Then at 4 PM during the free fire, we tightened things up a little, then shot some more punkins, but they didn't go much farther (guess). However we did max out the 1700lb (rolling weight) winch. We picked up a pulley and stuff to try and even things out for tomorrows shot. As it was cold and windy, we didn't spend much time playing before heading out.
In this picture, you can get a good view of the horn on "Horn on a Stick".
Hatra Ballista stands ready at 8:10 in the bloomin' morning, ready to be pulled back and shot.
A closeup of the revised pullback mechanism with competition punkin, pulley, and small Seacatch.
Trevor prepares to fire! With rain we launched into the wind for a shot around 115 ft.
Later during free fire, I finally had time to put in a smaller pouch. The new pouch is a bit smaller than the old one, and was knitted by Amy after I had done some testing, and noticed that the smaller pouch would help. This was the first chance I had to put it on.
The new pouch worked much better during our test shots. I also put in another 45 degrees of twist. Nothing broke, and things seem to be working better. In this picture, the machine is pulled back, but the loop we used to hold the cable down when we added the pulley was too long. So the arms couldn't be pulled in all the way.
Owen liked shooting the Hatra Ballista today a lot, and drew a picture of it on his placemat during dinner that night. The orange on the bottom of the picture is a pair of hands pulling the trigger.
Trevor and Grandpa stand with their machine just before their final competition shot. Everyone was excited because the machine seemed to be performing better, and the wind was low, and there was no rain!
Our work yesterday on a new pouch and more torque paid off with a throw of 330 feet. Trevor was so happy. He found his standing at second place in the morning (8:20 AM) and had to wait all day till 6 PM to get his trophy. He kept reminding us of this too.
Hatra Ballista was then packed up and left the field.
At 6 PM, Trevor finally got to go up and get his trophy. He was very excited, and did a great job yelling "Torsion Rules!" when he was offered the microphone.
And thus, the 2nd place trophy was Trevor's!