Feature – Have fun storming the castle: Mongo the Trebuchet

By Brian Boyko
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Mark Winkler decided, in infinite wisdom, to spend six months building a full-scale trebuchet. In the next installment of Geeks Are Sexy’s series on crazy inventions and crazy inventors, we introduce Mark’s brainchild, “Mongo, the Trebuchet.”

Mongo often launches watermelons, but the 25Gs of force put on the melon as it launches often causes it to burst in mid-air. In the video, Mark throws a 16 pound (7.25 kg) fireball – yes – fireball – about 250 meters or so with 1200 pounds (550kg) of counterweight. (Mongo can handle up to 1600 pounds/725kg of counterweight.)

Three things you should know if you try this at home.

First, don’t try this at home.

Second, these things go a long way – don’t do this near anything flammable.

Third, launching fireballs have a tendency to launch kerosene everywhere – so stand back.

(I can tell you that when I was filming, I was genuinely concerned for my own safety and considered how stupid I was being. On the other hand – how often do you get footage like this?)

If you’d like to see the video in full HD resolution, just hit this link, which will take you to the video’s high-def page on YouTube.

Other installments of Crazy Inventions and Crazy Inventors:

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