Monday, 8 July 2013

Literature Review (Jason)

Our topic question is "How the angle of the Catapult affects the distance and height of the projectile"

After seeing several other similiar kinds of topics on the internet, the topic seemed relatively easy and fun for our team.

Modern Usage of Catapults
Aircraft Catapults: Used to launch planes when the runway is too short
Clay Shooting: Small catapults, used to launch clay targets

The basics of our Catapult would most likely be rubber band powered as using weights would be harder on a small model. It would be made of wood and plastic with a ping pong ball as the projectile.

Basic Concept of how the angle works
Normally the angle would be 45 Degrees as it gives you equal balance between both Distance and Height of the projectile, though when the angle is lower than 45, the distance might be further though you suffer in height, while if the angle is higher than 45, you would gain more height but lesser distance.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Literature Review (Luke)

Modern Uses of Catapults:
1. Aircraft Catapults - Used to launch planes when the runway is too short.
2. Ships use them to deploy bombs or torpedoes against submarines
3. Clay Pigeon Shooting - Small catapults, known as traps, are used to launch clay targets.
4. Pumpkin Chunking - People see who can launch a pumpkin the farthest by mechanical means.

Launch Angle Determining the Projectile Range:
When a projectile is shot closer straight up, more energy is needed because the projectile is going closer against the gravitational force.

"Do you need specific numbers or a general description? 

If a general description will do:

At a launch angle of 90 degrees, the range will be zero since the projectile will travel straight up and back down.

As the launch angle is reduced, the height of the trajectory will be reduced and the range will increase as more energy drives the projectile downrange and less drives it skyward. (Trajectories from firing angles greater than 45 degrees are characterized by large max height and shorter range.)

At a 45 degree angle, range is maximized.

Once past 45 degrees, the range starts to fall again as the trajectory's reduced height reduces the flight time of the projectile.

At a launch angle of 0 degrees, the range will be limited by the height of the launcher over the surrounding ground. The projectile will quickly lose any altitude it has, limiting the range significantly."  -

Friday, 5 July 2013

Literature Review (Clemens)

Based on a design i noticed on the internet,

Materials needed:
-About 7 to 8 half-inch cylindrical rods made out of wood.
-2 12 inch cylindrical rods
-Zip ties
-Ping Pong Ball

A cup that a ping pong ball can fit in.

Tools that are needed (Tools are dangerous and severe injuries might occur when used wrongly.)
-Staple Gun

The modern use of catapults
It is possible to use a catapult to launch an airplane into the air, and in some cases catapults are used to throw clay pigeons into the air for target practice.

Poza (2011, March 29). Ping Pong Ball Catapult. Ping Pong Catapult. Retrieved July 5, 2013, from
Unknown. Modern Day Catapults. Physics of Catapults. Retrieved July 5,2013, from

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Literature Review (Thurga)

How is catapult used in modern days?

Catapults are well-known to most people, maintaining their fame mostly through movies, history books and video games.
Due to advance technology, 
their uses are relatively more benign today.


  • A toy for most kids, Slingshots usually use a stretchable plastic material, which connects to two crossbars. The user places a projectile within the center of the stretchy piece, stretches it, aims and fires.

Aircraft Carriers

  • Navy aircraft carriers use these. Each aircraft carrier contains four different catapults that are used to get planes up to high speeds to allow them to take off with extremely short runways. The catapult consists of two cylinders that contain pistons.

    Clay Shooting

    • Clay-shooting offers many advantages. It allows hunters to shoot at a target without actually shooting anything that's alive, it provides an opportunity to practice at a rapid pace and it also allows a moving target.


Johnson, S. (n.d.). Modern Uses of a Catapult | eHow. eHow | How to Videos, Articles & More - Discover the expert in you.. Retrieved July 10, 2013, from

Federation of American Scientists :: Aircraft Carriers. (n.d.). Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved July 10, 2013, from

All about Catapults . (n.d.). All about Catapults . Retrieved July 10, 2013, from


Topic chosen: To develop and investigate if the amount of weights affects the distance traveled by a ping pong ball from the catapult.

Hypothesis: The more amount of weights added, the further the ping pong ball will travel.