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Dr. Catapults "Annihilator"!


This is one heck of a big catapult!

I can't claim any credit for this catapult. It was made by Jared who is a Cub Scout Den leader and I call him Dr. Catapult because of the surgical tubes he used to power it up. He made it for an event that was an Indiana Jones themed "Adventure Day" and he built "The Annihilator" specifically for the event. He got some ideas on how to do it from right here on my website :) and he just scaled things up a bit!!



Annihilator Launching






Here is a video of launching - Quicktime(mov)3.3 Mb - MP4 3.2Mb

If you are interested in contacting him about this catapult here is his email:
Jared Mcarthur -

(or you can email me by using the link in the left hand column of this page and I will contact him for you).

Some Pictures of the Annihilator Catapult

Dr Catapults "Annihilator"

Here is a picture of "The Annihilator". It is eight feet in length and the swing arm is eight feet long. He is going to be tweaking it some more and expects to be able to launch objects up to 150 feet!. I have lots more information about this catapult lower down on this page and a video that Jared sent me of it in action.





The annihilator side view

A side view of the Annihilator

One of the really nice things about this catapult is the wooden wheels with wooden pins. It makes it look very medieval and renaissance. Wheels also make the catapult more powerful because of the motion.







He used a rolling pin as a way to avoid friction on the surgical tubes.








Jareds Annihilator

Here is the sign that he mounted on it!










Now it is loaded and ready for launch.









Some Notes from Jared about how he made this catapult

Dimensions of the Catapult:

  • Front to back the catapult measures 8ft in length
  • It is 52" wide, the arm is 8ft. long and tower is almost 5ft tall.
  • The wooden wheels are 18" diameter

Construction: I built the catapult specifically for the event and got ideas from your website and then "Scaled them up". The construction is primarily made up of 2x4 and 2x6 pieces of lumber. I also used large dowel rods for the axles and the pivot point for the arm. Additionally I did used a number of 3" long wood screws for the framing, arm, and upright structure.

The Power: It is powered by 7 heavy duty pieces of surgical tubing that are 1/2" OD diameter with 1/4" ID, and have a 1/8" wall thickness. I cut the tubing into 4ft lengths and pre-stressed them when mounting them. The surgical tubing is capable of stretching over 5 x it's length which is similar to a rubber band. Bungee cords just don't stretch long enough. It is difficult to get them to stretch to double their original length. The first tubing I bought was from Lowes, but it was much smaller and very expensive ($1.59 per foot) I ended up purchasing a 50ft roll of the larger tubing from a local medical supply company for about $1.00 per linear foot. The tubing is distributed by Graham-Field Health Products out of Atlanta, but I am not sure if they sell it direct.

The Wheels: I cut the wheels from a solid core wooden door and secured them to the axles with small wooden pins.

The wooden rolling pin: I modified a wood rolling pin so that it rolled on a 3/8" metal bar and then created a small bracket. This rolling pin / pivot point allows the surgical tubing to stretch evenly as the arm/lever is pulled down.

Additional notes from Jared:

"One of my customers in California told me that I had to name it so he sent me a sign with the name "Jared's Annihilator" and I mounted it to the framing using some twine. I also attached two ropes to the front so our Cub Scouts could pull the Catapult around the field. Overall I am pretty happy with the results. I think with some fine tuning I can get it to throw some objects 150ft."


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