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Janus Construction is Complete

We have finished building Janus, the Floating Axle King Arthur/ Floating Everything Whipper (FAKA/FEW) Hybrid. The frame, which was finished several weeks ago, got stained similarly to Medieval Postal Service, and we got the steel and aluminum ordered. Last weekend (March 13-14) was spent in Buffalo machining and welding. Thanks again to Great Lakes Pressed Steel for helping us out with getting materials and for shop space to work. We were not able to make the arm at this time since the aluminum for that had not come in yet, but Jason took care of that later in the week and brought everything to Rochester Friday evening. Chris and Matt took the trebuchet out yesterday for initial testing and verification of a few systems, more on that will follow in a day or two.

Recent Site Downtime

Recently this website has experienced some intermittent downtime. We apologize for this, but there was some server maintenance that occurred the first week of this month that required some brief spurts of downtime. Furthermore, the internet feed to the server went down this morning. All appears to be back online now. The downtime was not an indication of the site going offline! We will be updating very soon on our progress with Janus, as that project has been progressing nicely. Again, apologies for any inconvenience the downtime caused.

Frame Construction to Janus Done

We have completed construction of the frame for our new trebuchet, Janus. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures yet as the lighting in the workshop is still being installed, but we are moving forward. In a few weeks we hope to have the metals we need in, and we will go make those parts and then prepare for testing as soon as the weather breaks, which should be sometime in mid-to-late March. We are looking for some terrific distances, perhaps we can even launch a 2-pound projectile 1000 feet! It's not likely, but you never know...700+ feet should certainly happen.

Code Name: Janus

Team Urban Siege has a new winter project. It seems that we cannot go too long without building a new machine, and this winter is no exception. The design? A Floating Axle King Arthur/Floating Axel Whipper trebuchet. That's right, we are finally going to try out a whipper design. But this trebuchet is also intended to help us try some small changes we are considering making to Medieval Postal Service, hence the King Arthur mode. Actually, there are a number of critical points that this new machine is intended to address:

2009 Build and Test Pics Up

28 brand-new, never-before-seen images from the rebuilding and testing phases of Medieval Postal Service during the 2009 season are now available. Also, we have added information on the changes to MPS on the MPS page. A few other minor changes have been made, but those are the major ones. Hopefully we will roll out some more stuff soon.

2009 WCPC Post-Mortum

So it has been nearly a month since we returned from Delaware and the World Championships of Punkin' Chunkin'. It is time to really condense down what happened.

2009 WCPC Video for MPS

Just a quick update, we have uploaded a video of all of our shots at the 2009 World Championships of Punkin' Chunkin'. More videos will be coming eventually, from our fall testing to other machines at the event, we took video of a lot of different machines. Other pictures of Medieval Postal Service from this year during modifications, and some information on those modifications will come as well.

Pictures from 2009 WCPC Online

We have uploaded 114 new pictures to the site from the 2009 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. Also new this year is that not all of the pictures are from Matt's camera this time, Chris took a bunch too, and some are in the gallery. Enjoy all the pictures, most are of the extremely competitive trebuchet division, which saw a staggering 9 machines break 1000 feet, 5 of those machines never having broken that mark before in competition. Soon we will post a full trip report on the World Championships, there is a lot to talk about.

Medieval Postal Service Joins the 1000 Foot Club

Sunday is traditionally break it Sunday at the World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. Everyone adds more counterweight, torques up their ropes more, etc. And today did not dissapoint. After the 2000 foot shot on Saturday, Yankee Siege shot a high 1800's shot, 1870 or so. We will post final distances later. Pumpkin Hammer, still stuck as a HCW this year, did not improve their distance. Hokie Hurler added even more weight to their machine, causing it to lean noticably, but they did not get any more distance. The machine did survive the shot, however.

Yankee Siege Breaks 2000 Feet on Way to New World Record

That's right folks, you heard it here first! Yankee Siege shook off their troubles from yesterday, whatever they were and FINALLY broke 2000 feet with a 2034 foot shot! Needless to say, they are in first place after two days with that shot. More interesting is where the rest of the field placed. Pumpkin Hammer shot a shorter distance than yesterday, but Hokie Hurler broke 1300 feet! Congratulations to them. Great Gourd Experiment looked to improve their distance, but we did not get the actual number. First in Fright finally got off a decent trajectory shot and broke 1100 feet!

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Use "common sense" when operating trebuchets and catapults. Even little ones can be dangerous. Do not place anything you are not willing to lose in the plane of the arm rotation (this includes yourself, body parts, car windshields, cameras, etc). These catapults and trebuchets are capable of throwing just as far backwards as forwards, and the use of a backstop of some sort is recommended, though the use of one does not make the region behind it safe.

Also, just because the throw got away safely downrange does not mean the end of the danger. The arm is likely still swinging wildly along with the counterweight, and there is a sling whipping around. One thing many people fail to take into account is this sling; some people put a metal ring on the slip end of the sling and this ring can HURT when whipping around!

Have fun hurling, but please KEEP IT SAFE!!!