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Sneak Peek of Team Urban Siege and NASAW

The Science Channel just posted this video, presumably a tidbit from the show "Punkin Chunkin 2011". It features us. See it here:

Punkin Chunkin Pictures

You may have noticed this already: we've uploaded some pictures from the 2011 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. There will be more to follow. Don't forget to watch us on TV Thanksgiving night (this Thursday 11-24) at 8PM EST/PST!

Team Urban Siege Narrowly Edged for First

Day 3 of the 26th World Championships of Punkin Chunkin was a wild one. The winds were non-existent all day long, leading to some super shots. The trebuchets led off again, with Yankee Siege II firing it's second official misfire of the chunk, leaving them with the 2326' from Day 2. Merlin also repeated their Day 1 shot, although not with as much hang time. Suffice to say that their 1985' from Day 2 was their best, and a personal best by a long shot. Great Gourd Experiment finally joined the 1000 foot club. Congratulations to Terry and the gang!

Team Urban Siege On Field and Firing

Team Urban Siege's new machine made it down to the field in Delaware for the 26th World Championships of Punkin Chunkin this morning around 9AM. Unlike Medieval Postal Service, this new machine only took us a couple hours to set up, and this was the first time we did a full set up on it straight through. It promises to get even easier in the years to come. We were inspected and ready to fire by early afternoon, but a hold on firing kept us from firing until late in the afternoon. We only had 2 shots all-time with this machine at this point, though both were terrific 1600-1700 foot shots (we didn't find one, the other was slightly downhill so getting a realistic distance is hard).

Team Urban Siege Ready for Chunkin!

That's right folks. Chunkin time is here! Team Urban Siege finally finished work on our new trebuchet to the point where we could fire it. Last Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 2PM we pulled the trigger for the first time on this new machine. And it fired perfectly! We broke a strap on our old and very worn pouch that we'd been using for 3 years (and in hindsight it did get hung up pretty bad on the last chunk of 2010), but the punkin flew out beautifully. We then moved the machine (mostly assembled) to a more suitable location for hurling (that first shot was taken right next to the shop we were working out of) at Wendel's Poultry Farm. The second shot came roughly an hour later than the first, and with the backup pouch, we got a near carbon-copy of the first shot. Tuning was beautiful for both shots! And best of all, the machine was operating smoothly and nothing major was broken. Only one small feature was found to be a bit weak, and by the time of this post, the issue has long been rebuilt in a much more sturdy way.

New Machine Forthcoming

That's right! Team Urban Siege has gone ahead with building a new competition-level trebuchet. We are nearly done with it as of this writing, and hope to be getting our first shots off with it within a week. Just in time too, as the 2011 World Championships of Punkin' Chunkin' are fast approaching (November 4, 5, and 6). As with Medieval Postal Service, we will not be releasing many details or pictures until after the chunk, but rest assured, it is another cool-looking machine.

Updated Videos, New Trebuchet

Lots of video-related news. First of all, Google has "encouraged" everyone with videos on the old Google Video service to transition to YouTube. This was something that we saw coming a couple years ago when Google bought YouTube, which is why our last several years' worth of videos have been uploaded onto YouTube. Now Google is looking to close down the old service, and we had a dozen or so of our old videos on there. Luckily, Google made an easy way to switch the videos over, which we did a month ago. All embed code on the Team Urban Siege website is now running YouTube code.

All-New Plans Available for Download!

That's right, we have actually released plans that we created! The plans will enable you to build and even tune a small desktop-sized Hinged Counterweight Trebuchet (HCW) that will throw a small rubber ball 20 feet! Begin war today on your cubicle neighbors! See the page here: Mini-HCW Plans.

Imagine RIT in One Month

For the second year in a row, Team Urban Siege will be exhibiting some of our trebuchets at the Imagine RIT festival on Saturday May 7, 2011. We will be bringing the Melon Felon, Janus, and possibly a FAT Whipper which operates very similarly to Janus. Hopefully this time Janus will be firing all afternoon, as it is a VERY impressive machine when it fires, easily topping 100 miles per hour at launch with only 100 pounds of counterweight. If you are in the Rochester, NY area, feel free to stop by the festival, it is free and open to the public. We are exhibit 198, and there will apparently be a rocket exhibit right next to us!

2010 WCPC Recap

What a great showing for Team Urban Siege at the 2010 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. Owing to the team being scattered around New York and Massachusetts this fall, we didn't even get Medieval Postal Service out of storage until the day before we headed to Delaware. But the machine went right back up without a hitch, and fired beautifully right out of the gate. Test shots on Wednesday were around what later was found to be the 1150-1200 mark, and then heavy winds came for the weekend.

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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!!!