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Melon Felon Videos


May 1, 2010 -- Janus and Melon Felon Perform at Imagine RIT


Janus and Melon Felon fire for hundreds or possibly thousands of spectators at the all-day Imagine RIT event. Janus has some trouble early on with a bending release pin, and after that is fixed suffers another set back, ending its day. Janus fired some very nice shots though, powering the 1.25 pound ice balls well over 600 feet with only 100 pounds of counterweight and a rather lengthy sling.

April 22, 2007


The Melon Felon gets a good workout, with a total of 14 launches on this afternoon. 13 of them are shown here.  See the April 22, 2007 Launch Log for more details on distances attained.


October 7, 2006


The Melon Felon unleashes a terrific 250 foot throw with a soccer ball and a 150 pound counterweight. Wind played around with the shot, though, causing some sort of weird ground effect that kept the ball traveling well after it should have landed.


A view from the back of the Melon Felon as it launches a soccer ball with 150 pounds of counterweight. The crosswind we fought all day is seen here, as the ball carries off to the right about 30 feet.


May 6, 2006 -- RIT ASME Watermelon Launch


Matt goes to trigger a launch during the competition. Unfortunately, our trigger at this time was a bit jury-rigged and refused to fire half the time. That happens here.


The Melon Felon, loaded with 225 pounds of counterweight, misfires, and the watermelon is lobbed backwards about 20 feet. As far as we can tell, the net pouch we were using opened up a bit and the melon sneaked out through the hole, causing the shot seen here.


Another misfire, with the Melon Felon loaded up with 275 pounds of counterweight. We are not quite sure what happened here, but it was probably a sling issue again.


The Melon Felon unleashes a 80 foot throw with a 275 pound counterweight and a 5.5 pound watermelon, our second best of the day. However, this is far from the potential of this trebuchet, as release was way before stall and at a high trajectory.


The Melon Felon's last and best shot of the competition, traveling 86 feet. Still an early release and at a high angle, we are working on fixing the problem.


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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!!!