Trabuco The Ancient War Machine

Trabuco is an ancient war machine dating back to the Middle Ages. It is also called a balancing Trabuco. It was used to crush enemy’s masonry walls and to fire projectiles over the walls. The Trabuco consists of a large armrest mounted on a base; the arm holds the projectile. It also consists of a counterweight which holds a heavyweight. The counterweight pulls the arm shooting the projectiles from the arm to the targeted locations. The Trabucos are of different sizes, and they all apply the lever principle.

Trabucos originated in China where they were first invented at around 400 BC. The Europeans later used it as the only efficient and terrifying weapon by that time. They used it since 600 AD until the invention of gunpowder. Trabucos could shoot heavy projectiles of around 140kg at high speed to greater distances of up to 800 meters away on enemy walls. Trabucos were also used to throw infected bodies to enemies during attacks in order to infect and weaken them. This biological warfare was used in the Middle Ages on They were greatly used due to their simple maintenance and were easy to build.

The Trabuco mechanism according to involves transforming the potential energy of gravity into kinetic energy. The potential energy is not fully converted into kinetic energy, some of it is dissolved in the form of friction. The size of the counterweight is directly proportional to the rate of velocity of the projectile hence the heavier the projectile, the stronger the projectile will be shot. The operation of this weapon consists of many physical calculations of potential difference, and the potential gravitational and kinetic energy. This mechanism makes Trabucos to be used widely in explaining such physical principles in schools by teachers.

According to, there are two types of Trabucos; the first is the tensile Trabuco which launched 140-pounds of projectiles to a distance of 80 meters. This weapon was somewhat rare as it made it difficult to control the operators. The second is the hybrid Trabuco which was designed by adding weight to the short end arm. Records show that the hybrid Trabuco could launch projectiles of up to 400-pounds.

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