This ballista, an actual exercise on one of the
traditional assault machines from classical and
medieval times, is conceived for launching
stones with a parabolic trajectory and for a long
distance, to open a breach in the enemy walls.
It is constituted of a wooden spring that is drawn
by a bolt positioned at the base of the trestle
structure: the energy for the launch is provided
by the extreme torsion of the cords. This instrument of war is conceived for obtaining a great power within modest dimensions, by contrast with the trebuchet, an assault weapon working on the counterweight principle, which often reached over 10 m in height. Particularly interesting are the various devices for increasing the flexibility of the springs, to assure an effective launch.
The model is based on the drawing:
- Codex Atlanticus f. 140b r. (1487)
Milano, Biblioteca Ambrosiana