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  • MR60

    love this kind of out of the box thinking.

  • I just found this topic, thus please allow me as developer to provide some additional information to clarify some questions. Yes, the solution looks perhaps terrifying at the first look, but after 100+ launches it proved to be surprising safe and reliable. We use it to launch even UAVs equipped with PX4 and ArduPilot.

    The structure of the launcher is indeed robust, but very simple: no rubber, no compressor, no O-rings, no switches, no connectors, no track, no rollers, no cradle, no release mechanism between cradle and UAV. Just rods, arm, sling, a pair of maintenance free bearings and a commercial car winch. Even the shocks of the car doesn't involved in the launch, because the wheels doesn't touch the ground at the and of the launch. As a result the launcher doesn't require careful storage or maintenance. The only scheduled maintenance is to check sometimes the integrity of the sling and the structure.

    The operation causes minimal workload on the crew: no additional sensors or instruments to check. Another important benefit is that, the launcher can be armed for indefinite time without fatigue of a rubber or decreasing air pressure in a pneumatic system, so you can wait relaxed for the right time of launch.

    Some comments worried about safety. In case of unintentionally launch or failed sling will this device (opposite to the pumpkin trebuchet) launch the UAV right upward, so there is no danger in front of the car or behind the car. The only dangerous place is under the car, so we always care dogs and colleges looking for shadow on hot summer days! :)

    Anyway I don't want to suggest that our device is the solution for every operator. Our goal was to develop a cost effective, high release launcher for commercial operation of UAVs, thus we assumed a dedicated transport car and a demand for a simple and reliable solution even on the cost of some robustness.

    Have a nice landing!

  • That concept is awesome, interesting alternative to bungies.

    We used to launched the MLB BAT-3 at NASA Ames from the roof of a Nissan XTerra.

    Here is a picture back when Hangar 1 had skin at Moffett Field.


  • It is an interesting experiment but I highly suggest to the developer not to spend time or money on patenting....  Patent a new Facebook, not this

  • LOL ....

  • Don't worry about the vehicle, it is a company car. :)

    I hear (through unofficial channels) that the next version will be based on wood/coal fired steam with the option for fossil fuel upgrades.

    Their 5 year development cycle eventually has as its ultimate solution an anti-gravity launch system.

    No one in the development committee wanted to speak up to mention that, at that point, the aircraft would be redundant. (Air? We don't need no stinking air when we have anti-gravity!)


  • I am just reminded of the time in university when we had a pumpkin throwing competition.  We built a huge trebuchet and then struggled to find enough weight to operate the thing.  This other team, used a rope and a car to pull the trebuchet arm.  As they were setting up, I wondered aloud what happened if the throw screwed up.  The car was positioned in the area I deemed "The Plane of Destruction" which our team members were forbidden to enter.

    Right on cue, the trebuchet misfired, sending the pumpkin backwards, and smashed into the car.  Luckily it hit the front bumper instead of the windscreen or roof.

  • That's 1 way of getting discovered.  What's really needed is a trebuchet that launches buyout offers.

  • Would be interested to see if it's capable of lifting the back of my 8000lb Land Rover.

  • I would be more worried about the car. the rear shocks are generally very expensive to replace. but hats off to the imagination and creative ideas.

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