Catapult Hurls Man into Lake (Nov, 1939)

Catapult Hurls Man into Lake
Flying through the air with the greatest of ease is no trick at all to Walter Bura, of West Orange, N. J., who designed the man-throwing catapult shown installed on the boardwalk of Lake Mohawk, Sparta, N. J. Modeled after ancient Roman military types, Bura’s catapult has an open steel framework, arranged with a steep take-off ramp on one side. Airplane shock cords fastened at the base run up over pulleys and are stretched taut to a sled at the bottom of the take-off ramp. Placing a loose board under him, Bura lies flat on the sled and is hurtled up the incline and out over the water when a trigger mechanism is released. The board protects his body from chafing as he flies off the sled when the latter comes to a sudden stop at the top of the incline.

  1. Doug says: August 3, 200611:51 am

    Yikes, what a Rube Goldberg device, I can see a number of ways it could malfunction to unpleasant effect. Not surprised it didn’t catch on. In fact the whole history of people being launched from catapults and the like is not for the faint of heart.

  2. Brad says: May 28, 20084:36 pm

    Hmm… Where’s the water?

  3. Thomas Gehring says: January 10, 200912:41 pm

    How do I rig a simplified horizontal version of this for a snow sled?

  4. LMHistory says: September 2, 20158:39 am

    How do I get permission to reprint this article?

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