Near Chiriaco Summit in Riverside County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Leonardo da Vinci Weapons of War & Invention
The basic design of the catapult had been in use for hundreds of years before da Vinci embarked on improving it. He actually came up with different models. This particular design used a double leaf spring to produce an enormous amount of energy in order to propel stone projectiles or incendiary over great distances. Loading of the two large leaf springs was accomplished using a hand crank on the side of the catapult.
His quick-load catapult only had a short firing range, but this mattered little, as guns then were slow-loading and heavy. The catapult could be loaded quickly and, if necessary, left loaded in case of a surprise attack. They did not need gunpowder, and could be safely mounted on walls. With this catapult, a man climbed the attached ladder, places a stone in the cup, and then the flexible arm was bent back using a rope and winder mechanism. This was released by striking a pin and the procedure repeated.
For his catapult, Leonardo designed finned missiles with warhead. Similar to modern design, it had two fins on the tail for stability. Upon impact, strikers would ignite the gunpowder inside.
Topics. This historical marker Military.
Location. 33° 39.672′ N, 115° 43.308′ W. Marker is near Chiriaco Summit, California, in Riverside County. Marker can be reached from Chiriaco Road near Summit Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 62434 Chiriaco Road, Indio CA 92201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Scythed Chariots (a few steps from this marker); Site of Contractors General Hospital (a few steps from this marker); Cannons (a few steps from this marker); Romero Pass (a few steps from this marker); 33-barreled Organs (within shouting distance of this marker); The Chiriaco Family (within shouting distance of this marker); Coachella Valley Recipients (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); California-Arizona Maneuver Area (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chiriaco Summit.
More about this marker. The da Vinci exhibit is in the General George S. Patton Museum parking lot.
Also see . . . How to Build Leonardo Da Vinci's Catapult. Popular Mechanics website entry (Submitted on October 29, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 1, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 466 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 1, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.