Aerodynamics are all about the motion of air when it interacts with a solid object. Aerodynamics is made up of four things: Lift, weight, thrust and drag. Lift is the force pushing on an object. Weight is gravity's pull on an object. Thrust is the push forward on an object. Drag is air resistance pushing an object backwards.
Aerodynamic effects on an airplane
We used these laws, keeping them in mind when designing our catapult. We used mostly thrust, pushing the ball forward with the momentum of the catapult arm. We tried to minimize weight by keeping it close to the ground and stopping the arm before it reached anything above a 90 degree angle.
This was our original design.
Our material list is: 7 three way connectors, 6 90 degree connectors, a bungee cord, 8.2 feet of pvc pipe.
We changed our design a bit when the wrong part came from home depot.
The Vertex Equation
The average range of our catapult is 23 feet before it hits the ground
The average max height of our catapult is 7.45 feet
The vertex of our catapult is (12, 7.45)
Equation: y = 0.056 (x - 11.5)^2 + 7.45