lunes, 27 de junio de 2011

Chinese flying crow with magic fire / Cuervo cohete Chino

The Huolongjing (simplified Chinese: 龙经; traditional Chinese: 火龍經; pinyin: Huǒ Lóng Jīng Wade-Giles: Huo Lung Ching; rendered by its translator into English as Fire Drake Manual; in modern English, Fire Dragon Manual) is a 14th century military treatise that was compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Ji of the early Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD) in China. It outlined the use of various 'fire–weapons' involving the use of gunpowder.

The Huolongjing provided information for various gunpowder compositions, including 'magic gunpowder', 'poison gunpowder', or 'blinding and burning gunpowder'. It had descriptions of the Chinese hollow cast iron grenade bomb, shrapnel bombs, and bombs with poisonous concoctions. The book had descriptions of the 10th century Chinese fire arrow, a simple wooden arrow with a spherical soft casing attached to the arrow and filled with gunpowder, ignited by a fuse so that it was propelled forward (and provided a light explosion upon impact). However, the book explained how this simple 'fire arrow' evolved into the metal-tube launched rocket. The book provided descriptions of various rocket launchers that launched tons of rockets at a time, the advent of the two stage rocket having a booster rocket igniting a swarm of smaller ones that were shot from the mouth of a missile shaped like a dragon, and even fin–mounted winged rockets. The book described the use of explosive land mines and descriptions of explosive naval mines at sea and on the river; this incorporated the use of a complex trigger mechanism of falling weights, pins, and a steel wheel lock to ignite the train of fuses. The book described various proto–guns including the fire lance (a short-burst flame-thrower that emitted a charge of shrapnel), multiple metal barrel handguns (with up to ten barrels), and descriptions of handguns with possible serpentine locks, used as components in matchlock firearms. The book provided descriptions of the early bombard and cannon, including the use of hollow gunpowder–packed exploding cannonballs, cannon barrels filled with metal balls containing poisonous gunpowder solutions, and cannons that were mounted on wheeled carriages so that they could be rotated in all directions.

Although Jiao Yu did not provide the book's preface until the Nanyang publication of 1412 AD, the book was previously published in the 14th century (written before Liu Ji died on May 16, 1375), and was a compilation of material written since the late 13th century. From his own personal accounts Jiao Yu also described gunpowder weapons that were used since 1355 AD, with his involvement in the Red Turban Rebellion and revolt against Yuan Dynasty Mongol rule.

By the 15th century, European innovations in firearms, cannons, and other gunpowder weapons began to surpass Chinese innovation that was made in the 14th century. This included the European breech–loading gun and culverin, the wheellock musket, and then the flintlock musket of the mid 17th century. By the late 16th century, the Chinese adopted Western-style muskets while employing Ottoman Turkish style firing positions.

Source: Wikipedia

miércoles, 1 de junio de 2011

Roman onager/ Onagro romano
The onager was a post-classical Roman siege engine, which derived its name from the kicking action of the machine, similar to that of an onager (wild ass). It is a type of catapult that uses torsional pressure, generally from twisted rope, to store energy for the shot. The onager consisted of a large frame placed on the ground to whose front end a vertical frame of solid timber was rigidly fixed; through the vertical frame ran an axle, which had a single stout spoke. On the extremity of the spoke was a sling used to launch a projectile.
El Onagro es una antigua arma de asedio del tipo catapulta, que tenía mecanismo de torsión. El nombre de onagro es una referencia al asno salvaje asiático del mismo nombre, conocido por su mal genio y que puede lanzar a un hombre a cierta distancia de una coz, al igual que esta arma de asedio lanzaba piedras contra las murallas enemigas.

My birthplace Guanajuto Mexico

Warwick castle England. All pics by Gary Hodgkinson

Royal Museum, Belgium. All pics by Everaert