There are three different kinds of catapults, technically speaking. One of them you probably know and define as a catapult, which is the Mangonel. This catapult, however, is not even the most powerful kind of catapult.
The three different kinds of catapults are the Ballista, the Mangonel and the Trabuco (also called a Trebuchet). The Ballista functions similarly to a crossbow, with two arms that are connected by a rope that is then pulled back by a winch. An ancient missile launcher (that only launched darts and stones) is also a fairly accurate description.
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The Mangonel had a long wooden arm that was held down by ropes, with a wooden bucket or spoon at the end to hold the projectile according to sinonimos.com.br. Once the rope is released, energy is released from the tension in the ropes. Then the force pushes the arm forward, throwing the projectile forward with great power and distance.
The Trabuco is a catapult that differs from both the Mangonel and the ballista in terms of design and their energy sources. Trabucos use a very long arm with a sling on one end to hold the projectile. This arm attaches to a fulcrum that holds a counterweight on the short end of the arm. A sling was sometimes added to throw the projectile; this was used to add greater range on the Trabuco.
The machine created the most power and distance out of all catapult types. In comparison to the Mangonel, it provides more accuracy as well. The Trabuco could be used to launch projectiles into ramparts and other castle defenses according to pt.wiktionary.org . This made the it an essential weapon in siege warfare. It came with disadvantages as well. The fire rate was low, accounts claimed that one could only fire about four times a day. They also were extremely difficult to move because of the weight of the stones used with the machine.
Search more about Trabuco: https://www.infopedia.pt/dicionarios/lingua-portuguesa/trabuco