Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Hwacha - Korean Rocket Launcher

I do a lot of research for my books. In fact, I adore research. So imagine my surprise when one of the coolest weapons in Korean history was not discovered by me and my nerdy library research skills, but by Da Man. Da Man who hasn't been inside a library since law school. Yes him. He found this genuine artifact of Korean history. On TV. How funny is that? So what is this thing? It's the Hwacha - a Korean rocket launcher. Below is a model displayed at the Seoul War Memorial. The Hwacha is this really awesome, really cool weapon invented in the 1400s by Korean scientists. But it doesn't really look that impressive right?


File:Hwacha2.jpg

It's basically a two wheeled cart with a launch pad with 200 holes filled with ammunition. Ah, but there in lies the beauty of this weapon. The ammunition is made up of small rockets attached to iron spiked arrows, each with a small paper bag filled with gunpowder attached to its fletching. Once the weapon is ignited, it fires off all 200 arrows in mere seconds with a trajectory of 500 meters. That's more than five football fields, folks. To really have an idea what it would look like, here's a very short clip of an actual hwacha in action.



Da Man caught this on The Discovery Channel's Mythbusters show and yelled at me to come down and watch it. I was blown away. Mythbusters made their own replica and tested it out to prove that it actually worked and would be deadly against a large attacking army. Score one for Da Man.

So why am I bringing it up? Well first of all, it's cool as hell! Secondly, I plan on using the hwacha in my books. I couldn't fit it into my current book but I plan to use it in the final book, where an all out frenzied battle royale will see 50 of these in play against a large demon army. Course this all depends upon selling the first book. So be patient my lovely little hwacha. Your time will come soon. And the world will know the power of your awesomeness. Cue evil laugh.

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18 comments:

Whirlochre said...

That's fantastic!

I want one!

It'll soon be election time here in the UK and the possibilities are endless...

Knock knock...

"Hi, I'm canvassing on behalf of the Conservative Party. Can we count on your support in the forthcoming election?"

"Hang on. Wait right there. Let me go crank up my hwacha..."

Kappa no He said...

Yep, I saw that on Mythbusters, too. So cool. Glad you finished up your edits. Now is it sit back and wait or hurry up and write next book? Somewhere in the middle?

Charles Gramlich said...

That looks like a nasty little piece of war business. Very cool for a story though. Congrats to Da Man.

Anonymous said...

I take offense!!! I have in fact been to the library on several occassions since law school including several trips to pick up or drop off books for you and the girls . . . and more recently, to use the restroom.

Da' Man

Kelly said...

Holy Hwacha! That thing can do some serious damage!

Kate said...

That hwacha looks deadly. I wouldn't stand in front of one. Thanks for the interesting post!

pacatrue said...

The Dragon Wars movie (did you ever get around to seeing it? I know you expressed interest) contained this demon army with huge lizards shooting rockets at people. Seemed ludicrous. But there ya go. Now I know that movie is ALL REAL.

Rebecca Knight said...

That was one of my all time favorite episodes of Mythbusters, just because that Hwacha is so freakin cool!

It not only shoots a billion arrows simulataneously over large distances... it sets dudes on FIRE. What's not to love?

Christina Farley said...

This is awesome! You should definitley use it in your book. I will have to tell my hubby (who loves myth busters). Must see their show on it too. Thanks for sharing.

writtenwyrdd said...

I saw that Mythbusters too, and thought the Hwacha was totally awesome.

Another asian invention is the Mongol compound recurve bow. Saw a show on Military, Discovery or Science channel that compared ancient bows, and the Mongol bow had a draw of about 100 pounds (the power to pull the string back was 100 pounds) and it sailed right through two pieces of medieval plate armor...while the infamous English yew bow, which was about 6' in length and had far less draw, barely penetrated one piece of steel, much less two.

Very impressive ancient tech.

laughingwolf said...

wow! kinda like an early machine gun thingy type ;)

Aniket said...

Now, the question is where can I get one? Is it on e-bay?

Probably would just have to build one. This can really help in my world domination plans. Sinister laugh.

Angela Williams Duea said...

That's one crazy evil contraption. Can't wait to read what it does to demon hordes!

Lana Gramlich said...

Very cool! (Ironically I was thinking about going as Professor Chaos for Halloween.)

cindy said...

awesome! my hub is a huge mythbusters fan too. ha!

Steve Malley said...

Dammit-- all these months designing, building and testing, putting out the fires and repairing the garage, and My Infernal Device already exists.... :)

Lily Cate said...

Good God!

Philip said...

Nice posts.keep posting.thanks a lot for sharing.

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