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Thursday, June 12 12:00 AM ET

People Turning to Medieval Technologies to Save on Gas

By Brian Briggs

Albany, NY - With no end in sight to the rise in fuel prices, commuters in Albany are using a network of trebuchets to save on gas and the airlines are taking notice.

Trebuchet“We have a high-density of renaissance festival attendees, so it’s only natural that the trend started here,” said Clinton Decola who heads the Trebuchet Transport Cooperative of Albany (TTCA).  “In medieval times the trebuchet was accurate, but with today’s technology we can make it even more accurate. People can launch themselves from house to house until they’re near enough their work to walk.”

The members of the TTCA operate over one hundred trebuchets and catapults around the Albany area. Members pay a small fee to maintain the trebuchets, then they can use the network to travel anywhere the trebuchets launch to.

Christian Rega uses the network to fling himself to work and back saving over $100 a week on gas.  “I save money; I’m helping break America’s addiction to oil and defying death every day. It doesn’t get much better than that,” said Rega.

Decola said that the group’s computer trajectory analyzers and advanced wind speed monitoring system result in most passengers landing within five feet of their designated safe landing area.

"We can't account for the occassional bird collision, but that usually doesn't throw the landing off that much," said Decola.

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The TTCA has garnered a lot of attention from municipalities and states looking to save money on public transport.

Decola said that even some airlines have contacted him about long range trebuchets to replace fuel guzzling 747s. 

The Irish airline Aer Lingus has set up a pilot program dubbed “Aer Flingus” for sending passengers from Dublin to London.

The trebuchet image is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Trebuchet".

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