The Catapult

By Staff
1 / 2
Close up of stenciling and decal work.
2 / 2
Catapult built by Consuelo Manufacturing. Photo by Jonna Shelton.

9056 Riverside Dr. Brighton, Michigan 48116

Dateline: Peru, Indiana, October 9th, 10th, 11th, 1992.

The much sought after Maytag Catapult finally made its debut at
the Hoosier Fly wheelers Fall Swap Meet.

The brainchild of engineer Paul Shelton, of Consuelo
Manufacturing, Northwestern Indiana Division, was unveiled to
cheers from throngs of onlookers.

The Catapult is the answer to many a collector’s irritation
at the small two stroke engines that raise the nape hair on a true
engine man.

It was also used on various other makes besides Maytag, namely
Briggs, Clinton, Tecumseh, and even a couple of lawn mowers and

Assistant launch technician Daryl Metcalf recorded all pertinent
information: wind speed, weight, barometer readings, and flying
distances for all entrants.

Distances varied from 35 feet to 70 feet depending on weight and

It was purported that runners flew best, but as luck would have
it, there weren’t any available at the time of this
demonstration to test this philosophy.

Consuelo Manufacturing has issued a challenge to individuals,
groups of individuals, or clubs to compete next year at this same
swap meet with their versions of a better catapult, to see if these
are the ultimate distances that can be attained by mechanically
launched Maytags. (Rocket or dynamite versions would compete in a
class by themselves).

Consuelo Manufacturing has been around a good many years, their
engine is testimony to this fact, and only recently Consuelo was
paramount in the development of early synthesized instrumentation,
namely the Kero-Drive guitar, that surfaced earlier this year.

This instrument was painstakingly restored and demonstrated by
Rick Cheyenne at the Van Buren Fly wheelers show in Hartford,

Who knows what else Consuelo made, but their wide range of
products seem to be limitless.

Besides the Catapult, the rest of the Hoosier Fly wheelers Swap
Meet was a resounding success.

Dealers and traders assembled from no less than 16 states for
the event, and selling, trading, and ogling was at a frenzied pace
for all three days. Sometimes it seemed like entire loads were
being traded or sold before one could blink an eye, and then the
trailer would be reloaded with other treasures before heading home.
This is only the second year for this swap meet, but it’s fast
becoming the Waukee of the east.

Ken and Wendy Wolf, our hosts, were most gracious in furnishing
the beef stew at the potluck dinner Saturday evening. Believe me,
no one left hungry!

We’d like to thank all of our friends who helped to ready
the show grounds for this event, and also to Consuelo Manufacturing
for furnishing the first Maytag Catapult, which will be permanently
displayed and used at the Hoosier Flywheelers Show grounds, Peru,
Indiana. We’d also like to extend an invitation to everyone to
come to the Show and Swap Meet next year. Bring your swappable,
tradable, sellable, or even your keepers to display, and have a
great weekend in Central Indiana. We even swap lies (Heaven
forbid!) around the campfire at night!

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines