System and methods for launching a projectile are provided. The launching apparatus may include a flexible beam and drivers attached to the ends of the beam. The drivers may drive the ends of the beam to induce a steady large amplitude vibration in the beam. The induced vibration causes the beam to oscillate between two catenary-like configurations. A projectile may be loaded on the midpoint region of the beam when the midpoint region of the beam reaches a peak displacement with a near zero velocity and acceleration. The projectile may then be pushed and accelerated by the beam vibration and launched from the beam when the midpoint region reaches a peak velocity and midpoint acceleration reaches zero.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.