Pumpkins. Good for carving, making pies, baking seeds and a flurry of other fall favorites. But a catapulting pumpkin competition? Now that's an unusual job for this orange gourd-like squash! For 23 years the Delaware-based World Championship Punkin Chunkin has hit the skies. This year, Science Channel is honoring the backyard engineers who turn pumpkins into projectiles with an inside look at the high flying, far-flung action of the 2009 championship.
Punkin Chunkin covers every angle of the intense competition from growing special, aerodynamic pumpkins and determining the perfect pumpkin's mass to the mechanics of the air cannon and the physics of catapults. You'll not only get an in-depth look at the history and rules of the struggle for pumpkin launching supremacy, but you'll learn the engineering science behind the competition from Dr. Frank Wilczek, the 2004 Nobel Prize winner in Physics.
Part awesome science experiment, part genuine Americana, this one hour special, hosted by comedian Brad Sherwood, documents the ingenuity of the biggest, loudest, greatest pumpkin hurling competition in the world. Sherwood will follow select teams as they journey from machine design to testing their equipment to the competition's climactic finale, where every team hopes to reach the one-mile mark.
Since 1986, Sussex County, Delaware has been home to the annual Punkin Chunkin World Championships--a three-day festival where hardcore engineers and backyard tinkerers trailer their gigantic, homebuilt contraptions with one common goal: to launch eight to 10-pound pumpkins as far as mechanically possible. The competition is divided into seven categories defined by the type of machine used--motorized, centrifugal spinners, and the mighty air cannons.
Bringing the sport of pumpkin hurling to ever greater distances of chunkin, the heated competitions have created a current world record of 4,438 feet, just 800 feet short of a mile. Could this be the year that one team hits the coveted one-mile mark and is crowned the greatest chunkers ever? Let the games begin!