The year 2001 Punkin Chunk was the second year we used our human
powered centripetal machine Pumpkin
Putter. We had a great time, suffered more catastrophes, and got
a lot of great help from some of our competitors. Our best shot of
the show was our last, at 99.7 ft.
No new wold records were set this year, but a pumpkin did fly over
3900 ft out the barrel of the world record holder, Old Glory.
There were also several victims this year, including a duck slain
by Bad to the Bone, and a lawn chair crushed by Hypertension.
Our team before leaving, standing in front of Roger's truck, filled
with equipment. From left to right: Kevin Johnson, Jeff DelPapa, Dave Shepard, Elsa Zuniga, Eric Ludlam,
and Roger Nichols.
A pit stop on the way to the chunk at Mellon Mania. Unfortunately
they were closed, and we couldn't buy anything. :(
Ron Tom's booth at the chunk. If you missed buying one of his
model catapult machines here, you can still
buy a machine online instead.
Assembling the Pumpkin Putter. You can see Kevin assembling an
upright while Jeff connects the bicycle to our new bicycle stand.
Oh no! We have competition this year from Junkyard Spinner. Their
machine was powered by a large 8 cylinder engine. The engine was
hoisted in the air, and when it fell, would spin the arm. Their
longest throw left from the pouch and impaled itself on their fulcrum.
I climbed up in the machine, and took a picture of the catapult firing
line. Starting at the boldly labeled Onager, you can then see
Junkyard Spinner, an interesting automotive coil spring machine
Destrier, and Splat Cat. There were many other nifty machines past
that including youth division catapults.
Down the other side of the line, we start with Gene's Machine, Pumpkin
Air which is a very cool Floating arm cam pivot trebuchet. Next is
Loch Ness, a beautiful recreation of the machines available on the
Nova episode of
Next in line is Hurling Melvin, Man Killer, and Del's Destroyer before the
machines become too small to see.
Roger stands atop the 'Putter and tests the tension in our stays. If
the stays were too lose, the arms could potentially come flying out
of the machine. As far as the tone he was testing for, I haven't the
Gene's Machine, here operated by Jim, snagged 1st place in the human
powered division with a chunk of 1418.32 feet.
Pumpkin Air had the cool catch phrase "You grow 'em, We throw 'em".
This cam oriented floating arm trebuchet took second place in the
trebuchet division with a chunk of 614.58 feet. It was a nifty thing to
Man Killer is a traditional hinged counterweight trebuchet. The weight,
however, is a platform with seat belts. Four brave souls would strap
in, and launch a pumpkin. Team mate Jeff
took a ride, and said "It was a really fun thing to do... once."
You cannot escape from the pumpkin dressed babies in the Pit area.
They draw you in and makes fellow parents go Awwww.
The current champions, Old Glory, drove the World Championship Punkin
Chunkin trophy about a few times each day, just to remind people that
they were there. Old Glory was the farthest cannon from the crowd, so
it was important for them to get a little face time.
What's a chunk without wenches and gold? The pirates of
Punkin Chunkin' returned with their wenches, and a chest of golden
pumpkins. At the end of their skit, they launched a pumpkin at Bin
John Huber was back with Hypertension, and was pleased as punch when
he got a new personal record of 1578 feet in the unlimited catapult
division. New springs were donated to him by an Ohio spring company.
When he put them all on, he couldn't crank the machine down with his
winch anymore. Using both the winch and his bicycle crank, he was
eventually able to get that arm down. The resulting shot was really
Bad to the Bone returned, and chunked 2134.2 feet taking first place in
the unlimited centripetal division. Unfortunately, one of his shots
killed a duck in the pond. He was arrested on the spot for hunting
out of season. Fortunately, the governess of Delaware was there
(delivering a new transmission for Determinator who had transmission
problems) and pardoned him.
Kryptonite is (i think) a new cannon this year. This spiffy new
cannon makes quite a noise. They had a distance of 2846 feet.
Spookey Bazookie took first place last year in the human powered
division with a chunk of 1334 feet last year. This year Waddy
Thompson went unlimited, and shot 2986. Waddy and Jeff are buddies
from being on Junkyard Wars.
All the way from Moriartt, New Mexico, El Launcho grande had a happy face!
The Yasky cannon started with a Sussex County Chunkin District bus,
and then mounted a cannon in it.
Old Glory chunked 3911 feet this year taking 1st place in the
unlimited Air Cannon division.
Back in the human powered division, Bob Carbo struts his stuff in his
new Onager Operating Safety Equipment. He was defending his machine
from those that would sully it's reputation.
For us on the 'Putter, disaster strikes on our second competition shot
(of 70 some odd feet.) Something jammed in the trigger line, and
wrapped our actuator around the fulcrum a few times. It was
disassembled, and Dave straightened it out with the help of a vice on
Del's Destroyer's trailer. They also had a small piece of bar stock,
which we used to strengthen the base. Waddy Thompson on Spooky then
brazed it together for us.
Dave attaches our trigger actuator back to the fulcrum. Once set, the
machine worked flawlessly the rest of the day. We chunked 99 feet for
our second competition shot, and then flung another 10 or so pumpkins
until we lost a cable coupler.
More work being done on the entire trigger line to make sure it was
John measures our third shot. 99 feet!
When we weren't chunkin' with our machine, we played on Onager. Here
Roger is pedaling down their arm. What do Greg and Dave see wrong
with Roger's lap anyway?
Getting that arm down is pretty hard work. Onager took 2nd place in
the Human Powered division with a chunk of 1175.19 feet. Roger was
unable to match Bob's pedaler Andy, and ended up using 2 minutes and 45
seconds to winch it down.
Here are video clips of the the 'Putter in action.
Putter launches a pumpkin
Size : 727044
Close up of a putter launch
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