Engineering At Work: Punkin Chunkin

Each fall, hundreds of people gather to participate in the World Championship of “Punkin Chunkin,” an event in which budding engineers grab their air cannons and catapults to see who can launch their namesake squash the farthest. While its description may sound simple, the engineering process that goes into catapulting a pumpkin over 4,000 feet is anything but.

The annual competition includes a wide variety of propellant categories for its “chunkin” portion, ranging from trebuchets to cannons to human-powered systems, and tests each engineer’s ability to create a machine that will launch the farthest pumpkin. The annual results can be found on the official “Punkin Chunkin” World Championship website, with record distances ranging from around 1,200 feet to close to 4,700 (the latter of which was achieved with an air cannon).


Video footage of past competitions can be found on Compressed Air System’s YouTube channel which covers the competition with a special each year. The featured video uncovers the gritty, meticulous nature of the competition, which requires willing participants to spend excessive time and effort constructing a system that will propel their squash farther than any of their competitors’.

The footage featured in the annual special highlights a side of the competition not offered to those who are simply spectators at the event, presenting a multi-faceted view of the “chunkin” process. It becomes apparent that preparing an apt and competitive machine for the event requires a great deal of time and effort not necessarily seen on the day of the competition.

Found on Compressed Air System’s YouTube channel, the behind-the-scenes footage of the annual competition proves an educational and entertaining watch.

For video footage of the annual “Punkin Chunkin” competition, as well as a plethora of other engineering-focused videos of similar nature, visit our Compressed Air Systems official YouTube channel today.

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