HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Punkin Chunkin
Tim   11/7/2011 8:35:32 PM
NO RATINGS
We used to have a low key punkin chunkin contest in Raleigh, North Carolina.  There was usually a team of students from NC State there as well as a lot of local groups like Boy Scouts and church groups.  It was great to see some raw engineering at work.  The funny thing was that the college students usually used all steel construction while older groups used a lot of wood in their constructions.  Engineering and designing with wood seems to be a learned task that is not taught much in school.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Pumkin Tossing Competition
William K.   11/7/2011 4:54:39 PM
NO RATINGS
I likewise hope thet the Wright-Patterson team did it on their own time.

In this corner of Michigan there has been a competition that seemed a bit looser in the requirements for the launching system. The very best that I am aware of was quite a bit farther than the 2000 foot mark, somthing over three thousand feet, which was obtained by means of a fairly complex compressed air system. The very most complex setup had a secondary air insertion mechanism partway down the barrel, which overcame some of the thermodynamic limitations of the more standard approach. 

My own speculation has been that some sort of mechanical launcher that used an air cylinder as the energy supply could beat a similar unit using only gravity for power. The serious problem is that compressed air can store and deliver a vast amount of energy, which in a failure mode could injure a whole lot of participants and bystanders. So while it has a tremendous potential, the compressed air approach would add enough to the safety requirements aspect to reduce the fun aspect quite a bit.

MY own, fairly safe, air launch experiments were able to deliver about a pound a distance of about 300 feet. Of course, this was from a hand-held launcher that was a lot smaller than these wonderful pumpkin launchers.

mechdes50
User Rank
Iron
Re: Hooray for Punkins
mechdes50   11/7/2011 12:10:49 PM
NO RATINGS
While I think the contest is more than admirable to showcase mechanical engineering ( I do love pumkin chuckin by the way).  I certainly hope that the enginerring team from Wright Patterson were doing this on their own time.  In this time of fiscal frugality one would hope that all federally subsidized programs would keep a short leash on their budgets to ensure no more waste is going on.  At least no more than usual.

Mark

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hooray for Punkins
Beth Stackpole   11/6/2011 7:01:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for wading in, William. It does seem like a pretty cool event and one that can showcase a lot of great engineering prowess at a variety of levels. There are grade school students, university students, hobbyists, and like this team, professional engineers, all participating in the same event. And I don't think this is the only one--there are several others held around the country.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Hooray for Punkins
williamlweaver   11/4/2011 11:28:12 PM
NO RATINGS
I haven't attended an event, but I've been following this competition for a while now. It's a great time and exposes the general public to the process of engineering and use of scientific tools to solve and optimize complex problems. Now that our public maned space program has been scrapped, it's awesome that engineering gets a chance to be put on public display in such a fun, positive light.



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
A group of researchers at the Seoul National University have discovered a way to take material from cigarette butts and turn it into a carbon-based material that’s ideal for storing energy and creating a powerful supercapacitor.
Hacking has a long history in the movies, beginning with Tron and War Games and continuing through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development – A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service