Pumpkin Chuck to launch gourds into sky

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The 14th Annual Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Pumpkin Chuck will launch orange gourds thousands of feet into the air 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 on the grounds behind the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Entry to the event is free and open to all base personnel and the general public through the Spinning Road Gate located at the intersection of Spinning and Airway roads.

Pumpkin Chuck is an Air Force Science, Technology, Engineering and Math event put on annually by Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Engineering.

The competition is broken into three classes of pumpkin-flinging machines. Class A machines are the largest and most complicated, launching 8 to 10-pound pumpkins several thousand feet, while Class B machines hurl smaller 2-pound orange squashes. Class C are human-powered machines where teams can sign-up onsite to compete on a novice-friendly version, if they don’t want to build their own.

There will also be a STEM-focused area where visitors can learn about the physics of the machines, calculate expected ranges and speeds and then try it out for themselves on kid-friendly versions. Guests can also get hands-on experiences with creating and flying straw rockets as well as learning from local competitive robotics teams.

Visitors to Pumpkin Chuck can also enjoy music, a children’s bouncy house, food trucks and even a pie eating contest.