The Science Behind Pumpkin Chucking

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What do ancient Greek artillery, materials engineering and pumpkin chucking have in common? How about a comparison Air Force Research Laboratory materials operative who is moving destiny scientists—and carrying fun in a process.

Team ETHOS assembles their pumpkin chucking appurtenance before to a competition. The group is comprised of researchers, engineers and students from a Air Force Research Laboratory and competes annually in contests opposite a U.S. Air Force Photo by David Dixon

David Mollenhauer is a Senior Materials Engineer in a AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. His days are spent in a laboratory exploring combination mechanics, CO fiber and other cutting-edge materials to allege investigate for Air Force record of a future.

However, when evenings and weekends hurl around, Mollenhauer discards his lab coat, grabs his heading cowboy hat, and heads to a strew to anticipate new ways to toss pumpkins as distant as he can, a hobby that lets him use his scholarship for fun.

“I’ve always been meddlesome in training how what we do in a lab can work in a incomparable scale application,” pronounced Mollenhauer. “In a lab we rise and exam materials on a tiny scale; my hobby is an event to teach myself on how a speculation unequivocally works in application.”

Less than 100 pounds of wire are disfigured together to beget a force indispensable by Team ETHOS’ pumpkin chucking machine. U.S. Air Force Photo by David Dixon

Mollenhauer is a captain of Team ETHOS, a nationally-ranked ‘Punkin Chunkin’ group that uses slicing edge, complicated materials and record total with modernized systematic research and exemplary Greek engineering to hurl pumpkins thousands of feet by a sky. Since 2007 a group has competed in events opposite a country, rising autumn’s many important squish distances surpassing 3,450 feet, squashing competitors in a process.

ETHOS, that stands for “Experimental Torsion Hybrid Onager System” is not usually an acronym-based group name (true to troops style), though a moniker that describes their chucking machine, a Phoenix, and a simple design.

“Greek and Roman artillery has always meddlesome me, and what a Greeks did as engineers though complicated mathematics, computers and materials is astonishing,” pronounced Mollenhauer. “The ancient Greeks had a form of mortar called an Onager, and a appurtenance is formed on this. We stayed tighten to normal design, though we mutated a Onager by regulating complicated materials and engineering to move it into a future.”

Team ETHOS’ pumpkin chucking appurtenance operates regulating a ancient Greek judgment of torsion. Torsion machines, that originated some-more than 2,300 years ago, beget energy by a rambling of a wire during a base of throwing arm. This “torque” on a wire builds adult a force, or power. Team ETHOS uses a Phoenix’s built adult torsion energy to mortar pumpkins thousands of feet by a sky.

Team ETHOS’ pumpkin chucking machine, a Phoenix, launches a pumpkin by a sky during a annual Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Pumpkin Chucking competition, Oct. 21. U.S. Air Force Photo by David Dixon

Designing a Phoenix was not an easy feat, and it took a group of engineers, scientists and students to develop a appurtenance to where it is today. Mollenhauer likens a routine to a vital troops acquisitions module approached by a systems engineering process.

Who would’ve suspicion that ancient Greek record would be used in such a approach today?

Read some-more about Team ETHOS on DVIDS.

Written by Marisa Novobilski
Air Force Research Laboratory


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Source: Armed with Science

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