Nashua native aims to build best pumpkin cannon -- Lots of people dream of building fancy do-it-yourself projects, but they don’t generally weigh 10,000 pounds, cost close to $100,000 or require friends to fly overhead to keep track of your progress.
“I am pretty obsessed with this,” admitted Brian Labrie, whose dream to build a machine that can shoot pumpkins more than a mile has also consumed four friends and the occasional family member, not to mention the Science Channel, which sent a film crew to Brookline recently to record some bits of telegenic destruction.
It started last year when Labrie, a Nashua native and 1992 Bishop Guertin graduate, saw a TV show about the national Punkin Chunkin contest. That Delaware event started 25 years ago as a gathering of folks who built catapults to toss pumpkins a few hundred feet, and is now a weekend-long extravaganza that attracts global media attention with a half-dozen categories of pumpkin-hurtling devices – including what might be considered the heavyweight division, air cannons. These massive machines, powered by huge tanks of compressed air, can fire pumpkins 4,000 feet or more...
----Reminder: There are 28 days until the 2nd Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival. There you will have a chance to see American Chunker up close.