Anvils Take to the Sky on the Science Channel – Monday Sept. 5 at 10 PM ET

Posted by at 12:23 pm on September 4, 2011

On Monday Sept. 5 at 10 PM ET, the Science Channel will prove to you that an anvil can fly.   Now I must admit that before this show, I only thought of anvils as the tool black smiths used to make or repair other tools. Now I know better.

You would think that stacking up anvils and shooting them off with gun powder would be a recipe for disaster, but in Flying Anvils, hosted by Tory Belleci of Mythbusters,  we go to Farmington, Missouri for the 2011 U.S. Anvil Shooting Championship where the greats of this sport gather to compete and let the metal soar.

More Than One Way to Launch An Anvil

Teams compete in two divisions. For the marquee event, contestants fire a 100-pound anvil off another using one pound of gunpowder. You’ll see the strategies of several teams as they go head to head, filling hollow cavitities in their anvils with the gunpowder and setting them off to send the chunks of metal nearly 200 feet in the air. When then anvil lands, scores are calculated based on the shot’s height and the accuracy of the landing.  The sound guys did a great job of recording the landings.

In the super modified event, featuring teams using specially engineered anvils with two pounds of gunpowder sending anvils flying over 500 feet. Combining anvils and gunpowder for these die-hard competitors is a pyrotechnics playground.

Anvils Are a Family Affair

Popularized mostly in the southern US, Anvil shooting dates back to early American blacksmiths who shot anvils both for celebrations and military purposes. Flying Anvils reveals this history, along with the stories and challenges of the leading anvil shooting teams many of which are family based and spanning multiple generations.

You’ll get to meet an eclectic cast of characters, including 20-year competition veteran Gay Wilkinson (pictured to the left), whose house is a veritable anvil-shooting museum, as well as mechanical engineer Mark Bollinger, who relies on a highly scientific approach to take his anvils to new heights.

The show gave us here a ToT a view of a sport that hadn’t hit our radar but proved to be just as exciting and engaging as more well known competitions. Tory Belleci is a great host, and establishes a great on screen presence and rapport with the competitors.

Flying anvils is a great way to finish off your Labor Day Weekend.  It also just might make you want to wear a helmet like one of those pigs from Angry Birds. To quote Tory, “I’ve seen a lot of crazy things on Mythbusters, but hosting Flying Anvils was one of the most intense things I’ve ever experienced. This sport is so raw, so explosive and so exciting—how did I not know about it before?!”

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