How to Fight Fires With Decommissioned Jet Engines Strapped to a Tank

Illustration for article titled How to Fight Fires With Decommissioned Jet Engines Strapped to a Tank

As the post-conflict cleanup from the first Iraq War demonstrated, oil well fires are nearly impossible to put out without taking extraordinary measures. Luckily, this extreme measure is both super effective and totally badass.

It's called The Big Wind. Designed by a team of Hungarian engineers originally as a means of mass decontamination for Cold War-era tanks in the event of a CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) attack, this fire-fighting chimera has found a surprising niche in the modern world: putting out oil well fires like overgrown candelabras.

The Big Wind is one part T-34 tank and two parts MiG 21 jet engine. Specifically its a T-34 tank chassis with a pair of Mig 21 jet engines mounted to its roof. A pair of operators are responsible for maneuvering the tank chassis into position while a third, external operator controls the jet engines.


The Big Wind first moves itself into position next to the fire and near an artificial lagoon dug into the ground and filled with water. As the jet engines fire up, they suck the lagoon water up and expel it out the back, creating a powerful mist of cool water traveling at supersonic speeds. [Kritzberg via The Awesomer]

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Two words: Fucking awesome.