By John Deede, Shale Plays Media | Google+
During the Persian Gulf war in 1991, when Iraqi forces retreated from their invasion of Kuwait, the Iraqis set fire to over 700 oil wells while coalition troops advanced. The fires blackened the skies, creating a hell-on-earth scenario. Crews worked avoiding land mines and extinguishing the wells until the last fire was extinguished 10 months later.
The answer to the threat of oil well fires is the “Big Wind.” Hungarian engineers converted a Russian T-34 tank and replaced its gun turret with a pair of jet engines from a MiG fighter jet engines. Water is pumped through several nozzles above the engines, and when they open up the throttle, the water is sucked into the jet stream and blasted at the fire.
The prototype was originally developed to decontaminate military equipment in the event of a CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) attack, but it has proven useful in fighting out-of-control oil fires. Watch the “Big Wind” in action:
(Video via Wolfhart Willimczik on YouTube)
And again here: (starting at 18:40)
(Video via Péter Zafir on YouTube)