Okay, this might just be the coolest thing I’ve seen this whole year. It’s like something you’d see in a metro game or maybe as an Easter egg in Escape from Tarkov showing what a soviet tank on steroids would look like. Like just imagine a tank with two big cylindrical pillars mounted on the top horizontally that just might make you think that those are some cutting-edge laser cannons.
This hulk of a truck is actually the world’s most powerful firetruck, aimed at putting out fires that burn at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Where even air around the fire is around 650 degrees. This happened back in 1991, near the end of the Gulf War when the retreating Iraqi army set over 700 Kuwaiti oil wells on fire, thus creating the desert into what might Hell look like.
The Soviet fire-quenching monstrosity is named Big Wind and was made for a fire like the one mentioned above. Inspired by a Russian idea, Big Wind consisted of a T-54 Soviet tank dating back to World War 2, with its gun turret replaced by two MiG-21 fighter-plane engines and six water nozzles. Seriously, though coolest thing ever.
Soviets used a similar approach to blow out gas and oil well fires and Hungarian company MB Drilling thought how far could they take this concept. Thus the Big Wind was born. Combining a T-54/55 tank with a pair of supersonic MiG-21 fighter jet engines. Big Wind played a key role in 1991 in Kuwait and put out around nine oil well fires.
The two air cannons are able to output an insane 27,000 pounds of thrust, blowing out 4591 cubic feet of air at 770 mph. This could very well blow a house away. With the six nozzles above the engine, this tank could put of oil well fires easily by throwing out lightning-fast air mixed with water to sever the oil stream coming from the ground. You can watch the Big Wind in action in the video below.
The Big Wind still exists and is being used as a fire extinguisher by Hungarian petroleum giant MOL Group. Though I doubt it has put out fires as hot as during the Gulf War. However, there is no doubt that it is a thing of beauty.