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Idle Science

(Don't) Make Your Own Fire Tornado 86

Posted by samzenpus
from the adut-supervision-please dept.
Flash Modin writes "In the last two weeks, both water and fire tornadoes have been widely covered by the media. As any physicists would have, we immediately thought 'I want to do that!' SO... You should absolutely, under no circumstances, not attempt to recreate the following fire tornado; but if you did, here's exactly what you would need, how you would do it, and what it would look like."

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(Don't) Make Your Own Fire Tornado

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:08PM (#33548032)

    Happy to oblige - http://www.srl.org/machines/flamehurricane/. All you need are several pulse jets with 150lbs of thrust each!

  • Not bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JackSpratts (660957) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:15PM (#33548116) Homepage
  • by Desert Raven (52125) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @07:00PM (#33548832)

    Not uncommon for pyromaniacs to become firefighters.

    In rural areas, a number of arson cases end up being traced back to volunteer firefighters. Most commonly involving abandoned structures or barns.

  • by PeterPiper (167721) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @06:57PM (#33556332) Homepage

    It was a few decades ago, but in my teens I had occasion to spend a weekend at a fireman's weekend where a great many and varied workshops were being given on any number of esoteric aspects of firefighting, and some of the more mundane. I took some of the mundane workshops on forest fire fighting and such. But I made my weekend more of a relaxed affair so I would have time to wander and see what everyone else was up to.

    One group was busy creating fire tornadoes, and putting them out. But what I am referring to here, is nothing at all like what is featured in this video, or anything at all like Hollywood has ever dared venture.

    The group was training in how to assault oil fires and extinguish them with a water hose, which is no mean trick. To make matters more complicated for them, dead center of the oil fire was a husk of tanker truck tank. This sat in the middle of a concrete pool ~10 meters square (30' x 30'). The pool was filled with six inches of water. The instructors would dump a full oil drum of oil into the pool, creating an oil slick that covered the entire surface. The training crew ready, they would toss in a match.

    Now THAT is a fire tornado!

    The result was a literal tornado of fire, a veritable solid pillar of flame that would do Moses proud! Thirty feet in diameter, this vortex roared so loud you could barely hear the shouted commands of the fireman as they assaulted the monster. It ripped and twisted, the spiraling cylinder reaching easily a hundred feet or more, straight up. The flame was dense red, and so intense there was nothing opaque about it. Pure fire, at it most intense.

    I sat there for hours watching as they put it out, and lit up another, over and over.

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