Experiments

Tornado Protector

posted: 04/11/12
tornado-protector0-1
Read more Read less
As seen in "MythBusters: Storm Chasing Myths"
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Finding: CONFIRMED

Explanation: When MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage met up with professional storm chasers Reed Timmer and Sean Casey, they first tested how well two armored vehicles could stand up to twister conditions. Once the trucks passed muster, the MythBusters wondered what would happen if a tornado touched down when they weren't riding on four wheels.

Never ones to turn down a scientific challenge, Jamie and Adam created a protective tent out of polyethylene plastic plated with aluminum. The foldable shield also consisted of reinforced panels, aluminum tent poles and a spike base to secure it in the ground.

Since they can't whip up an instant tornado, the MythBusters tested their tornado shield behind a 747 jet airplane. Its engine thrust can generate gusts of up to 180 miles (290 kilometers) per hour, equivalent to the fury of an EF4 tornado.

Sure enough, the MythBusters' tent withstood the wild winds and adequately protected Jamie from the swirling debris. Better still, they confirmed that their tornado protector could be put to good use.

More on
MythBusters