15 July 2012

Pookie (vehicle)

Two deployed Pookies (1979)
The Pookie mine detection vehicle was created to deal with the constant mining of the roadways during the Rhodesian Bush War. According to Trevor Davies Engineering, manufacturer of the Pookie:
of the 76 vehicles built between 1976 and 1980 none ever detonated a mine, though 12 were lost and two drivers were killed.1
Remote electronically detonated mines were responsible for the loss of the 12 vehicles and one of the fatalities, though it is not clear if the remaining fatality, caused by an RPG, also resulted in the loss of vehicle and if that loss was included in the previous count.


The Pookie is a small one-person vehicle named after the 'Bush Baby' fitted with large Formula One tires bought second hand after South African GP to prevent the detonation of buried mines by exerting less ground pressure than a human footprint and spanning the mines' circumference.1 The vehicle is made with readily-available parts from the Volkswagen Kombi and resembles a small go-cart with an elevated cab to protect the driver.1 The bottom of the cab has a V-shaped reinforced hull to deflect the blast away from the operator. Sensor 'pans', resembling rectangular wings, are lowered and used perpendicular to the ground below the cab. When the vehicle is transported, the pans are raised at a 45 degree angle.
Kantong Kresek

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