Friday, August 12, 2011

A tornado is a force of nature that almost nothing can withstand. Therefore, when Sean Casey decided to see what was going inside a tornado, he had to build a very special kind of vehicle. And that’s how the original TIV (Tornado Intercept Vehicle) was born back in 2003.
In 2008, and after the TIV made it on prime time television in a series called Storm Chasers that began airing on the Discovery Channel in October 2007, Casey and his team built the TIV-2 using a Dodge Ram 3500 as a base.
However, the six-wheel vehicle was plagued with problems leading Casey back to the drawing board for a series of improvements, which were completed in 2009.
The updated TIV-2 is armored with two-inch thick aluminum, Kevlar and steel. It is equipped with special steel plates that slide down to the road to prevent it from being lifted into the air by a tornado. If the situation calls for it, special spears shoot three-feet into the ground providing additional stability.
The truck also features a 360-degree rotating turret from where the cameraman does the shooting. It tips the scales at 14,000 pounds and is powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine producing 625-horsepower enabling it to reach a top speed of 100 mph (160 km.
Scroll down to watch three videos of the TIV-2, including the official IMAX trailer of “Tornado Alley”.


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