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The crucial difficulty was how to avoid detonating the mine and thereby destroying, or at least, damaging the detecting vehicle. The solution was to fit the Pookie with the widest and softest tyres available, Formula One tyres, to give the Pookie a ground pressure which would not even break the small bones in a man's hand. The width of the tyres, in any case, spanned most landmine holes, lessening the chance of a detonation. In addition, as the Pookie's mechanical parts were drawn from the universal Volkswagon Kombi, the use of the VW trailing arm suspension, imparted less downward thrust than conventional coil springs. None of the sixty-seven Pookies, built from 1976 to 1980, ever detonated a landmine. Twelve Pookies were lost and two drivers killed but only by electrically-detonated mines or by RPG7 rockets in ambushes ahead of their convoys. One driver was killed by a rocket hitting his windscreen, the other by a boosted command detonation mine. All the other drivers survived because the V-shaped armoured cab, 700 millimeters above the ground, deflected the blasts harmlessly.
The Pookie is a small one-person vehicle named after the 'Bush Baby' fitted with large Formula One tires to prevent the detonation of buried mines by exherting little ground pressure 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.
Johannesburg - US Army and Marine personnel in Iraq are increasingly staking their lives on South African-designed armoured vehicles, British defence publication Defence Systems Daily reports. Officially, the South African-acquired device is called the "mine protective clearance vehicle", or MPCV. "But we just call it the Buffalo," said Army 2nd Lieutenant David Swisher, a platoon leader with the 612th Engineer Battalion.
Prior to this, mine proofing had been various attempts to armour plate existing vehicles chassis and bodies or insulating them with sand-bags, rubber conveyor belting and the like, or building a strengthened body onto an existing chassis.
Originally posted by rufusdrak
lol...it says 15 or so were lost and many drivers killed and in 10 years they never detonated a single mine? Talk about fail.
Twelve Pookies were lost and two drivers killed but only by electrically-detonated mines or by RPG7 rockets in ambushes ahead of their convoys. One driver was killed by a rocket hitting his windscreen, the other by a boosted command detonation mine
the Pookie was armed with the Spider 24-barrel rotary 12-gauge shotgun. The Spider, fired in ripples by the Pookie driver pulling on a chain, covered a 270-degree arc with buckshot, either as prophylactic fire or as a riposte in an ambush. In such awe did the insurgents hold the Spider that they began to let the Pookies through the ambushes and attack the convoys instead.