How do firefighters put out a blaze when they can’t reach the flames?
That’s the challenge firefighters confronted in 2008, when a B-2 Stealth Bomber crashed on the runway at an American airbase in Guam.
The crew successfully ejected, but the hugely expensive aircraft was completely destroyed by a fire that burned deep within its wreckage.
“The firefighters had difficulty getting through the composite layers of the aircraft skin to fight the fire,” U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Scott Knupp told CNNMoney.
The loss of the aircraft prompted the Air Force to search for a solution.
“We were looking for some type of technology out there that would help us penetrate through [to] hard-to-reach spaces to get water onto the fire,” said Knupp.
Air Force firefighters now use a system called PyroLance — a firefighting “gun” that can blast through steel, brick or concrete walls, and even bullet-resistant glass.