There's a constant battle between man and ice in the Fairbanks North Star Borough of Alaska, as the coldest airport in the United States is kept open by a powerful ice-destroying machine designed by an airfield maintenance mechanic at Fairbanks International Airport. This machine is known as the Yeti. (You have to watch the video below for the live action!)
There's no plow on the front of this big machine. Why? In Fairbanks, these machines are not just moving aside snow. They have to pulverize and remove impacted ice. Using 588 viciously sharp teeth, the Yeti smashes the ice that freezes on the top of runways and taxiways at FAI. Chemicals are then applied, which are much more effective at making the ice disappear after the Yeti has munched down on the ice.
The design is efficient and saves the airport money, but it's also a joy to watch the Yeti go into action and chop its way through the ice.
Thanks to its success at Fairbanks, Alaska, may start seeing more Yeti machines used in other airports. There are already similar devices used on roads that use rotating spikes to break ice, but they are dwarfed by the Yeti.
The inventor of the Yeti, John Frison, won the 2015 National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) Most Innovative State Award, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation.
Have a look at the machine in action below, and SHARE if you’re a fan of innovative heavy machinery.