In 2009, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma and the Tora Bomb Squad broke the record for the world’s largest wall of a fire. Video from the event showed a massive explosion along a runway as a group of fighters jets flew by. The single continuous wall of fire was an impressive display to say the least, and the feat stood unmatched in the Guinness Book of Records.
For the 2017 Yuma Airshow, MCAS Yuma decided they would break their own record just for fun.
This time, the team behind the impressive display had one goal in mind: create a wall of fire so impressive that the record can never be broken.
“A few years after setting the world record, discussions between Tora Pyro and MCAS Yuma began again,” says one of the event organizers. “This time, set the bar so high that it would be nearly unbeatable.”
Check out how the team coordinated the impressive display of fire in the video below:
The event organizers decided to use all the available runway and resources to shoot the continuous wall of fire. The runway measured more than 16,000 feet long, and would beat the old record by some 6,000 feet.
A crew of 60 people consisting of 30 pyro technicians and 30 Marines were tasked to make it all possible. The team used 40,000 feet of detonation cord and 6,000 gallons of gasoline spread across the entire runway to make the wall of fire happen.
The gasoline was stored in plastic bags, and the bags inside cardboard boxes. The thousands of feet of wire would connect everything together in one long chain.
In the end, the team’s effort was rewarded. A mesmerizing wall of fire shot up from the runway in a perfect display. The flames were one long continuous wall just as planned, and the old record was officially broken.
The display also included pilots from the Tora Bomb Squad flying overhead in perfect synchronization just as the flames erupted. The entire demonstration went off without a hitch and ended up being quite the spectacle.
In addition to the Tora Bomb Squad, the Yuma Airshow is often highlighted by a performance from the Patriots Jet Team, which is the largest civilian-owned aerobatic jet team in the western hemisphere.