HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
The Ultimate Screw-drive Vehicle Quiz
by Staff
Screw-drive vehicles have one feature in particular that stands out to give them their strange appearance. If you're looking for a way to traverse large areas of snow, muck or mud, a screw-drive vehicle might be exactly what you need.

The unusual manner of propulsion seen on screw-drive vehicles is related to a principle called:

  • Homer's Helix
  • Archimedes Screw
  • Stairway to Babylon

One 1920s screw-drive vehicle that went into production was based on this popular tractor of the era:

  • Caterpillar
  • John Deere
  • Fordson

The Soviet-era ZiL-29061 was developed to do what?

  • Haul nuclear missiles into remote regions where they would not be detected by NATO spy satellites.
  • Rescue cosmonauts after they landed in unreachable areas following their space missions.
  • Transport enemies of the state to gulags in the hinterlands.

Screw-drive vehicles are known for the ease with which they drill right over or through difficult terrain. One surface over which they're NOT very handy is this.

  • Thick, deep mud
  • Wet snow
  • Dry, solid ground

In some cases, the oversized cylinders on screw-drive vehicles have been used as what?

  • Floats
  • Fuel tanks
  • Cargo-storage areas

Military forces experimented with screw-drive vehicles to use in the snow because tanks had a tendency to do this.

  • Prevent soldiers inside from viewing the lovely landscape
  • To be too loud
  • Sink so deep in the snow that their treads spun out

The Fordson Snow Devil possessed tremendous hauling power. In a promotional video it can be seen pulling what large tonnage of logs?

  • Half a ton
  • 20 tons (18,144 kilograms)
  • 100 tons (90,718 kilograms)

Snowbird 6 did NOT use its spiral cylinders to do this:

  • Grab hold of ice to clamber out of the water
  • Propel itself through snow, slush and water
  • Defend against predators such as killer whales and polar bears

In their elements of mucky terrain, screw-drive vehicles can reach speeds up to:

  • 5 miles per hour (8 kilometers per hour)
  • 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour)
  • 60 miles per hour (96.6 kilometers per hour)

To move sideways, a screw-drive vehicle must turn its screws in this manner.

  • In opposite directions from one another
  • At half speed
  • In the same direction as one another

A screw-drive vehicle moves forward by doing this.

  • Turning both its screws in opposite directions
  • Turning both its screws with the brakes applied
  • Turning both screws in the same direction

Jacob Morath, awarded a patent for a screw-drive ploughing machine in 1899, was an immigrant to the United States from which country?

  • Norway
  • Germany
  • Switzerland

The Weasel, a small, maneuverable troop transport developed for use in snowy terrain for the U.S. military in World War Two, used which of the following to traverse the snow in its final design?

  • Skis
  • Screw-drive cylinders
  • Tank-like tracked treads

What was the name of the 2002 expedition that used a hybrid screw-drive and tracked vehicle to cross between the United States and Russia?

  • IceChallenger
  • To Russia, With Love
  • IceCalade

The Armstead Snow Devil had a devil of a time when sent to Alaska to perform work. Why?

  • Amorous male caribou often mistook it for a female of their own species
  • Operators' hands became too numb from the cold to drive the vehicle
  • The dry, powdery snow did not provide enough traction for the Snow Devil

Johannes Raedel developed a screw-drive vehicle for possible use by the military of which country?

  • The United States
  • The Soviet Union
  • Germany

Under the Soviet Union, this company built a fearsome-looking screw-propelled vehicle, of which you can find videos circulating on the Internet today.

  • Mikoyan Gurevich
  • Sukhoi
  • ZiL

This industry uses screw-propelled vehicles to this day, to break up and dry vast deposits of goop after conducting certain operations.

  • Federal lobbying
  • Certain food processing
  • Mining

Which of these hazards did the Snowbird 6 team NOT face when driving their tracked and screw-propelled vehicle from the United States to Russia?

  • Ice floes that could tear the vehicle apart
  • Numbingly cold temperatures
  • Run-ins with migrating giant squid

Regular tires are inferior on snow or mud compared to screw-drives. But why?

  • Most tires don't offer enough friction to effectively push back against very muddy or snowy surfaces
  • Rubber tires break down faster in cold or moist environments
  • They might go flat