Technology: The Twister

It ripples across the roughest terrain like a huge, double-jointed caterpillar. It can cling to 60° slopes, climb over boulders and fallen timber, push its way through water, mud or snow. On less rigorous straightaways, it can whip along at speeds of up to 65 m.p.h. Built by Lockheed engineers as a high-performance, wheel-driven answer to the tank, the curious transport is fittingly called the Twister.

The contraption's extraordinary capability lies in its configuration. Composed of two Jeep-like bodies hitched together by a flexible yoke, it can literally point in two directions at once. As a result, the four wheels...

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