The 1.8-mile runway at Avalon Airport, located southwest of Melbourne, was the setting for a unique test of innovation, speed and power. It was a battle that put two examples of engineering achievement against one another. A Qantas Boeing 737-800 aircraft vs. a Tesla Model S P90D. The 737 boasts over 50,000 pounds of thrust and once leveled out in the air, it can approach almost 550 MPH, 200MPH shy of the speed of sound. The Model S can crank out 762 horsepower with its two electric engines and can hit 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. That’s .1 of a second slower then a Bugatti Veyron. Although it doesn’t fly, it’s nice knowing that you have the quickest four door sedan ever built.
The Model S launched off the starting line, leaving the 737’s two engines still roaring to life. Plane vs car. Pilot against driver. The Model S is tough to catch on the start but the gap is narrowed as the 737 storms down the runway. Both the Model S and 737-800 travel neck and neck as the 737 reached take off speed of 140 knots (160MPH), roughly the same as the Model S’s top speed of 155 MPH. The shadow of the 737 began to cover the obvious earlier winner on the ground. The Model S was only overtaken at the last moment when the aircraft did what it was designed to do: fly.
Aside from seeing who would win, what was the point of this runway duel?
Australia’s airline service, Qantas, and California based electric automotive manufacturer, Tesla Motors, are starting a partnership to drive innovation for their customers and sustainability in the transport industry. In the upcoming months Tesla and Qantas will introduce the following services and benefits for their customers: Exclusive Qantas events for frequent flyers that allow the customer to check out new Tesla vehicles and technology, Qantas club membership for Model S owners, Tesla Powerwall connectors at Qantas valet facilities in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, allowing Model S and X owners to charge while they travel. Furthermore, Qantas will be Tesla’s airline of choice in Australia and will offset all of Tesla’s domestic travel emissions as part of “Qantas Future Planet Program.” Meetings will occur regularly between both companies to explore future opportunities regarding sustainable transportation.
In an interview with Alan Milne, Qantas’s Head of Environment and Fuel, he stated “Both of our companies are passionate about continuing to push the boundaries of customer service, innovation and sustainability in the transport industry. We’re huge admirers of the way Tesla has transformed the electric car sector as a premium brand and we look forward to sharing our understanding and advance the work we started in 2012 on biofuels as an alternative to jet fuel. What better way to celebrate working together than having a unique race – car vs. plane”
I take it Milne doesn’t watch Top Gear very often if he is referring to this as a “unique race” but none the less, a brilliant video!
Watch the video here: