In the mid 1990’s I was asked to drive a newly released Honda NSX in a demonstration race against a retired Royal Australian Airforce jet at the then annual Mangalore Air show. It seemed like a heap of fun, so I readily agreed.
Unfortunately for me, the week before event the powers to be got together (which they should have done months earlier) to discuss the logistics of the exercise, ie should the car and plane start from a stationary position or should the plane already be in the air doing a low-level fly past.
After much discussion and because the airstrip had just been resurfaced with a lot of loose metal on the runway, it was decided to abort the whole thing as no matter which way we raced, the outcome would be that the car would be splattered with gravel from the plane’s engines, and no one wanted to be responsible for re-painting the NSX. One thing for sure, I knew it wasn’t going to be me.
Consequently, I’ve always been interested in stories about car versus plane races and none more so than when I recently came across this Drive article by James Ward and video on an electric Nissan Leaf taking on a fully fledged fighter jet.
Who says the media, or a PR department can’t manipulate stories to serve their own purposes!
So, I then asked myself, is there a way that a car and a fighter jet can race against each other to deliver a creditable outcome?
The best example of this being done in a fair way was in 2020 when Top Gear UK put a 250 mph (not km/h) McLaren Speedtail up against a 1200mph F35 Fighter Jet and this is how they did it.