Christijan looked to have the advantage over the first 300m as he accelerated away from the line, but over the final 700m the F16 just pulled ahead to win the tight race by only two car lengths. Reaching a speed of 450km/h by the end of the straight, the F16 completed the course in just 15.5 seconds.
“It was a tight race, for the first 300m all I could see was the plane in my mirrors, but then he just accelerated past me and off into the distance. It was incredible,” Christijan said.
On the ground the machines are evenly-matched. The F8-VII racecar has more than 700bhp and can reach 350km/h in a straight line, the same speed the F16 will reach before taking off. In the air, however, the plane can go to more than twice the speed of sound, a massive 2,020km/h. With 25,000lbs of thrust, or the equivalent of 10,000bhp, the combat plane is also leagues ahead of the Formula 1 car. Then there’s difference between g-forces. The F1 racer will pull more than 5g through a corner, but a pilot in the F16 jet-fighter can experience up to 9g.