Another car has towed a jumbo jet

Tesla was first EV but not the first car to perform the stunt, nor was the 787 the heaviest aircraft


IF PR stunts can become clichéd, cars pulling jumbo jets has surely reached that status after Qantas and Tesla released footage yesterday showing a Tesla Model X P100D towing a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Qantas called it a world first, with the all-electric SUV successfully towing the Dreamliner as part of a Guinness World Record attempt; the heaviest tow by an electric production passenger vehicle.


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The company said the 787 was not carrying cargo or passengers at the time but had a small amount of fuel onboard, and weighed 130 tonnes.

Despite a rated on-road tow capacity of 2.5-tonnes, the Tesla managed to use all of the torque available from its dual electric motors to pull the 787 almost 300 metres.

Wait for it

— Tesla (@Tesla)

While this was impressive, and undoubtedly a first for electric road cars, similar stunts are not unusual.

In 2007, TV show Fifth Gear used a diesel VW Touareg to pull a 155-tonne Boeing 747.

In 2013, a Toyota Tundra pick-up was used to pull the 145-tonne Endeavour space shuttle.

Also in 2013, a Nissan Patrol pick-up was used to pull a 170-tonne cargo plane, setting a new Guinness World Record.

Then in 2017, Porsche GB smashed that record by towing a 285-tonne Airbus A380 over a distance of 42-metres using a Cayenne S Diesel at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

We’ve even seen humans pull aeroplanes, as pointed out by someone on Twitter.

At low speed even a human can pull it

— Francis (@PHosterFrancis)

A real challenge would be for marketers to discover more original heavy objects to tow.