Dan’s Reality Check: Fast and Furious 6


Warning, this post contains possible spoilers for Fast and Furious 6

Reality Check!

Ok so we all know that these movies are designed purely for entertainment purposes and that when it comes to the truth about certain situation, the truth is sometimes stretched. Sometimes it is stretched a little too far though. We are so caught up in the thrill ride that we forget that we are not watching Superman or some other fantasy. To this end I am not going to point out all the instances where truth was more than just a casualty, it was vaporised out of existence to the point where a blind person would notice it. So here goes.

The freeway chase in Spain is a classic example of this. What is the top speed of you average car? Well for the cars that our team are driving, forgetting that they would have been tricked out, would be easily 100 mph (about 160 km/h). The top speed of an M1 Abrams tank is 60 mph, so catching the guys in the tank would not have been all too difficult. At least not as difficult as it was depicted in the movie. Next is where Letty is flung from the roof of the tank over a wide precipice and Dom magically manages to get out of the car, launch himself at Letty, catch her like Superman and land on the windscreen of a spun out car. Let’s forget that Dom did this without the car slowing or changing course because naturally he had a wheel and accelerator brace with him. If they were travelling even at 60 mph (96 km/h) the force of the impact between Dom and Letty would have been enough to kill them both, let along the subsequent impact with the stationary car that occurred post catch. We all know that if we get hit by a car travelling at 60 km/h we are not likely to survive the incident if we are on foot. In this case instead of the car moving, the people are moving. So basically this is a classic case of the bug on the wind shield. Yeah. Dom and Letty are the bugs and they would have pretty much suffered the same fate as the bug… Moving along!


The final chase sequence between the landing Antinov transport aircraft and the cars is something that defies belief. I know most people are not aviation enthusiasts and probably have no concept of what might happen so I thought that I should highlight the complete and utter impossibility of the situation. Most of us have travelled on a commercial aircraft of some sort at some point in time so we know how long it takes for the plane to touch down and taxi clear of the run way so we can then turn on our mobile phones right? The whole plane sequence lasted for a good 15 minutes. Now a typical landing speed of a large aircraft is around 140 knots (1 knot- 1Nautical Mile/h). Allowing for some deceleration, not much remember because they tried to take off again, we use that speed and multiply by the duration of the scene to work out the distance that aircraft would have travelled in that time. This works out to be about 30 nautical miles (~48 km) allowing for deceleration. The longest runway in the world is only 5.5 km in length, so basically it would have travelled nearly 10 times the length of the longest runway during this scene. Next? The Antonov is one of the largest aircraft in the world, slightly larger than a 747. The 747 has 4 engines producing 58,000 lbs of thrust each giving a total of 232,000 lbs. The Antonov has 6 engines which produce around 52,000 lbs of thrust each giving a total of 312,000 lbs, i.e. much more than a 747. This picture will give you an idea. The 747 is blue and the Antonov is green.


Source Wikipedia

Now for some Top Gear fun! Here is what happens when a car gets behind a 747 running its engines at full thrust. You can skip ahead to the fun part of the clip

As you can see, no car is going to get anywhere near a jet aircraft of that size when its engines are running beyond idle. I know in the video they showed the cars driving at 90 degrees to the direction that the aircraft was facing, but with this amount of thrust the direction would not make and real difference to the outcome. Besides we did get an indication that one of the cars got blown away due to the aircraft thrust so it seems that the others being completely unaffected is strange to say the least.

I could go further in depth into other parts of the movie, but they are pretty much the same as any other action movie, but I thought it would be good to highlight a couple. Anyway I hope you enjoyed this slightly eye opening read into movie fantasy.

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