# Can any aircraft beat this car's 0-400-0 km/h record of 28 seconds?

In 2024, the KOENIGSEGG Jesko Absolut set a new world record for 0-400-0 km/h. That's starting from 0 km/h, accelerating to 400 km/h and then decelerating to 0 km/h again.

Without such easy rolling friction and road friction to slow down, is there any type of aircraft that could beat this time?

EDIT: For the purposes of this question, I don't want to use any extreme definition of aircraft.

I would limit the question to

• manned aircraft
• velocity in the horizontal plane without gaining/losing more than 10% altitude by distance covered
• without injury to the pilot/crew/passengers
• ability to be reflown with minimal maintenance/refuelling
• A currently active question has some comments and answers saying that a missile is an aircraft. The Sprint missile reaches 500 km/h in half a second, and (with a suitably placed target) returns to 0 km/h almost instantly, which is fine because it's not intended to be reflown. Commented Jul 15 at 17:57
• @MichaelHall A little under 28 seconds. Getting an aircraft up to that sort of speed quickly wouldn't be nearly as hard as slowing it back down again in comparable time. Unless we use a set of rules that allows a missile for consideration, I doubt any aircraft will accomplish anything comparable -- by the time you're anywhere approaching 400 km/h, aircraft aren't intended to still be on the ground.
– Ralph J
Commented Jul 15 at 21:27
• @Turkeyphant you need to put some boundaries in your question, otherwise "a missle" is a valid answer as said by Michael, but I'm not sure what you wanted to known. Are we talking about an aircraft on ground or on air? Are drones valid? Commented Jul 16 at 0:09
• Just as an example: an airplane diving straight towards the ground has a ground speed of zero. When it pulls out of the dive and back into a zoom climb, it will very quickly go from a ground speed of zero to a very high ground speed and back to zero. I am almost certain that any modern jet fighter or even aerobatic propeller aircraft can do this in less than 28 seconds. But is that what you had in mind? Or, a different scenario: put an aircraft in a wind tunnel capable of producing wind speeds of 400 kph. Put a barrier in front of the aircraft. Move the barrier away. Put it back. Commented Jul 16 at 15:23
• There is no way for a conventional aircraft to achieve that feat, because of purpose : transport people, things, or do specific tasks (military side), not race a track. Technically, a special aircraft with abnormally huge engines and very complex thrust reversers/spoilers could be a challenger. Would burn 40000lbs to accelerate then break like hell, not meant to fly. Means some company had to build that experimental useless thing for the sake of beating a car..... Not an aircraft anymore at that point. Just my humble opinion, ie, good luck finding such aircraft among existing purposeful ones. Commented Jul 16 at 22:09

The answers to a currently active question confirm that a missile is an aircraft. The Sprint missile reaches 500 km/h in half a second, and (with a suitably placed target) returns to 0 km/h almost instantly, which is fine because it's not intended to be reflown.

For a reflyable aircraft to quickly decelerate from 400 km/h to zero, it would need a parachute like those used by dragsters or the Space Shuttle, but one heavy enough to brake in just a few seconds, much faster than commercial or military chutes. Or missile-like retro-rockets. (Edit: or a trap like an aircraft carrier's, as in Therac's answer.) At any rate, something as exotic and nonmainstream as a Koenigsegg sports car, not something that you could sell hundreds of for any conceivable mission profile.

• 400km/h is about 111m/s so an aircraft in an unpowered vertical climb would come to a stop after a maximum of 11.32s. With a budget of 28s total thats not a bad start; if the acceleration phase is horizontal then the rotation to vertical and then judicious use or airbrakes etc could shorten the time considerably. Its also worth considering whether ‘zero’ is groundspeed or velocity; in the former case its a much easier proposition.
– Frog
Commented Jul 16 at 19:51
• @Frog, yes, you've got an answer there! If we interpret this as a test of raw propulsive force and braking force, then a fair comparison would be: stationary, then accelerate horizontally to 400 km/h, then climb/airbrake/cobra/whatever until stationary. Climbing to bleed off speed is fair. Zeroing your ground speed to claim you've "stopped" while still moving fast isn't: then the car too could fall off a cliff, pull a chute, and claim that it had stopped while still drifting down. Commented Jul 16 at 20:46
• As per my other comment, I would limit the question to manned aircraft, velocity in the horizontal plane without gaining/losing more than 5% altitude by distance covered and without injury to the pilot/crew/passengers and ability to be reflown with minimal maintenance/refuelling. Do I need to edit the original question to clarify? Commented Jul 23 at 23:14
• @Turkeyphant, yes, editing the question is how this usually goes. Sometimes the edit is literally marked "Edit" boldface in its own paragraph, even though the edit history is visible. Commented Jul 24 at 20:17

Yes.
Example:

The airspeed is in knots. 260 mph is 225 knots, but to adjust for wind over deck, I'll use 260 knots as the cutoff point.

The brake is released at 07:22, and by 07:33 the plane reaches 260 knots of airspeed. The second time, a fully loaded plane releases the brakes at 09:48 and reaches 260 kts at 10:03. For landing, at 03:58 the aircraft is at 260 knots approaching the deck, and at 04:52 it's stationary.

That comes down to 10 + 4 = 14 seconds for a lightly loaded naval fighter to reach 400 km/h and stop, and 20 seconds (15+5) while carrying an extra 10 tons. If you give it 28 seconds, it can reach 350 knots in 18 seconds (07:40) and stop in another 10. That's 400 mph or 650 km/h.

The F/A-18 can do it even quicker, but it relies on a catapult, which can be deemed unfair to the car; the Su-33 uses its own power only. For landing, since both car and aircraft brakes work against the ground, a trap is fair.

This is a flight sim, but it's highly accurate where energy performance is concerned. In real life, you'd simply need to do a rejected takeoff from a military runway equipped with a cable trap.

Only some aircraft can do this: it requires very good brakes, high thrust/weight, and an airframe that can take the forces from an arrestor hook. So, this is specific to naval fighters, which need to take off and land in less than 300 ft.

• Fantastic, thanks Commented Jul 28 at 23:04