Tesla's new Roadster is giving a 0-60mph time of 1.9 seconds. Truly ludicrous acceleration.

I was wondering how a fighter jet released from a steam catapult compares.


1 Answer 1


According to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_catapult an American carrier type Kitty Hawk has a catapult capable of accelerating a mass of 35000 kg to 139 knots (71,51 m/s), and the system's stroke is 76 m. From the terminal speed and the stroke, a simple calculation gives a mean acceleration of 33,64 m/s/s. Hence, and assuming the acceleration constant along the stroke, the time needed to reach 60 mph = 26,81 m/s is t=v/a => t=26,81/33.64 => t=0,796 seconds...

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    $\begingroup$ Ha. Beat that, Elon. $\endgroup$
    – acpilot
    Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks - I take it back. The Tesla's quick but the catapult is ludicrous. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ In some fighters, there are special handrests that the pilots need to grab during a carrier launch, because there is a danger that they knock themselves out if they don't have their hands holding on to something. Teslas have a steering wheel you can hold on to, but I'm pretty sure that one is used for actual steering. So, there's still some way to go. (I'm also pretty sure that the new electromagnetic catapults on the Gerald Ford class are even more ludicrous.) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer. From my calcs, that's a lazy acceleration of 1.45g for the car, compared to 3.43g for the aircraft, almost 2.4 times as much. $\endgroup$
    – Penguin
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ That's pretty incredible acceleration. On top of that, I believe they are uniquely tuned for each takeoff, in order to cater to different aircraft types and armament configurations. Fingers crossed Elon (or someone else) can find a practical use for fighter jet level acceleration to the joe schmoes of the world. $\endgroup$
    – Geoff
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:08

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