Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
×
Transportation Media

Tesla Model X Breaks Electric Towing Record By Pulling Boeing 787 (inverse.com) 235

A Tesla Model X has set the world record for heaviest tow by electric production passenger vehicle when it pulled a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at the Melbourne Airport in Australia. The video can be viewed on YouTube. Inverse reports: As probably expected, the plane far exceeds the Model X's recommended tow limit of around 5,000 pounds. In fact, the weight of the unloaded 787 with a minimal amount of fuel came closer to around 300,000 pounds. The airline pulled the Dreamliner around 1,000 feet down the tarmac. The stunt was part of a wider campaign around Qantas' new work with Tesla, which involves offering high-powered chargers at its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide facilities as well as offsetting miles for Tesla drivers that are also frequent flyer members.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Tesla Model X Breaks Electric Towing Record By Pulling Boeing 787

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @06:11AM (#56619364)
    I towed my 787 the other day and lamented the lack of power my vehicle had.
  • Reminds me of the time a Toyota Tundra pickup truck towed the Space Shuttle Endeavor... https://www.motor1.com/news/34... [motor1.com]
  • not much friction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @06:27AM (#56619392) Journal
    I think there must not be much friction in the system of large airplanes, because people do the same stunt with their teeth [bulawayo24.com]. On a flat surface, all you need to do is apply a constant force for a while, and the thing starts moving.
  • I'm growing really tired of Musk's publicity stunts. Focus on getting the Model 3 production line problems fixed dammnit
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Tried of his publicity stunts? You do know that's the only thing he's really good at? Asking Musk to cut it out with the publicity stunts is like asking Trump to cut it out with the twitter tirades.
    • by Tomahawk ( 1343 )

      I read this as a publicity stunt for Qantas mainly. I don't think Elon himself was involved...

    • I'm growing really tired of Musk's publicity stunts.

      And why should we care? Lighten up. I find them fairly entertaining myself. Certainly far more than the banal advertising we get from most companies. It's nice to see someone actually show some creativity for once.

      Focus on getting the Model 3 production line problems fixed dammnit

      You do realize that companies have to do both right? You have to make the product AND sell it. It's not an either/or proposition.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @07:09AM (#56619502) Journal
    Caterpillar, Komatsu, John Deere are all going to be piling on against him, shorting Tesla,
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @07:11AM (#56619510)

    The towing limit on most cars is because cars accelerate and brake going up and down hills, and have to cope with lateral acceleration forces on the trailer in turns.

    In this case, the Tesla is pulling a lot of weight on a dead-flat surface at low speed. All it has to overcome is the inertia of the airliner's mass when accelerating to the 2 mph it seems to be doing in the video, and then overcome the friction of the plane's tires and wheel bearings once up to speed. Electric cars would be especially good at this, as they have no clutch and the highest torque at low rpm.

    If you're not convinced any vehicle can tow heavy masses on flat ground with limited frictional forces, check out this video [youtube.com]. Or this one [youtube.com]...

    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @07:28AM (#56619588)

      You can go to any airport and see a tiny tug vehicle moving a giant airplane around.

      To be honest, I often wonder why those tugs didn't go electric years ago, like giant golf carts or something. Traction motors can deliver torque at extremely low RPM, they don't need any range and can be plugged in easily. I'd wager the tugs they use now have diesel engines that will run off jet fuel which is abundant at an airport.

      • To be honest, I often wonder why those tugs didn't go electric years ago, like giant golf carts or something.

        Some did [lektro.com]. Ultimately, the move to electric might be inevitable for all aircraft tugs, given the unique requirements of airports (such as the weight of the batteries actually being a positive, since aircraft tugs are commonly ballasted down to enhance traction).

      • Recharge time. Battery tech simply cannot support enough power inside the vehicle. I bet after this stunt the model X was down to less than 50% of its capacity. You cannot have your tug move 2 planes, then sit plugged in for 3 hours to recharge. Two tugs should be able to handle a terminal of 12-15 gates, and they need to run pretty much 12-16 hours before refueling (which should only take 3-5 minutes). That takes a massive amount of fuel capacity - which is precisely what batteries do NOT have (people
        • by jbengt ( 874751 )
          Contrary to your claims, if you google aircraft tugs, you will find a large number of electric tug models being manufactured and sold.
      • You actually don't want too much torque. I was aboard a flight which was delayed when the bar those tugs use to push the plane broke. We had to wait about 20 minutes while they inspected the landing gear to make sure it wasn't damaged, retrieved a new bar from storage, and attached it. The captain chatted with us over the intercom to help pass the time, and mentioned that that bar alone cost nearly $200,000 due to how expensive things are in the aerospace industry (designed, manufactured, and tested to e
      • by jbengt ( 874751 )

        To be honest, I often wonder why those tugs didn't go electric years ago, like giant golf carts or something.

        More and more of the tugs are electric nowadays. But you have to have the infrastructure at the airport to charge them, too.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The towing limit on most cars is because cars accelerate and brake going up and down hills, and have to cope with lateral acceleration forces on the trailer in turns.

      Honestly if it was a closed track a rally driver could tow way faster or way more than legal street limits. A "friend of mine" pulled a 300 kg overweight trailer, apart from being down to 50 km/h in an 80 km/h zone at the top of a long and steep hill it was no problem at all. If the trailer got good brakes stopping in a straight line is also fine. The problem is if you have to brake in a turn, if that trailer starts going sideways or yanking you sideways you'll have no control at all. The greatest danger th

      • The problem is if you have to brake in a turn, if that trailer starts going sideways or yanking you sideways you'll have no control at all.

        Towing limits are affected by literally every part of a vehicle which is involved in its actual function. The frame or unit body, suspension, brakes, powertrain, wheels, and tires all play their part. Tow ratings are limited by all of these components. Further, each of these components has multiple factors; the frame/body not only has to be able to handle the stresses involved, but its size is a factor; increasing the distance between the tow hitch and the rear axle means decreasing the amount of weight you can place on the tongue, for example, because too much will lift the front axle off of the ground and prevent steering. Consequently, shorter vehicles tend to have higher tow ratings, all else being equal. However, a longer wheelbase is also better for towing, because it means more end-to-end stability...

    • It was originally an acronym, not a name. /rant

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Rain on Quantas parade? This is what they want to happen. It is a commercial stunt, not an engineering one.
      And as we are talking about it, it was a successful one.

      And anybody who has ever been to an airport knows that planes get pushed around by vehicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] is a bit more impressive

    • All of what you said plus this: How much did that trash the motors and the drive electronics when they did that to it? Stunt or no stunt, if the car had to have it's drivetrain rebuilt after that then I'm not impressed.
      • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )
        As other posters have mentioned, relatively strong people can move planes bare-handed. So I'd say the Tesla is already way over-built for this purpose.
    • What the hell is a Quantas?
      QANTAS is a world renowned airline and an acronym: Queensland And Northern Territory Air Services.

  • This is totally lame. Has been done by
    Porsche pulling A-380: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    Volkswagen Touareg pulling a 747: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    Man pulling Globemaster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    I guess even these guys would be able to pull an airplane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • If you want to set an electric towing record, you have to do better than this [wikipedia.org].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @08:54AM (#56619916)

    The vehicle pulling Tesla into financial viability

  • A group of 10 coworkers and I took part in a charity plane pull for the special Olympics. It's actually quite easy to get the plane moving and once it starts to roll gaining speed is easy.

    The impressive thing to me is the Tesla maintained traction. My car has the power to pull a plane. I don't know if it had the traction though
    • They usually load the car down with weight (far over the vehicle's weight rating) to increase traction. When VW pulled a 747 with a Touareg [youtu.be], they doubled the tire pressure and loaded it with something like 4 tons of cement bags. There's a large amount of tolerance built into cars for dynamic loads (e.g. increase in forces the tires and suspension feels when you hit a pothole). So if you've got a slow, steady course which generates only static loads, you can pull some pretty impressive things with them.
  • Making heavy loads oh so much less heavy.

    How does that compare to a train? [youtube.com]

  • Aircraft Carriers are also electrically driven just Nuclear-electric. Trains that pull 20 to 30,000 tonnes of coal or ore are also electric. Diesel-electric instead of battery-electric but both are just a matter of scale.You might be able to create a powerwall carrying battery-electric train engine for moving cars around the yard. Cutting down the noise and pollution in train yards.
    • You might be able to create a powerwall carrying battery-electric train engine for moving cars around the yard. Cutting down the noise and pollution in train yards.

      Light rail is a good application for battery electric trains; you can even include a pantograph or wireless charger so that it can charge at stations. But moving trains around either is done only occasionally in which case you want a diesel with a transmission because it's cheap (you can move the train in sections if need be), or frequently in which case you need a diesel with an electric drive because that's what you can refuel rapidly and what will also be able to get the job done. EVs potentially make se

  • from the video is the beginning of this marketing stunt.

    Is how long it took to get it moving and or the tug that helped the tesla get it started.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.

Working...