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Feature
How Long Is The Runway In Fast & Furious 6?
We explain that impossible action scene – largely spoiler-free

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Everyone we know who has seen Furious 6 has come out marvelling at many things. How did The Rock get so muscly? Since when do officers of the London Met lean out the window of their car and fire machine guns in the street ? And how long is that runway? With the help of a stopwatch, a calculator and a small model made out of empty cereal boxes – oh, and a very helpful aeronautics engineer at GJD Aerotech – we have tried our best to unravel this mystery...

Thanks to our aeronautics expert, Gary Spoors at GJD Aerotech, for help calculating these figures.

WORDS HELEN O'HARA
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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1 Does this count the time inside the aircraft?
I know that it can be pretty easy to think that all the action took place in the same linear time frame, but couldn't it also be possible that some of the cuts that took place inside the airplane actually took place simultaneous to the action outside? I don't believe for a second that this would make the scene more realistic, but should at least cut down some of the time here... Also, can we really believe that these cars were able to maintain 165 mph? Some of the tuned cars maybe, but the military vehicles? If anything, this would just make the whole scene even more ridiculous, lol. More

Posted by javon27 on Friday July 19, 2013, 17:13

2 BBC copycats
See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-230058 48 but they came to a different answer... More

Posted by KubrickSmith on Tuesday June 25, 2013, 12:49

3 *Rolls Eyes*
So... the runway scene is inaccurate with being at all possible. Does everyone think the rest of the film is belivable ? What about racing though London with the roads being so clear? And how quick they were getting to different parts of London within the same chase? And Vin flying through the air to grab his Mrs as she zips through the air, both from speeding vehicles, both on bridges and both landing without a scratch? And what about... ah sod it, the list is endless. Great action flick though and put A Good Day To Die Hard in the shade... More

Posted by takeone71 on Thursday June 13, 2013, 12:36

4 Die Hard 2?
Excellent piece, I'm curious now... Does the final sequence in Die Hard 2 with the jacket being stuck in the ailerons, to the fight on the wing, to MacLane eventually being kicked off, and managing to light the fuel trail he created by popping the lid for the fuel tank bend the laws of reality? Sounds like it, no? Empire, can we have a regular feature of impossible action moves? More

Posted by Temoor on Sunday June 9, 2013, 13:50

5 Perspectives
One other thing we could consider though: The whole scene was shown through many different perspectives (about 5 or so). These perspectives, though they can't be shown all at once, could have been happening all at once. In that sense, one could argue that the runway is possible, as that would make the length probably around 6 or so miles. More

Posted by Wolverine063 on Sunday June 9, 2013, 01:50

6 RE: Gazz and Helen: Both can be Right
The average would then be 28.3875 miles. More

Posted by Wolverine063 on Sunday June 9, 2013, 01:42

7 Gazz and Helen: Both can be Right
To refer to both Gazz and Helen's posts about Empire vs. Vulture on the correct answer, both could essentially be right, depending on exactly which question you are asking. Empire's answer was for "Approximate Total Distance TRAVELLED During the Scene", which they got to be 27.86 miles. Vulture calculated in the approximate remainder of runway left after the plane stopped travelling, to calculate the length of the RUNWAY, which gave them an answer of 28.829 miles. If you wanted to argue, however, Vulture estimated the remaining runway to be about 0.086 miles, so the answers are still out at a difference of 0.883 miles. One differing factor is the timeline; Empire said the plane stopped at 12 minutes 35 seconds, while Vulture said they stopped after 13 minutes 3 seconds. All in all though, both answers will only give us an approximate distance (as factors have to be assumed in much of the calculations). If you wanted to be happy, one could average the answers out (EmMore

Posted by Wolverine063 on Sunday June 9, 2013, 01:40

8 That's hilarious
27.86 miles, indeed :-) I was so ingrossed in the action watching that movie, I never thought about how long they'd been travelling along the runway. That's a good thing, right? More

Posted by Ross Edwards on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 14:53

9 A Glorious History Of Extended Runways
I seem to remember the runway of what was supposed to by Rammstein Air Base in Wolfgang Petersen's "classic" Air Force One was also unusually long, too. Landing a 747, letting the pilot fight with some dastardly Russkie and than taking off again - that takes more than an ordinary runway. That takes a very special one indeed! Maybe the FF crew used the very same secret 30 mile stretch as a location? Maybe it was all a dream? More

Posted by Manfrendshensindshen on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 13:08

10 RE: How Long Is The Runway In Fast & Furious 6?
Hi Gazz, We were already working on this with our aerotech expert (he's credited in the article; I didn't do the calculations) when Vulture's went up, and we still think our figures have merit. You are of course free to accept whichever interpretation you prefer. More

Posted by Helen OHara on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 12:47

11 Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
Vulture were way ahead of you on this one. By about a week. And it's been widely retweeted and linked to as well. So... all credit to them. Yours is easier on the eye, admittedly. But when it comes taking the word of Captain Robert Travis (President of the Independent Pilots Association) or Helen O'Hara (movie critic), I'm going with Travis sorry. So... It's 28.829 miles. Not 27.86 miles. http://www.vulture.com/2013/05/how-long-was-t he-runway-in-fast-and-furious-6.html More

Posted by GazzHowie on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 11:07

12 Brilliant feature!
This is just what I needed on Tuesday morning. Some mindless film fact. Love it Empire! More like this please :-) More

Posted by guysalisbury on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 09:37

13 Somehow this did not bother me...
...whereas the hyperactive Bourne-camera and editing style was a real pain-in-the-butt. More

Posted by kielerkai on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 08:53

14 How the plane was crashed
Here's a making of video on the visual effects for the Antonov crash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOAfLtxjDww More

Posted by beforesandafters on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 08:13

15
When i watched the flim I thogut it was realy long More

Posted by lona_no_friends on Tuesday June 4, 2013, 01:52

16
this has explained why i have no dicier to watch any fast and furious films More

Posted by joe (mavrick) horton on Monday June 3, 2013, 17:54

17
I had the exact same thought while watching the film, rediculously long runway for the seen. 27 miles? That's london to gatwick! More

Posted by Kalielyn on Monday June 3, 2013, 16:41

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