It’s Aero versus airplane in a race to get viral video views.
We’ve seen cars pitted against airplanes many times, and it’s always fun. In this instance, Morgan brought an Aero 8 to Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire, England, and lined up a drag race with a Pitts S2S aerobatic biplane. Pitts owner and accomplished aerobatic pilot Richard Goodwin would be at the controls of the airplane, with Morgan’s Head of Design Jon Wells driving the Aero 8.
As to the “race,” both the Pitts and the Morgan would start from a dig and then, well, we’re not entirely sure. As Wells describes it, the whole event was rather off-the-cuff.
“This was no intended PR stunt, just a cool opportunity presenting itself to a team small and flexible enough to just ‘make it happen’” he said. "Neither Morgan, Rich or I needed more of an excuse!”
That would certainly explain why a camera crew just happened to be on-site, to record the action. It also explains why several passes down the runway were made by the unlikely formation partners. And it certainly explains why there’s also a professionally done, three-minute, high-definition video of the action. Because hey, putting a Morgan executive into an Aero 8 to be the wingman for an aerobatic pilot in a Pitts was never meant to be PR material.
The obvious notwithstanding, both machines are undeniably elegant. The Pitts features a big 8.5-liter six cylinder with over 300 horsepower, pulled along by a massive three-blade propeller to really bite the air. Beneath the Morgan's bonnet resides a 4.8-liter BMW V8 with 367 horsepower, enough to easily propel the classic sports car to speeds where the Pitts could safely perform a knife-edge pass – basically flying sideways with the rudder and vertical stabilizer used to keep the plane in the air. Add cameras, and presto – instant awesome sauce.
As such, there were no losers in this race. As for the winners, well that would be the rest of us watching the glorious footage of this not-at-all-planned PR performance.