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19 April 2024

New world record set as a Porsche tows an Air France plane

By Staff

A Porsche Cayenne has successfully towed an Air France Airbus A380 weighing 285-tonnes.

The Cayenne, driven by Porsche GB technician Richard Payne, towed the aircraft over a distance of 42-metres at the Air France H6 maintenance hangar at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, improving on the previous Guinness World Record title of 115-tonnes.

Air France devoted its state-of-the-art H6 engineering hangar and one of its fleet of 10 Airbus A380 aircraft to the project.

The 60,000 square metre hangar, specially designed to house the Air France Airbus A380, is usually home to all the engineering and maintenance activity for the Air France fleet. The contrast between the two machines was striking.

The Porsche Cayenne (4.8 metres in length) was connected to the largest passenger aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380 (73 metres in lenght) via a special towing attachment that sat on the Cayenne's standard tow bar.

The Guinness World Records title was set by a Cayenne S Diesel, producing 385 hp and 850 Nm of torque. The exercise was then repeated using a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.

Richard Payne, a technician at Porsche GB: 'It did it - I'm so relieved! We don't usually go this far to test the limits of our cars but I think today we got pretty close. I could tell that it was working hard but the Cayenne didn't complain and just got on with it. My mirrors were quite full of Airbus, which was interesting.

'Our cars can go a bit beyond what our customers might expect - they're designed to be tough. But even so, what the Cayenne did today was remarkable - we drove the car here from London - and I plan to drive it home again, having towed an A380 in between.

Credit should go to the team in Stuttgart who developed the car - they did a thorough job. I'm also very grateful to Air France and its engineers for their generosity in allowing me to tow their beautiful aircraft'

Gery Mortreux, Executive Vice President Air France Industries: 'Like Porsche, Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance thrive on excellence and pushing engineering boundaries. It was an honour to host Porsche at our hangar at Charles de Gaulle, which is usually home to our engineers working on our fleet of 10 Airbus A380 - one of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world.

This achievement is a new illustration of the way AFI KLM E&M is able to adapt to specific requirements, and the passion we put on every challenge we take. It was fun and exciting to watch the two machines together - our engineers were intrigued and impressed. Congratulations to Porsche on a remarkable achievement.'

Pravin Patel, Adjudicator, Guinness World Records: 'I've verified some amazing record attempts during my time as a Guinness World Records adjudicator - watching a Porsche Cayenne tow one of the largest aircraft in the world definitely ranks as among the most spectacular. My congratulations go out to all those involved in achieving this remarkable feat.'