Viewers of UK motoring programme 'Top Gear' got to see a spectacular contest between the Royal Air Force's Eurofighter Typhoon and a 250mph (400km/h) Bugatti Veyron sports car on 28 October, following secretive filming conducted at the service's Coningsby air base in Lincolnshire in early September.

Typhoon with Veyrons 
All images © RAF Coningsby photographic section

In contrast to previous encounters of this type, such as between an Italian Eurofighter and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari F1 racing car in 2003, the showdown provided more of a test for the Typhoon, which was flown by RAF display pilot Flt Lt Jim Walls of the service's 29 Sqn Operational Conversion Unit.

Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond had to race a £700,000 ($1.4 million) Veyron for one mile along the Coningsby runway, before turning around and heading for the finish line, while the Typhoon F2 was required to take off, climb for a mile, perform a half Cuban turn and dive back to pass the chequered flag at a height of 100ft (30m); and all without going supersonic.

 Typhoon vs Veyron

The BBC and the air force had remained tight lipped about the results of the contest ahead of the programme's release, but despite early suggestions that the approximately 1min race time could produce a photo finish, the Typhoon won comfortably.

The RAF's Air Command organisation says it agreed to take part in the programme as a way of "increasing public knowledge of the capabilities and advanced technologies of the Typhoon," and after the broadcaster pledged to cover the additional costs involved in its involvement. Flight International defence editor Craig Hoyle also flew in one of 29 Sqn's Typhoon T1 trainers from Coningsby earlier this year.

 Richard Hammond

Top Gear's defeated Richard Hammond (left) with 29 Sqn's victorious Flt Lt Jim Walls (right).