Aston Martin Rapide S: Pilots Put James Bond Car to the Test

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Dave Paqua and Nadia

Dave Paqua and Nadia Marcinko

David Paqua – private pilot, plane builder and former racecar driver
What he drives: A 2008 Jeep Wrangler.
What he flies: A two-seat homebuilt Acro Sport aerobatic biplane.
His review: Affinity between car and driver.

“This Aston Martin had a lot of feedback giving a sense of what the car is doing, so that’s where you see the car’s race car performance.  The car is dialed into just the way you want to drive it. As you add steering input, the car reacts so it’s a smooth transition left to right. You think about a turn and turn the wheel slightly and the car reacts the way you anticipate. The Aston Martin will record how you are driving the car; such as the throttle positions, how you apply the brakes and it recognizes that and it anticipates your inputs. That would never happen in an airplane, the plane is going to do what it wants to do.”

Les Abend – airline pilot
What he drives: 2008 Honda Ridgeline Truck.
What he flies: A Piper PA-32 Cherokee 6  for fun and a Boeing 777 for work.
His review: Detailed, technological simplicity.

“There is a lot of simplicity to the systems of the car which makes it easy to handle when you first get into it. It is intuitive; you don’t have to go through a whole process when you get into it. There’s a lot of precision involved with the technology that is comparable to flying. In terms of handling, it takes only a light touch on the controls.  Pilots are detail-oriented and we appreciate technology. We appreciate a machine that is easily controllable.  The seat has a close fit, but that’s not so much like airline flying, unless you are a passenger and sitting in the back!”

Nadia Marcinko – Corporate pilot, flight instructor
What she drives: a Fiat 500.
What she flies: Gulfstream 2 and Embraer Phenom 300 business jets and Cirrus SR20 for teaching.
Her review:  Speed is great. Acceleration is better.

“The car was very responsive very smooth. Everybody knows I love flying. This was a lot like it. It’s definitely a pilot’s car. I think pilots can appreciate it.  Speed’s great but you really can only feel the acceleration, that’s why people love takeoffs. I loved starting the car and taking off with it. It’s a sleek machine and it is powerful. It was the most fun you can have on the ground.”

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