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Playing tennis on the wings of a flying plane? Cal Men's Tennis helps MythBusters prove that this is plausible

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Cal Men's Tennis coaches (and alumni) Peter Wright and Tyler Browne helped to confirm a crazy myth about being able to play tennis on the wings of a flying airplane.

Cal Men's Tennis coaches were featured on MythBusters this week
Cal Men's Tennis coaches were featured on MythBusters this week
Cal Men's Tennis Twitter

We first hear about the latest collaboration between Cal Athletics and Discovery Channel's MythBusters back in last August. From the Daily Cal's sports blog, Bear Bytes:

"Blowing stuff up is fun, but this is really fun," said MythBuster Tory Belleci, laughing as he volleyed a tennis ball with Cal men’s tennis coach Peter Wright.

The MythBusters’ Build Team was on campus Tuesday to film part of an episode involving a tennis myth. The crew, which also includes Grant Imahara and Kari Byron, worked closely with Wright as cameras rolled, filming their volleys.

Although the exact nature of the myth that the team is trying to bust cannot be publicly revealed, the crew needed to brush up on their tennis skills to prepare for a later part of the episode.

It turns out, the myth that the MythBusters are trying to check on campus is part of this week's episode titled "Commercial Myths". The specific thing that The Build Team was trying to verify is the following Novak Djokovic commercial:


Yes, the MythBusters are checking whether two people can play tennis on the wings of a small propeller plane (probably flying at a speed of ~35 mph). The Build Team came to the Berkeley campus to train their tennis skills (showcasing the beautiful Cal campus in the episode), but they also enlisted the help of Cal tennis supporter and "tennis pro" Guy Needham and Associate Head Coach Tyler Browne for the actual tests at the end.

First up is Guy Needham,

So Needham and MythBuster's Grant Imahara weren't able to replicate a tennis rally on the moving truck. So next up is Tyler Browne with MythBuster's Tori Belleci.

In a somewhat rare MythBusters moment, a myth has actually be called "CONFIRMED" rather than just PLAUSIBLE. Tyler Browne and Tori Bellici were able to have a 10 shot rally on top of airplane wings with the proper windspeed, etc. to replicate doing this on an actual flying plane.

The MythBusters explained why they didn't actually try this on a plane:

This is actually not the first time that Cal Athletics has helped out with MythBusters, a show that films in the Bay Area. Who can forget Nathan Adrian swimming in corn syrup for a myth.


It's always great to see Cal Athletics helping out with scientific progress in such a public way. I'm certain that many Cal athletes are helping out with actual researches conducted on campus on a daily basis as well. I can't wait for the next confluence of Cal Athletics and Mythbusters.

GO BEARS!