Supporter of common sense
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Now THAT is acceleration
*If you thought Top Fuel Dragsters were fast (over 300 mph in less
than 5 seconds), this really puts it into perspective. This came from a guy that makes connecting rods for the racing industry.*
* ACCELERATION PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE*:
* One Top Fuel dragster outfitted with a 500 cubic-inch Hemi engine
makes more horsepower (8,000 HP) than the first 4 rows at NASCAR's Daytona 500.
* Under full throttle, a dragster engine will consume 11.2 gallons of
nitro methane per second; a fully loaded Boeing 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate but with 25% less energy being produced.
* A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to merely drive the dragster's supercharger.
* With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on
overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form beforeignition.Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lockup at full throttle.
* At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the
flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.
* Nitro methane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from
atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.
* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each sparkplug, which is typically the output of an electric arc welder in each cylinder.
* Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass.
*After 1/2 way thru the run, the engine is 'dieseling' from
compression and the glow of the exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow....
* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds
up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with enough force
sufficient to blow the cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split
the block in half !!
* Top fuel dragsters reach over 300 MPH +... before you have completed reading this sentence.
* In order to exceed 300 MPH in 4.5 seconds, a dragster must
accelerate an average of over 4 G's. In order to reach 200 MPH well before reaching half-track, at launch the acceleration approaches 8 G's.
* Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!
* Including the burnout, the engine must only survive 9000 revolutions under load.
* The redline is actually quite high at 9500 RPM.
* THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid for, the pit crew is working for free, & NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run will cost an estimated $1000 per second.
0 to 100 MPH in .8 seconds (the first 60 feet of the run).
0 to 200 MPH in 2.2 seconds (the first 350 feet of the run).
6 g-forces at the starting line (nothing accelerates faster on land).
6 negative g-forces upon deployment of twin 'chutes at 300 MPH.
An NHRA Top Fuel Dragster accelerates quicker than any other land vehicle on earth . . . quicker than a jet fighter plane . . . quicker
than the space shuttle....or snapping your fingers !!
The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.420 seconds for the quarter-mile (2004, Doug Kalitta). The top speed record is 337.58 MPH as measured over the last 66' of the run (2005, Tony Schumacher).
So, in summary...Let's now put this all into perspective:
Imagine this....You are driving a new $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered Corvette Z-06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged & ready to 'launch' down a quarter-mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard, on up through the gears and blast across the starting line, and pass the dragster at an honest 200 MPH.... The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that exact moment. The dragster departs & starts after you.
You keep your foot buried hard to the floor, and suddenly you hear an incredibly brutally screaming whine that sears and pummels your
eardrums & within a mere 3 seconds the dragster effortlessly catches & passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter-mile away from where you just passed him.
Think about it - from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you
200 MPH....and it not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the
planet when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race !!!!