Lesson in Acceleration

taraker

Freedom Ain't Free
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#1
Lesson in Acceleration

One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Indy. 500.

Under full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster engine consumes 1 gallon of nitromethane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.

A stock Dodge 426 Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to 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 before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.

At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitromethane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.

Nitromethane 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 spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of 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 sufficient force to blow the cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.

In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.

Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

Top Fuel Engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!

Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.

The red-line is actually quite high at 9500 rpm.

The Bottom Line; Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000.00 per second. The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile (10/05/03, Tony Schumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 mph (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run, (09/28/03 Doug Kalitta).


Putting all of this into perspective:

You are riding the average $250,000 Honda MotoGP bike. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the RC211V hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph (293 ft/sec). The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your wrist cranked hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him.

The dragster spotted you 200 mph and from a standing start not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race course.

Thats acceleration! :yeehaw:
 

Casper250

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#4
I read one of these things before, it's amazing. One of the facts I heard was that the force from the exhaust exiting out the exhaust pipe and pointed up produces like 1000 pounds of downforce.
 

Smitty

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#5
Kinda gives me goosebumps....

I remember the first time I stood on the pedal of my 400 horse 351 Cleveland with open headers was one of the biggest rushes of my life!
 

gwcrim

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#6
Ya ought to stand at the starting line of an NHRA event. The earth shakes, your soul rattles, your eyes water and your nose runs.

I've never been near a fighter jet as it takes off nor the launch of a rocket ship. But other than that, there can't be anything else in the world as violent as the launch of a fuel Hemi. (Earthquakes, volcanoes and Armageddon withstanding.)
 
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#7
Originally posted by gwcrim
I've never been near a fighter jet as it takes off nor the launch of a rocket ship. But other than that, there can't be anything else in the world as violent as the launch of a fuel Hemi.
I'll never forget an exibition match between Big Daddy and the Lava Machine. Big Daddy was running the rail with the transverse mounted engine. What a sight
 

jaction125

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#8
I have a customer who is located about a mile and a half from Route 66 Raceway here in Joliet. The first time the NHRA held a national there he had a cookout for friends and the such. We could FEEL the top fuel guys in the concrete floor--a mile and a half away! :eek:

Crim, I'm with ya man, nothing like nitro, stuff burns your eyes when you're 100 feet away from the starting line. Simply put its a wicked sight :aj:

That facility is great by the way, they had a Dead show there over the summer. And of course the great big taxicab race in july. All of the local farmers sell campsites for about 50 bucks. They put you in an old schoolbus and drop you off and pick you up at the gate for the really big events, I've had alot of fun out there. :thumb:
 

RYDMOTO

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#9
have you ever seen those jst cars run?I seen them run at the US 51 dragway up in Wisconsin(i think that is the name).I was at the staging line about 15 feet away when they would fire them up and then shoot the flame out.It was like instant 300 degrees! Then they would pop the afterburner and you would see the trees shake and feel your chest thump.The best was the Peterbuilt with three jet engines on it.That guy was popping the engines when it blew out the windows on the staging booth .Even better....when you took off in full afterburner the staging booth caught fire.talk about goosebumps!
 

Smitty

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#10
I saw that truck a long time ago. That thing is absolutely crazy! Did it break 200MPH? I also don't remember it having any radical aerodynamic changes...
 

Neil Wig

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#11
The first time they ran jet cars at SIR raceway in Saskatoon, they almost popped the windows out of the anouncers booth (overtop and behind the starting line). They thought the booth was going to turn into a BBQ as they came scurrying out.
 

BSWIFT

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#12
I saw the Peterbuilt against a FA-18 at an airshow. The jet BY LAW cannot fly above the sound barrier over the contenintal US except in times of war or national emergency but.....the jet was doing 300 knots and the truck passed him in the quarter mile.
 

BadgerMan

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#13
Yeah, I have seen that truck several times at airshows. He wins every time! Very cool.
 

RYDMOTO

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#14
I think he did the quarter in 7 seconds if i recall. I walked about a block away behind it and the pop cans where blowing all over! Have you guys ever seen them chain a car behind one of those jet cars a melt the living heck out od it? What a site!