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  #1  
Old 11-11-2007, 07:24 PM
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The definition of acceleration

This was posted on one of the motorcycle forums and was fowarded to me by my youngest son. Watching a top fuel dragster make a successful run is probably one of the most impressive things you will ever see if you ever get a chance to see it.

Enjoy:

A lesson in acceleration:
-------------------------------------
First, some useful info:

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

* Under full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster engine consumes 1= gallons
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 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.

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


That, folks, is acceleration.

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  #2  
Old 11-11-2007, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
* 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.
That's just incredible. I didn't know that. Damn thing is detonating for 1/8th of a mile.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:06 PM
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Actual horsepower is not known as there is not a dyno that can measure that much HP. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:21 PM
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wow...

intense
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2007, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Geither View Post
Your mileage may vary.
LOL! That's funny, considering the context.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for posting!
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:03 PM
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Interesting points I did not know about top-fuel dragsters! I enjoy watching them race, and seeing the outcome less than 5 seconds later at over 300 mph!

I DID know from other sources that the engines are designed to last no more than six seconds under load. Each pass is followed by a complete engine teardown and rebuild...pistons are completely melted following a run!
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:20 PM
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What's amazing is the chassis torque. The thing bows just like in the cartoons.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:06 PM
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I drive super comp dragster. The best way to explain the sensation is it's like being strapped to a giant arrow on a bow. The first second of acceleration is incredible. I have yet to experience a top fuel run, twice as fast equals twice the fun! I'm going for top alcohol when I can afford it.

If you've never been to a national drag race event.... GO! Being there is way different than watching it on TV. The sound a fuel engine makes is absolutely amazing, it shakes the ground. Even the idle is unbarrably loud. And ofcourse the smell.... The best way to explain that is tear gas.

Here's some more interesting fuel car facts:

During the last few rounds of elimination, a team can tear down and rebuild an engine in less than 90 minutes.

Engines are estimated to make over 8000HP. (DSR has a dyno for testing it, I've seen it, it's huge! They are not releasing any numbers.)

Superchargers consume a little less than 1000hp. (They are actually ice cold after a run due to evaporation of the nitromethane.)

Engine blocks and heads typically last 30 runs.

Cylinders, pistons, rods, cranks and valves typically last 1 event. about 6 runs.

Spark plugs, head gaskets, clutches and oil are changed every run.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:22 PM
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Now thats fast!
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:21 AM
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insane. absolutely insane.

pretty much u have an arc welder igniting the fuel...

head gasket every run hahahahaa .
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:36 AM
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I have heard that the G forces can start to detach the retinas in the drivers eyes after a while. Seems plausible, but how in the heck can John Force, and Kenny Bernstein still see after all these years ?
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:48 AM
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That right there is a beautiful sight...
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Geither View Post
I have heard that the G forces can start to detach the retinas in the drivers eyes after a while. Seems plausible, but how in the heck can John Force, and Kenny Bernstein still see after all these years ?
That calls to mind the old film of the test pilot's face during the test where he is subjected to increasing G forces and his face becomes all distorted.
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:42 AM
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I've been to a few drags and the sound from the top fuelers is incredible!

Some things I observed (don't know for sure though)-

I think they burn out on gasoline or alcohol and race on fuel. You can hear them switch to the fuel on the starting line when the engine gets that characteristic crackle.

They also leave on idle rather than at high RPM's.

There's no transmission per se. The engine is linked directly to the rear end through a clutch pack with several disks that progressively engage as RPM's climb. Kind of like a giant version of your old centrifugal go-kart clutch...!

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