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Thread: Acceleration Put Into Perspective

  1. #1
    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Default Acceleration Put Into Perspective

    One Top Fuel 500 cubic-inch Hemi dragster engine makes more
    horsepower (8,000 HP) than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.

    * Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 11.2 gallons of
    nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the
    same rate 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
    ; before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock 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 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.

    * Dragsters reach over 300 MPH before you have completed reading this
    sentence.

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

    * Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to
    light!

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

    * The redline is actually quite high at 9500 RPM.

    * THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew
    worked for free, & for once, NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an
    estimated $1,000 per second.

    0 to 100 MPH in 0.8 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 two in '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.

    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).

    Putting this all into perspective:

    You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered
    Corvette Z06. 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 200 mph flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up
    through the gears and blast across the starting line & pass the
    dragster at an honest 200 MPH. The 'tree' goes green for both of you
    at that moment.

    The dragster launches & starts after you. You keep your foot down
    hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your
    eardrums & within 3 seconds the dragster catches & passes you. He
    beats you to t he 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 & not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the
    road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race!

    That is acceleration!


    PS. A note from a friend on this message:
    Another side note: In an effort to improve safety the NHRA (and the drivers) agreed to shorten the run for top fuel dragsters to 1000 ft. (24% reduction).
    This was done early in the season following the death of a driver during a practice session.
    By the end of the season top drivers and cars were already turning speeds well over 300 MPH again.


    To the right of The Sheriff. Isn't everyone?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Yeah, I got one of those motors in my Miata. Big wow.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

  3. #3
    Clem Life Clem Kevin's Avatar
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    some of the stories my grandfather tells me from the 60's are amazing, i cant imagine how insane of a job it is to be a top fuel dragster now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member vetteguy2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    One Top Fuel 500 cubic-inch Hemi dragster engine makes more
    horsepower (8,000 HP) than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.

    * Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 11.2 gallons of
    nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the
    same rate 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
    ; before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock 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 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.

    * Dragsters reach over 300 MPH before you have completed reading this
    sentence.

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

    * Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to
    light!

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

    * The redline is actually quite high at 9500 RPM.

    * THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew
    worked for free, & for once, NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an
    estimated $1,000 per second.

    0 to 100 MPH in 0.8 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 two in '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.

    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).

    Putting this all into perspective:

    You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered
    Corvette Z06. 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 200 mph flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up
    through the gears and blast across the starting line & pass the
    dragster at an honest 200 MPH. The 'tree' goes green for both of you
    at that moment.

    The dragster launches & starts after you. You keep your foot down
    hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your
    eardrums & within 3 seconds the dragster catches & passes you. He
    beats you to t he 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 & not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the
    road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race!

    That is acceleration!


    PS. A note from a friend on this message:
    Another side note: In an effort to improve safety the NHRA (and the drivers) agreed to shorten the run for top fuel dragsters to 1000 ft. (24% reduction).
    This was done early in the season following the death of a driver during a practice session.
    By the end of the season top drivers and cars were already turning speeds well over 300 MPH again.


    Oli, all great information and very impressive for sure. I happened to live in Chicago in 2004 and my wife an I attended the NHRA race in Joliet where most of the records were set in top fuel and funny cars and even prostock.

    It was a very cool weekend with temps in the 50's, perfect for making horse power. They told us at the time it was the fastest event in the history of the NHRA.

    I also got so see the last pass of Shriley Muldowney, (that dates me a little), it was her last race of a 30 year career. She ran the fastest pass of her 30 year career that day on the last run of her career before she retired.

    What a way to go out. I will never forget that weekend it was quite an experience.

    You need to attend one of these races and feel what it is like standing next to one of these cars. Words do not adequatley express the excitement.
    Corvette Specialty C6
    Life is like a race, the best times win!

  5. #5
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    Even as a huge road course junkie, I will say that if you only have the chance to attend ONE racing event in your entire life, it must be an NHRA Top Fuel event at night. The sheer noise and vibration of these things - in the stands - is stunning.
    Theseus: '94 Miata, NASA SU/TTU (in progress)
    Rover: '90 Miata, NASA PTE/E3

  6. #6
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    * THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew
    worked for free, & for once, NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an
    estimated $1,000 per second.
    So the faster you are the less it costs, I like it.

    e

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