01-15-2011, 08:30 PM
Read this thru slowly and try to comprehend the amount of force
produced in just under 4 seconds!
There are no rockets or airplanes built by any government in the
world that can accelerate from a standing start as fast as a
Top Fuel Dragster or Funny Car!
DEFINITION OF ACCELERATION
One top fuel dragster 500 cubic-inch Hemi engine makes more
horsepower than the first 4 rows of stock cars at the Daytona 500.
It takes just 15/100ths of a second for all 6,000+ horsepower of an
NHRA Top Fuel dragster engine to reach the rear wheels.
Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1-1/2 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
drive the dragster's supercharger.
With 3,000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on
overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form
Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.
At the stoichiometric (stoichiometry: methodology and technology
by which quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions
are determined) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture of nitro methane,
the flame front temperature measures 7,050 deg. 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 halfway, the engine is dieseling from compression, plus
the glow of exhaust valves at 1,400 deg 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 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 redline is actually quite high at 9,500 rpm.
Assuming all the equipment is paid for, the crew worked for free,
and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimate
$1,000.00 per second.
The current top fuel dragster elapsed time record is
4.428 seconds for the quarter mile
(11/12/06, Tony Schumacher, at Pomona , CA ).
The top speed record is 336.15 mph
as measured over the last 66' of the run
(05/25/05 Tony Schumacher, at Hebron , OH ).
Putting all of this 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 and
ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass.
You have the advantage of a flying start.
You run the 'Vette hard 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 moment.
The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot
down 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 1,320 foot long race
...... and that my friend, is ACCELERATION!
71 Mustang fastback