The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Automotive / Cars and Drivers

URL:  https://boards.fool.com/interesting-if-true-19971536.aspx

Subject:  interesting if true Date:  12/9/2003  7:38 PM
Author:  0x6a74 Number:  5361 of 11896


email from old friend.
(apolgies if this has been posted many times)

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 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
drive the dragster 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.

. 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 US $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 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 past 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 1320 foot long race course.

Copyright 1996-2021 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us