Thursday, July 12, 2007

"Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire" Metallica -------------Top fuel dragsters.

One dragster's 500-inch Hemi makes more horsepower then the first 8 rows at Daytona.

Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1 1/2 gallons of nitro per second, (that's about 10 gallons per run!), the same rate of fuel consumption as a fully loaded 747, but with 4 times the energy volume.

The supercharger takes more power to drive then a stock hemi makes.

Even with nearly 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into nearly-solid form before ignition.

Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock.

Dual magnetos apply 44 amps to each spark plug.

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

At stoichiometric (exact) 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture (for nitro), the flame front of nitro methane 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.

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 at1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting off it's fuel flow.

If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in those cylinders and then explodes with a force that can blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or blow the block in half.

Dragsters twist the crank (torsionally) so far (20 degrees in the big end of the track) that sometimes cam lobes are ground offset from front to rear to re-phase the valve timing somewhere closer to synchronization with the pistons.

To exceed 300mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. But in reaching 200 mph well before 1/2 track, launch acceleration is closer to 8G's.

If all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs $1000.00 per second.

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

Top Fuel Engines ONLY turn 540 revolutions from start light to finish line.

The redline is actually quite high at 9500 rpm.

To give you an idea of this acceleration, the current TF dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile. This means that you could be coming across the starting line in your average Lingenfelter powered "twin-turbo" Corvette at 200 mph (on a FLYING START) and the dragster would BEAT you to the finish line FROM A DEAD STOP in a quarter mile distance!

0 to 100 MPH in .8 seconds (the first 60 feet of the run)
0-200 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 twin ‘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.