Accelleration explained

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PatekPhilippe, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. PatekPhilippe

    PatekPhilippe Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2009
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    Sasebo Japan
    Acceleration Explained

    * One Top Fuel dragster outfitted with a 500 cubic-inch replica Dodge
    (actually Keith Black, etc) Hemi engine makes more horsepower (8,000 HP) than
    the first 4 rows at NASCAR's Daytona 500.

    * Under full throttle, a dragster engine will consume 11.2 gallons of
    nitro methane per second; a fully loaded Boeing 747 consumes jet fuel at the
    same rate but 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 mix ture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition.
    Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lockup 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. Which is typically the
    output of an electric arc welder in each cylinder.

    * Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way
    thru the run, the engine is 'dieseling' from compression and the glow of
    the 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 enough sufficient force to
    blow the cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half!!

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

    * In order to exceed 300 MPH in 4.5 seconds, a dragster must accelerate an
    average of over 4 G's. In order to reach 200 MPH well before reaching
    half-track, at launch the 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 for, the pit crew is
    working for free, & NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run will cost an estimated
    $1,000 per second.

    0 to 100 MPH in .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 twin 'chutes at 300 MPH

    A NHRA Top Fuel Dragster accelerates quicker than any other land vehicle
    on earth… quicker than a jet fighter plane…quicker than the space
    shuttle....or snapping your fingers!!

    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)

    Let's now put this all into perspective:

    Imagine this...........You are driving a new $140,000 Lingenfelter
    twin-turbo powered Corvette Z-06. 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 flying start. You run the Vette hard, on 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 exact moment.

    The dragster departs & starts after you. You keep your foot buried hard to
    the floor, and suddenly you hear an incredibly brutally screaming whine
    that seares and pummels your eardrums & within a mere 3 seconds the
    dragster effortlessly catches & 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 it not only
    caught, but nearly blasted you off the planet when he passed you within a mere
    1320 foot long race!!!!

    That, my accelleration.
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
  2. Mad Scientist

    Mad Scientist Feels Good!

    Sep 15, 2008
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    I don't think Keith Black supplies blocks to the Top Fuel ranks anymore. I wanna' say it's Donovan Engineering but let me check:
    Here, Brad Anderson Engineering makes one for Top Fuel:
    BME Top Fuel Dragster Specifications

    I remember when "Bad" Brad Anderson was tearing up Top Fuel and Top Alcohol before that.

    You should probably include links to your articles as well:
    Top Fuel Dragster Facts
  3. 007

    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

    May 8, 2004
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    There is no way of measuring the horse power of a top fuel dragster engine since most machines that can are in short supply, and a top fuel, nitro burning engine can only run for about ten seconds at full throttle, so HP has to be calculated...

    HP = [(MPH/234)^3 * Weight

    A good site with detailed insight into the top fuel engines... BME Top Fuel Dragster Specifications
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009

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