Something to think about
*One top fuel dragster 500 CI Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the 1st 4 rows at Daytona
*Under full throttle, a top fueler consumes 1½ gallons of nitro-methane per second.. A fully loaded Boeing 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced!
*A stock Dodge 426 Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragsters supercharger!
*With 3000CFM 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 temp measures 7050 degs F
*Nitro-methane burns yellow. The white flame seen above the stacks at hight is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapour by the searing exhaust gases.
*Dual magnetos supply 44amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
*Sparkplug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After ½ way. the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400degsF The engine can only be shut down by stopping the fuel flow.
*If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders & then explodes with sufficent force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in ½.
*In order to exceed 300mph in 4.5 secs, dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200mph well before ½ track. the launch acceleration reaches 8G's.
*Dragsters reach over 300mph 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 full load!
*The red line is actually quite high at 9500RPM.
*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 $1000 per second. The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 secs for the 1/4 mile (10/05/03, Tony Schumacher) The top speed record is 330mph (533 kmh) as measured over the last 66ft of the run (28/9/03 Doug Kalitta)
*Putting all of this into perspective:
You are riding the average $250,000 Honda Grand Prix bike. Over a mile up the road, a top fuel dragster is staged & ready to launch down the 1/4 mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the Honda RC211V hard up through the gears and blast across the start line & past the stationary dragster at 200mph (293ft per sec) The green goes for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches & starts after you. You keep your wrist cranked hard, but you hear an incredibally brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 secs the dragster catches & passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a 1/4 mile away from where you just passed him.
Think about it! From a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200mph & not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320ft long race course!
Now,, THAT'S acceleration!!!
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