Posted 05-03-2004 at 22:04:47
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This is the best definition I've ever seen!
A Definition of Acceleration.
* One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine
makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows of
NASCARS at the Daytona 500.
* Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes
1-1/2 gallons of nitromethane 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 before ignition.
Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at
* 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 for nitromethane,
the flame front temperature measures 7,050 deg F.
* Nitromethane 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 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 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 off, the crew worked
for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an
estimated $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
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 4.5 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 course.
... and that my friend, is ACCELERATION!