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Top Fuel Dragster Facts
* One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch (8.4 Liter) engine makes more horsepower
than the first 4 rows 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.

* For perspective, a stock Dodge "Hemi" V8 engine cannot produce enough power to TURN the
dragsters supercharger (an air pump that fits on top of the engine).

* 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 (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 degrees 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 half 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 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 only around 540 revolutions from start to finish!

* Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under

* The redline 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 $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

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.

That is all.

- Keman


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2005 09:31 pm (UTC)
Nov. 9th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
So what you're saying is...Top Fuel dragster Highway Patrol interceptors?
Nov. 9th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be afraid of 'em... just run a little bit longer and they turn into a pile of slag.

But seriously, I have a question about this:

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.

How the hell are you determining that a 747 produces 25% less 'energy'? There's no direct or singly-indirect correlation between the power produced by a turbine and the power produced by a recip.

Esplain yourself!

Nov. 9th, 2005 10:48 pm (UTC)
It's producing around 6000 hp. I didn't come up with these #'s. That could be vs. cruising speed for all the engines or max acceleration for 1 engine on a 747. I'm not sure which.

- Keman
Nov. 9th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
Turbine engines are measured in thrust.. there is no way to convert thrust to horsepower, or even to compare the power output of the two engines.

Hence my confusion. :>

Nov. 10th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
Nov. 10th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
First, that's fine.. still a stretch.. but fine. (I can use google too, and did read that yesterday while checking to see if there was something I was missing.. ;)

The problem is, it's all fudgery anyway. There are far too many variables to accurately answer the question as posed.

The other problem is that the numbers between that and the above post do not fit.

Nov. 10th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC)
You can have one, but only if you let me drive it more often than you let me drive the Audi.
Nov. 10th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
Yeah, but they absolutely no trunk space.
Nov. 10th, 2005 03:20 am (UTC)
What a waste of money! :O
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 10th, 2005 11:57 pm (UTC)
It's the difference between a static and a dynamic force.

This is more of a dynamic force. What you're speaking of is sustained static, though it does sound conservative.

In comparison, crashing into something immobile at 30mph with a non stretching seatbelt causes about 30 G's of force. Your body suddenly weighs 2.4 tons.

Human bodys are pretty resiliant.

- Keman
Nov. 21st, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)
ohhhh yeah :P

really, what they oughta do is fill the dragster with oxygenated water or something if they wanna go even faster, but it'd be even MORE expensive and the cars would be heavier. Oh, and hold this in a vacuum :P

I read too much science fiction. But it'd be possible.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


Galen Wolffit

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