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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One dragster's 500-inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 8
rows of cars at Daytona.

Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1 1/2 gallons of nitro per
second, 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 engine 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 nitromethane measures 7050 degrees F.

Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks
at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor
(ie, hydrogen atoms being split from water molecules in the air) 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 at 1400
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

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.

Drivers shut off before the finish line, or even dual parachutes will not
stop the car.

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.

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