How Does A Top Fuel Dragsters Work?

Submitted by: MisterG 4 years ago Science

How does a top fuel dragster generate all its power and barrel down the 1,000-ft race track.
There are 15 comments:
Male 3,310
There`s more than oil offshore
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Male 14,330
[quote]This is why we need more offshore drilling.[/quote]

It`s not oil based.
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Male 40
@Angilion The big advantage of nitromethane is that you can get a lot more power from each explosion inside the engine. Pound for pound, nitromethane is less energetic than gasoline, but you can burn a lot more nitromethane in a cylinder. The net result is more power per stroke. You typically need about 15 pounds of air to burn 1 pound of gasoline, whereas you need only 1.7 pounds of air to burn 1 pound of nitromethane. This means that, compared to gasoline, you can pump about 8 times more nitromethane into a cylinder of a given volume and still get complete combustion.
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Male 3,310
This is why we need more offshore drilling.
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Male 3
Puts things into perspective after seeing the previous video in Afghanistan.
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Male 1,586
You have to love a car that measures fuel consumption in gallons/second instead of miles/gallon.
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Male 12,365
Looking for the answers led me to find out that this overview was *understating* how extreme the engines are. For example, the reason why they don`t use turbos is that the governing body has banned them...but the reason why they banned them is because it`s a bad idea to be throwing burning fuel at high velocity into fan blades moving at well over 1000mph, which is what you`d be doing if you ran these engines with a turbo.
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Male 12,365
That was an interesting simple overview. I`m off to look for answers to a few questions:

Since the cars are at max revs for the whole of the very brief race, why are they using superchargers rather than turbochargers? The superchargers take 600hp away from the engine. Turbochargers wouldn`t, so there`s a 7.5% increase in effective power.

Why use a fuel with a lower energy density?

Why such a (relatively) low maximum engine speed? It`s possible to build engines that`ll rev past 20,000 rpm, especially if you`re not expecting them to last very long. If you`re willing to rebuild the engine every half a mile, you could probably go well past 20,000 rpm.

I`m sure there are good reasons...although having thought about it a bit I`m not sure that it matters. They must already be close to the limit of what you can do with acceleration of a manned vehicle. 5G is close to passing out levels.
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Male 2,085
For 12 minutes or so, I was not bored.
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Male 13,624
Excellent, love that stuff,
tedgp
wah shaddup you whiney bakewell tart
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Female 6,381
Why those aren`t tyres! They`re tires! They`re from America.
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Male 217
$700 a tyre doesn`t seem that expensive unless it`s a mistake.
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Male 6,227
Interesting stuff. For example: I had no idea that these cars are engineered so close to the physical limits that the engines virtually self-destruct every single run. Amazing.
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Male 3,285
decent video but they obviously didnt proof read a lot of the spelling in the captions or even the main title.
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Male 633
Link: How Does A Top Fuel Dragsters Work? [Rate Link] - How does a top fuel dragster generate all its power and barrel down the 1,000-ft race track.
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