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Nitro Facts


*That one NHRA Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch hemi engine makes more horsepower than all the cars in the first four rows at the Daytona 500.

*Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

*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.

*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 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 the fuel flow.

*In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G'S. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8 G'S.

*Nitro methane 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 gasses.

*At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.

*Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.

*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.

*Under full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster engine consumes 1 gallon of nitro methane per second, a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.

*Top Fuel engines turn approx 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 9500 rpm.

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