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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2011, 05:27 AM
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Well we seem to be throwing out a lot of what if's so I'm going to throw one in the mix.
Back in the sixties, George Hurst, of Hurst Racing had foreseen this very same problem - "To much speed". He proposed a plan to the NHRA that broke the quarter mile track down into two eighth mile sections. The first would be an eighth of a mile run to where the car had to come to a complete stop and could not go past the stop line or it would be disqualified. It would sit there for a few seconds with complete staging lights and then it would take off again for a full out run through the traps of the second eighth mile run. The NHRA thought it was the funniest thing they had ever heard.

Now I know what you are thinking, this is the funniest thing that you have ever heard. But think outside the box here. Think of all of the technology that would come out of this type of racing. Very few rules (other then safety) because the track design (two eighth mile runs with a stop sign in the middle) would keep everything in check. More grand stands with more spectators because now you would have spectators wanting to sit at the half track section also. More revenue for the tracks makes the track owners happy which in turn means more races, more promoters and more sponsors.

Just food for thought but I think George, was ahead of his time.

Last edited by Chris Kemp; 11-03-2011 at 05:36 AM.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM
Why are dragsters the shape they are, when a teardrop is supposed to be the most aerodynamic shape? Look at the cross section of an airplane wing. Fat in front and thin towards the rear. I don't know, just some food for thought.
An airplane wing may be aerodynamic, but it's designed to create lift, which is undesirable when going 300 MPH on the ground. The dragster body shape is actually similar to a backwards raindrop, thin at the front and fat in the rear, to create down force. Even so, the front and rear wings are are still nesessary to overcome the lift from the air passing beneath the car and keep it on the ground, plus they aid traction.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
To go 400 mph would take traction and HP.

You're half right, cobalt327. The 8,000+HP engines today are enough to go 400MPH with the right gearing, but getting it to the ground is the big obstacle. Before they shortened the track to 1,000ft., the record was 337 mph, I think. Now they are inching closer to that speed (227). An ideal TF or FC run is slipping the tires all the way, although not enough to see smoke. That's why, even on a good run, they're still sashaying all the way down the track.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:37 AM
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Interesting discussion. I think the reason there is no more (apparent) innovation is as stated several times here; the current design already exceeds all the physical and rule limits out there. There is no necessity for invention and we all know who the mother of invention is! Then the cubic $$$$$$ problem is already eating the sport alive, not many assets left for branching out. Also remember your physics class; a = F/m. Streamlining only kicks in at the end of the race, acceleration is directly proportional to the mass of the vehicle. I think that is always the main demise for fancy bodies - they weigh too much, too hard to get moving. the body shape they run now is a good compromise between aerodynamics, not that bad, and down-force that the flat top provides. Funny cars do take advantage of the tear drop shape since they are forced to have a body anyway. Calling those things Mustangs and Buicks is really a stretch!

Us drag racing fans are spoiled when you think about it. Think of what these machines are doing; accelerating from 0 to 350mph in less than 4 seconds. Most other racing cars can't go that fast no matter what they do. Land speed machines give themselves awards for breaking the 200mph barrier; our bottom pro drag class car does that several times a weekend on carburetors!

Oh, and in the Mechanical Engineering textbooks tell of the prevailing wisdom of the 'experts' back when cars were being invented that 60mph was the ultimate speed limit for both man and machine.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
To go 400 mph would take traction and HP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstoirvin
You're half right, cobalt327. The 8,000+HP engines today are enough to go 400MPH with the right gearing, but getting it to the ground is the big obstacle.
Maybe that's why I also said- in the same paragraph as your quote from my post:

Quote:
...but if the wings could be any size/type, the chassis could be lengthened and the tire size were unlimited and they could make the power they can make now (which is rarely if ever maxed out due to traction limitations) under the extra load the tires and wings would impart, they'd have the 400.
In other words- the HP is THERE, the application of that HP is what is lacking.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:21 AM
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Yes, I realize that now, cobalt. After I posted, I went back and reread your post and your previous ones, but I'd already stuck my foot in my mouth.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:45 AM
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No problem. Question- I wonder, given the supposed 8000+/- HP they make (is there now a dyno for TF engines like I thought I heard?), what the maximum G-load they could accelerate at, given the tires and downforce? Is 8000 HP really enough to reach 400 mph in the 1/4? We seem to think it is enough, but it does make me wonder, thinking that the added downforce needed and the extra aero drag, etc. might eat 8000 HP up- and more...

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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2011, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
No problem. Question- I wonder, given the supposed 8000+/- HP they make (is there now a dyno for TF engines like I thought I heard?), what the maximum G-load they could accelerate at, given the tires and downforce? Is 8000 HP really enough to reach 400 mph in the 1/4? We seem to think 8000 HP is enough, but it does make me wonder, thinking that the added downforce needed might eat 8000 HP up- and more...

I'm having a problem envisioning running a $1/4MM, 8,000?hp engine, designed to make 900 revolutions before it grenades, on a dyno!!! Scary vision fer sure.

And there are physical limits to what a certain amount of power can do, even if it is very hard to calculate. Remember power is a function of = (0.5m x V2^2) - (0.5m x V1^2). Thus going twice as fast requires 4x the energy. Incremental improvements take a lot more effort the quicker you accelerate.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2011, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
Thus going twice as fast requires 4x the energy. Incremental improvements take a lot more effort the quicker you accelerate.
That's why I'm questioning whether 8K HP would actually be enough to run 400 mph as I had said earlier. I'm having second thoughts...

I did hear of an engine dyno (one of one) that someone had developed. My guess is they'd use a reduced nitro load to extrapolate the full load HP from, but that's purely speculation on my part. I can't imagine strapping that violent and short-fused of an engine onto a dyno, either. But I believe they are doing it in some capacity, somewhere. Just don't recall where I heard it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:12 PM
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I get to see some of the computer data from the Nostalgia FC. G loads are briefly in the 4 g range and 2g is sustained for most of a 5.9 run. Big show guys are rumored to be twice this. I haven't seen it for fact however.

1/8 mile NFC is 3.8 and 195 for a solid 5.8 245 run. Even the latest 255 run was still just a hair over 200 1/8 so 50-55 mph gain in the last 660 ft is what you see. They are severely limited on the top end by the lack of a big "dump truck" spoiler. I think as far as this class this is good...I'd even like to see more limits such as stock bottom blower cases and real 6-71 outputs. 5.90 is fast enough for this class. Heaven forbid a blower restrictor plate....omg. It's nostalgia not mini Top Fuel.

If you go to any of the calculators for 1/8 and 1/4 mile you can see that hp is there to go much quicker and faster than the cars ?? are going. How accurate these are at this level is an unknown due to the lack of dyno info.

oops I have to edit that...350 is about 8800 hp depending on weight.
It would take about 13,000 to go 400.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:34 PM
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I am wondering just how far the existing materials and methods can take the current cars as I am sure someone can find a bit more somewhere but there is a point where what we have to work with won't go any farther without some kind of breakthrough..

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Old 11-04-2011, 11:06 AM
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I'd rather watch mike boyd run 7.20's in the winged express than a modern FC / or TF car run 300mph anyday
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:35 PM
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" I remember a "scientist" who obviously wasn't a racer, saying when the top speed was around 180 MPH, that there was no physical way a dragster could achieve 200 MPH in the quarter mile. A bunch of blather about coefficients of friction and time to distance and such."

It was either 1956 or 1957 that a famous automotive engineer/journalist(Roger Huntington) printed a story in Hot Rod magazine that a drag car could never go quicker than a 10.40 nor exceed 140 MPH. The article was full of fomulas and such, but apparently the coefficient of friction on digger tires was better than 1:1
That week end at Bakersfield, I saw Jim "Jazzy" Nelson go 10 flat at 144 MPH with a Coupe powered by a flathead on Nitro. About an hour later, Cook and Bedwell ran a 169 MPH in the high nines and backed it up with a couple of more passes.
(I also set the B/SR record that day...It stood for about 4 hours)
In 1964 or 65, Paul Sutherland changed his fueler from "weed sweeper" headers to the first set of Zoomies that I ever saw. He immediately went from 180 or so MPH to 195 at the Beach. The next week about 10 cars had zoomies and all picked up MPH and ET. The following week, only the "also ran" fuel cars did not have zoomies.
If we had only known that those were the real "Good Old Days" alas
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:41 PM
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Interesting stories, Thadd. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentwings
14 in tires made it deep into the 5's and 280 + in '85 so that alone won't do it. Small motors...well look at nostalgia FC. Some run a 392 426 style and some like the guys at our shop run a 500 in motor all run about the same. So ci. alone won't do it either. Maybe a 300 ci in would slow them down some for a while but it will take mag,blower, fuel pump and tires to really do it.

In that case, then my solution would be to eliminate nitromethane, blowers, turbos and nitrous period.

1) You could still have dragsters, and funnys as pro classes.

a) The funny and dragster class(es) would probably get larger (really large) (i think this is a good thing in and of itself)but the pros would still rise to the top

ai) At first have "all run"---i think this is a good thing and damn nhra's "time limits" or need to expedite for t.v. horse(edit).
If this is somehow impractical, then run top 32 qualifiers. Again, i feel that the pros would still rise to the top and maybe it would become a 32 car field or even a 16 car field "naturally."

2) The average fan, unless they are super hard-core, doesn't give a damn what's under the hood---namely blowers, nitro etc. or not as long as the racing is good and it's exciting.

a) i think 2 carbs and 5 speeds (if nessesary) running close to 200mph is still pretty exciting.

So the cars won't run 300mph anymore. So what? i think the fans would get used to it pretty fast.
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