What is acceleration?
I found some very interesting information on what acceleration is really like for a racecar driver.
some useful info:
* One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4 rows at the Daytona 500.
* Under full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster engine consumes 1/2 gallons of nitromethane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.
* 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.
* 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.
plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass.
* 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 at 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 approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!
* Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.
* The red-line is actually quite high at 9500 rpm.
(533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (09/28/03 Doug Kalitta).
all of this into perspective: You are driving an average $500,000 Nextel Cup
You run the stock car hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph (293 ft/sec). The 'tree' goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot planted firmly to the firewall, 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, folks, is acceleration.