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NHRA - Do they have their heads up their Asses?

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  • #31
    I'de like to point out that the difference between 300 mph and 330mph, for a given car is 21% in terms of kinetic energy. Although the speed increases 10%, the energy increases 21%. It is proprtional to the square of the speed. forgetting weight, 300 x 300 =90000. 330 x 330 = 108900. So for a seemingly small increase in speed they gain 20% in energy. I know that alone wouldn't have made a difference in the case of Scott Kalitta, but the point is that the energy that has to be dissapated whether by brakes, chutes, sand, or roll cages is greatly increased without any improvements in the means available to do so. I think the NHRA got the wake up call they needed (IMHO). I'm glad they seem to be doing something about it.
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    • #32
      I think the point Dale Armstrong was making in the Comp Plus article is that if they drop the C/R & lower the manifold pressure (lower blower speed) the engines will live. They will still be running close to the speeds they are now, but it will back them away from that ''ragged edge'' that takes out a high % of the engine with the current rules. Nothing will make these cars perfectly safe, but not having the engine blow up in the driver's face 1/2 the time has got to be a step in the right direction. If Scott's engine hadn't blown he wouldn't have had the string of other problems leading to his death.
      And if they make the penalty for cheating as severe as D.A. is proposing, the crew chiefs will stay within the rules.

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      • #33
        I think the CR and boot limits are a good idea, i didn't know that there was a revlimiter on the cars already. So assuming power is reduced somewhat, the engines should live a little longer and stay off the limiter more. It seems like that should make the racing a little more consistant and exciting. If they get them back under 300mph, they will be a little further from the edge. I hope that if they do decide to do this they continue to make track safety improvements as well as looking at ways to enhance the safety features of the cars and make them more reliable (parachutes for example).

        I know that any unorthodox ideas get lambasted on the board, but there is a saying something along these lines "conventional ideas are just innovative ideas that work".

        I have this to throw out to the comittee.

        4 wheel disk brakes and wider slicks on the front of the car. Maybe even antilock or antiskid systems too.

        Chassis mounted airbrakes or spoilers. If the body leaves the car, an aerodynamic device that increases drag and or reduces lift. Something as simple as a spring loaded panel over the front section of the car. To increase downforce and drag if the body is lost.

        Secondary chutes mounted under the body, that deploy aerodynamically in the event of the body coming off.

        Gravel traps, instead of sand traps, just like most other racing organizations. I don't believe they are affected by rain and they seem to work great for bikes and cars in the road racing world.

        I got more, but i'll stop here. I'm anxiously awaiting the personal attacks as well as the well thought out comments.
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        • #34
          I think the rev. limiters ought to be done away with. They just make the engine sputter (for lack of a better term) when the RPM's are exceeded. That "sputtering" in a nitro engine is very bad. It loads the cylinders and then B-O-O-M. I think the safety emphasis should be on keeping the engines from fire balling as much as possible and also when they do blow, keep the parts & fire contained better. I think that MIGHT do as much or more for safety than reducing speed.

          I like the idea of a secondary chute under the body that would deploy if the body blew off. Sort of like the backup chute skydivers use. I'm sure issues would come up that would have to be sorted through but I think it would be worth looking into.
          Last edited by pro70z28; 07-11-2008, 10:25 AM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by pro70z28 View Post
            I think the rev. limiters ought to be done away with. They just make the engine sputter (for lack of a better term) when the RPM's are exceeded. That "sputtering" in a nitro engine is very bad. It loads the cylinders and then B-O-O-M. I think the safety emphasis should be on keeping the engines from fire balling as much as possible and also when they do blow, keep the parts & fire contained better. I think that MIGHT do as much or more for safety than reducing speed.
            funny, i thought the same thing. It seems crazy to have an ignition based revlimiter in a class where they use so much fuel so fast they can hydraulic lock a motor!
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            • #36
              Originally posted by Laiky View Post
              I'de like to point out that the difference between 300 mph and 330mph, for a given car is 21% in terms of kinetic energy. Although the speed increases 10%, the energy increases 21%. It is proprtional to the square of the speed. forgetting weight, 300 x 300 =90000. 330 x 330 = 108900. So for a seemingly small increase in speed they gain 20% in energy.
              If you'd like to learn more about position, velocity, acceleration, impulse, momentum, and other equations pertaining to motion physics, potential and kinetic energy as well, consult your local calculus and newtonian physics texts in your local library. (haha) I wouldn't forget weight as the impulse and momentum equations need it to calculate resultant forces.
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              • #37
                Originally posted by JgishODU99 View Post
                I wouldn't forget weight as the impulse and momentum equations need it to calculate resultant forces.
                That would be 2,455 F/C
                and 2,250 T/F

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by JgishODU99 View Post
                  If you'd like to learn more about position, velocity, acceleration, impulse, momentum, and other equations pertaining to motion physics, potential and kinetic energy as well, consult your local calculus and newtonian physics texts in your local library. (haha) I wouldn't forget weight as the impulse and momentum equations need it to calculate resultant forces.
                  I am by no means a physics expert, or even amature! I just know that the energy of an object is proportional to the square of it's speed. The weight is irrelevant since it's a constant for any given car (or close enough). That equation always stuck in my head since i was a dumbass kid with a car and motorcycle that were too fast for my percieved lack of mortality

                  I learned as a car obsesed teenager why the stopping distances listed in car test magazines were almost always 4x greater from 60 mph than for 30 mph. Most adults have no clue about this much less inexperienced kids.
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                  • #39
                    Gents, speed does not kill, the sudden stop is the problem...

                    It is conceivable that cars will go 400mph plus, and be safe.

                    Start at the top, fire bad, source of fire, fuel and oil, fuel is easier to manage than the oil from an engine that blew up.

                    Bringing the driver home requires a lot of events to all work properly in the right order, and a bit o the old irish luck on most days, at the level they are running.

                    After keeping all the equipment together, slowing the car down is the second challenge. It is nieve to think the car will always be on all 4 wheels pointed in the right direction with functioning brakes and chute. What is the backup plan(s) to stop the car, scrub off speed in the event of an impact?

                    Last and maybe most important is the driver, what controls need to be in place for the driver to be on top of the events is a very short time period, how many stimulus can a driver identify, make a decision and react to in what 3 or 4 seconds.

                    The first two are handled in on the drawing board and in the shop. The third, that requires a bit of different study and testing.

                    All of these things have solutions, there is no reason to back away from the table because it is dangerous. I always say, the secret to success is not knowing what to do, but more importantly knowing what not to do.

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                    • #40
                      I Agree with you, safety is a challenge, there is no need to shy away or give up. Just like the actual competition, you keep learning and trying. I think for now, getting the cars back in there safety envelope is key (short term). Once the safety catches up, they can open the cars up again. As far as 400mph goes, that will pose a problem for many tracks. Living in the NY metro area, you learn that urban sprawl won't be stopped. The option of increasing run off is really tough. Englishtown has been surrounded with rumors of selling out for years. Every year it gets tougher, the houses get closer, the taxes get higher, people complain more. There used to be a great track called Bridgehampton (road course) that was slowly destroyed by the surrounding neighborhood. Long Island Dragway is now gone, It was a nice local track. I think the speed issue will continue but hopefully they can manage it.
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                      • #41
                        This is great

                        I love this stuff. As a mechanical engineering degree holder, I find it worthwile to examine any problems like those discussed and hope the library comment didn't offend. I was just trying to bring light to such a topic brought forth by such terrible outcomes. But, this needs to be done, and no participant needs to be silent as any ideas are food for thought.
                        Anyway, keep in mind folks, that the car is acting in its own coordinate reference and the driver's reference coordinate is the car around him/her. Whatever the car is going, the driver is not. The resultant forces delivered to the driver are products of the acceleration to the finish, the braking decceleration opposite the first after finish and the driver's momentum as a seperate body still acting in line of the intial acceleration. I'd think i'd start with the max force that the body can safely take and add a factor of safety (say 10%) and aim to find out what it takes to stop the car (i.e. distance, friction surface, chute area, other means) within that max.
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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Laiky View Post
                          I Agree with you, safety is a challenge, there is no need to shy away or give up. Just like the actual competition, you keep learning and trying. I think for now, getting the cars back in there safety envelope is key (short term). Once the safety catches up, they can open the cars up again. As far as 400mph goes, that will pose a problem for many tracks. Living in the NY metro area, you learn that urban sprawl won't be stopped. The option of increasing run off is really tough. Englishtown has been surrounded with rumors of selling out for years. Every year it gets tougher, the houses get closer, the taxes get higher, people complain more. There used to be a great track called Bridgehampton (road course) that was slowly destroyed by the surrounding neighborhood. Long Island Dragway is now gone, It was a nice local track. I think the speed issue will continue but hopefully they can manage it.
                          Long Island Motorsports park was great, I had alot of fun there when I just started out...
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                          • #43
                            1000 ft. nitro sucks , jmo .Make the tracks longer. The tracks should have to keep up with the cars , don't hold them back..
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                            • #44
                              The track will never keep up with the cars, most tracks don't have the room to expand. Eventually even the long tracks will become compromised as the speeds increase. If you start giving ultimatums to the tracks, you will lose 1/2 of the ones on the tour. Bet on the fact that they are: #1. Going to slow the cars down, #2. Come up with some sort of speed arresting equipment, #3. More flame retardant chute material.

                              If I was a betting man, I'd say that they will be working on a whole new set of rules to slow the cars down. Limit compression ratio, smaller superchargers. They should lower the max diplacement also, IMO.

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                              • #45
                                One possibility, make the tires narrower.

                                Can have all the hp in the world, but if the tires break loose on the launch... = less speed.

                                Many forms of racing limit the tires to keep the cars slower and cost under control.

                                A good parallel is what NASA went through after the shuttle blew up on launch. How exactly do you shut the engines down safely and get the pilots out alive. Fire bad.

                                Once that baby is lit, stand back, it's going some where, fast.

                                Ultimatly I think the cars are going to have very sophiticated on board computer systems that monitor everything including the chassis and tires. When a signal is given of imenent failure, safety procedure will be auto initiated shutting down systems in the right order.

                                It will be a techinical marvel, given the time required to identify a problem (know what to look for) , formulate action and act.

                                Truely, a technical marvel.

                                This will seperate the proverbial men from the boys in this game.

                                One thing is for sure, there will be additional technical failures. It is the nature of the beast, and the level they are runing at, unavoidable.

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