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top fuel flames. #5332977 01/26/20 05:24 PM
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red7404 Offline OP
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many years ago i was corrected about how the flames come out of a top fuel engine. i need to be reminded how that works, thanks.

Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5332982 01/26/20 05:27 PM
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Shannow Offline
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The nitromethane only partially combusts, as it carries it's own oxygen, and you get the most power (and some cooling) by mass flow of the fuel and partial combustion...then when it hits the air, the second stage of combustion happens.


If it's the truth....it can handle the pressure !!!
Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5332989 01/26/20 05:32 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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I go to dirt races occasionally and you can tell when someone has spiked their fuel with nitromethane when the flame out the exhaust is much more prominent. Plus the smell is also very obvious.

Something interesting about nitro, my mom lost her sense of smell after having a brain tumor. When we went to the NHRA finals in Pomona last year she could smell the nitro and is looking forward to us going to the Winternationals in a couple weeks.


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Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5333006 01/26/20 05:56 PM
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CT8 Offline
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Here is a video link,


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Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5333063 01/26/20 06:53 PM
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sloinker Offline
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My favorite smell in the world is methanol only partially combusted. Nitro is also pretty good. My eyes water with joy just thinking about it.


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Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5333095 01/26/20 07:22 PM
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ctechbob Offline
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I had also read at one time that part of the flames is burning hydrogen. From one of those 'check this out' lists.

"-Nitro methane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, disassociated from atmospheric water vapour by the searing exhaust gases."

True or not, makes a good story.


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Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5333099 01/26/20 07:24 PM
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userfriendly Offline
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Like tear gas. You should see the people scatter when they fire those engines up in the pits.

I love the smell of nitromethane in the morning. Smells like........

Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5333211 01/26/20 09:27 PM
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CentAmDL650 Offline
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Feels like the hair follicles on my scalp rhythmically recoiling from the closely-timed percussion of nitro fueled shotgun blasts.

Re: top fuel flames. [Re: CT8] #5333326 01/27/20 04:17 AM
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Skippy722 Online Happy
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Originally Posted by CT8
Here is a video link,


Right on the verge of hydro locking!


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Re: top fuel flames. [Re: Skippy722] #5333358 01/27/20 06:26 AM
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Brad_C Offline
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Originally Posted by Skippy722
Originally Posted by CT8
Here is a video link,


Right on the verge of hydro locking!


It's funny. You spend years *knowing* how much fuel these things use, and yet when I watch that video I'm still astonished. Sometimes quantities can be abstracted away until it's right there in all its firehose glory.

A bit like the helitack I watched on the weekend sucking up water at about ~65L/s. Seems obvious enough until you see 65L/s come out the end of a pipe.

Re: top fuel flames. [Re: red7404] #5336094 01/30/20 05:21 AM
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ctechbob Offline
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I scanned an article ages ago and posted it on my personal website. I don't think I've touched that site in 10 years, but the article is still there. From a publication in 1991: (Uploaded to Google Photos since that old website is massively insecure)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZTwg5FcN6kqCdUgo6

State of the art Top Fuel in 1991.

Last edited by ctechbob; 01/30/20 05:21 AM.

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