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A car that goes 450MPH

  1. Sep 2, 2011 #1
    The "Burkland 411 Streamliner" holds the world speed record for a piston engine, wheel-driven vehicle.

    It has a theoretical top speed of ~500MPH.

    It is powered by two 4,000 horsepower supercharged HEMI engines. 8,000 horsepower total.

    No sports car can go that fast, not even the Bugatti Veyron. Even NHRA top-fuel dragsters only go about 320MPH.

    The Burkland is an impressive work of engineering.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2011 #2
    The Veyron is a street car... it can turn, it can reverse, it can drive on roads, it can play music.

    This "car" is a long, pencil lowrider designed to go forward... its like a train.

    1940, 440+ mph, and can go over water:
  4. Sep 3, 2011 #3
    450MPH is the typical flight speed of a commercial airliner.

    The reason why it's shaped like a pencil is because it wouldn't be aerodynamic enough to be stable going 450MPH. It would crash due to too much wind drag.
  5. Sep 3, 2011 #4
    I'm just saying that car is a waste of engineering effort since it is almost useless.
  6. Sep 3, 2011 #5


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    Why is there an "almost" in this sentence?
  7. Sep 3, 2011 #6
    It was designed and built for the purpose of setting the speed record for a wheel-driven/piston engine vehicle.
  8. Sep 5, 2011 #7

    Ranger Mike

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    SootAndGrime,,,what you said is correct ..except for the fact that a fuel dragster is limited to 1/4 mile or 1320 feet race length..does 320 mph under 4 seconds..where as the land speed record is over the measured mile from a flying start and the run must be repeated in the opposite direction...just to clarify things
  9. Sep 18, 2011 #8
    How fast do you think a top fuel dragster could go if it were given an unlimited length of track to achieve it's maximum possible top speed?
  10. Sep 18, 2011 #9


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    It might well just burn out the engine if an attempt was made to keep it at that level for too much more than 1/4 mile. When you design to do amazingly well in 1/4 mile you can ignore constraints that apply if you're doing enough to get up to speed and then go a mile at top speed. SO ... I'm not sure your question has a meaningful answer in practical terms.
  11. Sep 18, 2011 #10
    What makes you say the engine would burn out?
  12. Sep 18, 2011 #11


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    I don't know that it would and I did not SAY that it would ... I said it MIGHT and I base that on the design considerations that I stated. An engine isn't going to heat up NEARLY as much in 1/4 mile as it could in a considerably longer run.
  13. Sep 18, 2011 #12


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    Hmm.....maybe/maybe not: If the driver doesn't push the pedal to the floor right away, he would avoid generating so much heat while the car is going slow and the airflow is low. It's definitely something the designers would have to look at.

    Another thing is gearing (I assume). When the car is expected to top out at 350, it is probably geared to redline at 350. So it would probably need another gear to go faster.
  14. Sep 18, 2011 #13


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  15. Sep 18, 2011 #14
    Yes, but that is a rocket-powered car, not a piston engine/wheel-driven vehicle.
  16. Sep 19, 2011 #15

    Ranger Mike

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    current dragster fuel full blown race mills churn out over 5000 to 6000 hp in 1/4 mile. can't be measured the engine only runs for a minute and no dyno can measure the out put

    they have the same fuel consumption rate as a 747 jet liner..they are literally on the verge of hydrostatic lock..the dual spark plugs in each cylinder are completely burned out at the 1/8 mile marker..there is NO engine coolant as there is no water pump. the engine must be completely rebuilt after each run. some awesome stats...but purpose built and limited to 1/4 sub sonic and orbital blasts..
    in my non scientific opinion, a land speed vehicle would be limited to the max speed a P51 Mustang fighter piston powered air plane was limited too..437 MPH..if that..we got much drive line friction and tire contact to overcome in addition to aero..
  17. Sep 19, 2011 #16
    I both agree, and disagree, with Curl.

    I'll take a 200+ car that can drive on the road and, like he said, play music, over a piston-driven rocket that can go 450+ in a straight line. I think that that is a more impressive feat of engineering, since they have obviously optimised the street vehicle to an incredible level. To maintain a balance between drivability/performance and speed is a much more difficult task than strapping on huge motors and shooting a car down a line.

    Not that I don't respect the thing. Getting a piston driven car to go over 450 mph is ridiculous. But really, it serves no practical purpose.
  18. Sep 20, 2011 #17
    Our twin turbo ford GT has been officially timed at 252.9mph in a mile from a standing start and has been over 270 unofficially.

    We've got almost 500 more horsepower currently than it had when it went 252mph and will have 900 more hp in a few weeks.
  19. Sep 23, 2011 #18
    Any of you with an ounce of gear-head need to treat yourself to a trip to Bonneville someday. Of course, it serves no 'practical purpose.' But the scene is awesome. The ingenuity is extreme. The engineering is pragmatic and ruthless. The enthusiasm is unbounded. Go.
  20. Sep 23, 2011 #19
    Believe me, I am all for muscle, speed, and power. I have buddies who build hot rods, some who rebuild classics, and I personally build rock crawlers. We do what we do because we can, not because it serves any purpose. What I meant was that I think the engineering involved in getting a STREET car to go 250 is more impressive (to me) than getting a sole-purpose vehicle to go 450.
  21. Sep 23, 2011 #20
    At those high speeds the aerodynamic forces, I believe, would dominate in your drag - the reason the jet powered car put on here is so aerodynamic.
  22. Sep 23, 2011 #21
    ...Aerodynamic forces always dominate your drag; that's what drag is.
    If you mean pressure/form drag vs parasitic, well, obviously you want as little of both as possible. But at the Reynolds numbers you'll be talking about with cars (no wings), form is going to dominate always. They will have to consider profile drag as well as at those speeds turbulent flow due to (pardon the aero-jargon) boundary layer separation will be a pretty major concern in keeping the thing streamlined.
  23. Sep 23, 2011 #22
    At low speeds, say less than 30-50 mph (ball-park, hip shot numbers here), the dynamic pressure is so low that your drag is mainly from the rolling resistance from the tires. These may be way off, as I'm more versed in aerodynamics than cars.

    And agreed - streamlining is important. I'd be interested to see if one could keep a laminar boundary layer for a significant portion. Over all, a very interesting aerodynamics problem to look at.
  24. Sep 24, 2011 #23
    Most cars are shaped to "cheat the wind" at the speeds it is designed to travel and going faster could very well work against them.

    On cars, frontal area is the biggest factor.

    I see this in the data from our runs with a new challenger with 520hp versus a new camaro with 700hp where the challenger ran a few mph faster than the camaro despite the horsepower difference in the standing mile.

    There are obviously gearing differences within the automatic transmissions but the rpms of in each gear of the cars was pretty similar and the stall speeds of the transmission were very close and, of course, the engine power curves are different.

    The camaro was faster for 3/4 of the mile but it's acceleration decreased quickly above 160mph while the challenger decreased far less.

    Windshield rakes seem to be near the same but the nose of the camaro is a lot taller than the challenger which suggests a larger frontal area.

    It's easy to see it when the cars are side by side.

    As far as land speed racing, I think the advances in engine management and transmission gearing will eventually favor the runway guys because the salt has very little traction in comparison.

    I doubt this info. helps the discussion but........
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