Such figures boggle the imagination

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NIKON D70 - 1/60 sec, f4.5 at 50mm

I know a thing or 2 about engines. At least I did a few (14) years ago when I used to build my own engines for my rally car. I even have a piston here on my desk with a hole right through the middle of it to prove I learned a thing or 2 about racing engines.

Ahhh, those were the days. When I spent every single cent Gabba and I earned on bits of engine that were so sexy I wanted them displayed in the living room.

I can still picture the Ford cross flow Kent engine sitting in our dining room in 1992. The cylinder head had just been painted inside and the pistons were brand new (the valves hadn't yet crashed into them) and it was shiny and so virginal. It knew nothing of too many revs from a missed shift or not enough fuel because of poor tuning on the dyno. It seemed too beautiful to poke into the engine bay of the car only to suffer 14 hours of gravel roads.

Gabba got me a book out of the library this week called "The Science of Formula 1 Design" by a guy called David Tremayne. There is a chapter about F1 engine design. Let me read you a section of it.

When BMW re-entered Formula 1 in 2000 the stakes were raised again. The German manufacturer's 2003 P83 engine was generally adjudged to be the most powerful in the Formula, with 920bhp. It generated this at a whopping 19,200rpm, or a fearful 320 revolutions per second.

While I was reading that I was thinking to myself, "Jesus Elvis Munroe, that's fricken amazing". I sat there trying to comprehend how fast the components inside that engine were turning. The pressure, the mayhem, the requirements of the oil. The stresses involved in stopping the piston at the top and the bottom of every stroke is unimaginable. Even the effects of the air moving around inside the crank case are beyond imagination. The next sentence kind of seemed redundant:

Such figures boggle the imagination.

No shit!

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Posted: Thursday, 16 February, 2006 21:10

Captured: 2006:02:15 20:52:07

Add your own comment

  • Is it marshmellows or has Gabby been making miniature pavlovas?'s getting late.
    Michele - Thursday, 16 February, 2006 23:09
  • Button Cods.
    Dave - Friday, 17 February, 2006 19:22
  • What are button cods? I just finished eating some powdered doughnuts, and visited your site. Now i'm craving for more.
    dean - Friday, 17 February, 2006 23:18
  • You call them q tips, we call them Cotton Buds. There was a rather famous TV Commercial here during the early nineties where they were called Button Cods by an animated baby. I guess you just have to be here to see the humor!
    Dave - Saturday, 18 February, 2006 9:50
  • yes, then drunken students expanded on it to say when pulled over by police - 'no wucking forries occifer, i'm no under the affluence of incohol! I just have a button cod in my ear! P.S. 257.28 KB ?? Have you no sympathy for people on dial-up (not that I am...or have)...
    seriocomic - Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 0:09
  • Nope, no sympathy. Poor people on dialup need to snap out of it and get broadband. Besides, it loads really fast for me, across the 2 metres of Ethernet between my PC and the web server!
    Dave - Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 18:42
  • heh, this is done in fun and not in spite, but your RSS img at the top is not closed properly and lacks an alt tag, and the comment form text-box has an incorrectly closed P tag. Have you looked at the <a href="">HTML Validator</a> and <a href="">Firebug</a> extensions for FF?
    seriocomic - Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 20:24
  • Ha, HTML wars! I've sorted the RSS image, hunting the p tag now
    Dave - Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 20:29

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