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A couple of top fuel dragsters at close range is an unbelievably loud sound. The concussion of each cylinder firing is amazing. Plus the smell of the burning nitro-methane and alcohol and the heat blast from the exhaust is truly amazing. I highly recommend a trip to see a NHRA national event to anyone who has an interest in motor sports.
I saw twin V12 2 stroke Detroit on fuel, Blower, fed by a pair of BIG turbos at the tractor pulls. There was a couple of Cats and John Deere too. The big cat was 4 stroke, you felt it 1/4 mile away no problem.
But that Detroit with open exhaust I don't see how the operator could stand it. I sure couldn't. There was so many noise complaints, that never happed again.. LOL
Made a Merlin gas engine sound like a toy.. and they are loud too with open headers.
@tomic601 I was in the Marine Corps in the field in NC on a base that had a steam catapult for practicing prior to going hot on a boat.
We were carrier capable but not assigned to a carrier.
Me and couple of buddies are walking in an open space to get to the catapult and an F-4 comes up on us from behind at just over 100 ft and
lights the burners at the same time. Seriously knocked us to our knees.
That was probably the loudest thing I ever heard and I had "ears" on.
I'd have thought the Big Bang, but: how could there have been a big, "Bang" in a vacuum?
The loudest sound in human History was (officially) the third Krakatoa explosion/eruption.
Clocked in at 310 dB
Energy equivalent to 200 megatons of TNT.
Ditto on the top fuel dragsters
Words do not do this justice and is something that one must truly experience to comprehend the full impact
This is sound you can feel in your bones or on the soles of your feet coming up through the pavement when walking
If your seats are within 50 yards of the burnout area and start line, at the end of the day your skin and cloths will look like they've been sprinkled with fine pepper but it's just the accumulation of rubber from the tires throughout the day that you don't notice floating through the air
It's fun to watch someone's reaction when you know it's the first time they will experience two top fuelers step on the throttle at the same time
My son and I would go to Englishtown Raceway Park for the drags every year, we would go on Friday for qualifying, very few fans, drivers and mechs very accessible.
One our first trip we went directly to the pits and watched a top fuel team prep the car. We were only 3 feet off the rear tires (no ropes on Friday)
and they started that bitch up, my 12 year old son is grinning ear to ear...then the mech nails the throttle and it knocked him to his knees.
We jumped back and got upwind because the nitro burns the crap out of you eyes and lungs. Could barely see for a few minutes.
Sadly Raceway Park is no longer.
@onhwy61- Scientifically speaking: shockwaves and sound waves are two distinctly different phenomena.
A shockwave resulting from an energetic enough explosion, can travel 100 times faster than the speed of sound.
A shockwave's wave-form also differs from that of sound, as does how it affects the surrounding gas.
However one defines it: the sound of Krakatoa's eruptions were heard 3000 miles from the source, on Rodrigues Island.
What a blast!
for all the service members - thank you for the sacrifice you made for our country.
My office in St Louis was at the door where every F4 ( etc ) rolled out. Certainly legendary loud and proud.
On top fuel, I grew up 10 miles from Norwalk Raceway Park on Ohio 13. And ran crew and drove a bracket 69 RT with Keith Black 440 Wedge. You guys are so right, that was tame compared to the chest impact noise of Top fuel……i gotta get to an event soon…
carry on !
For me the loudest sound I can recall, would be from a RAF Vulcan bomber displays at the Abbotsford Airshow back in the 1970's. Those Rolls Royce Olympus engines at full thrust howled and ripped the air. It was an impressive part of the demonstration. Honourable mention would be the SR-71 demo at the 1986 Abbotsford Airshow. With both engines in afterburner that aircraft roared to impressive levels, very exciting.
Also to add, back in the day of my hi-fi retail and car audio, it was the in thing to have DB contests. Our shop ran one and I had the setup to mic each car competing. Of course all these cars were insanely loud.
I recall one kid (20 something) as I set up the microphone on the passenger seat and asked if he wanted to put on the industrial grade over the ear hearing protection. To which he looked at me and said NO. I thought he was nuts but so be it. I got out of the car and closed the door and off he went.
The booming bass notes from the audio he was playing was literally and visibly shaking the whole car, rattles and such abound. I looked inside and figured this kid wants to be deaf before he was 25. I mean outside of the car it had to be well over 100db. I'm tying to remember how loud the decibel meter was showing... I'm sure it was like 135db. I COULDN'T BELIEVE THIS GUY WAS INSIDE HIS CAR RUNNING THE AUDIO SYTEM!
@reubent The Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway raced for the last time earlier this year and Houston Raceway Park in Baytown is closing up shop for good following the running of the Springnationals a few weeks ago. We had just crossed the state line into Florida on the way to the Gators in Gainesville in 2019 when we heard that they'd pulled the plug due to CV.
The Ramones at The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in the 1980’s. The Civic is a horrendously bad sounding room, a large cement bunker.
Prior to that, it was the night I did an 8-hr audition for a really good San Jose band, from 9 PM until the Sun came up. One of the two guitarists had placed his Fender Twin Reverb amp (fed the signal from a Guild Starfire guitar) facing right at me, about ten feet away. After the last song of the evening ended, a couple of the guys starting talking, and though their lips was flappin’, I couldn’t hear a word they was sayin’. Frightening! By the way, I passed the audition ;-) . That guitarist is very Jazz influenced, and now makes his living accompanying a female singer, performing standards from The Great American Songbook in supper clubs around the Monterey Bay area.
Concert - The Allman Brothers at Cincinnati Gardens. Greg said they were going to play their entire catalogue and he wasn't kidding. Our ears were exhausted and we left after 3 hours.
Plane - A B1 or B2 (the non flying wing one) doing a flyover at Kentucky Speedway. Over the speedway the pilot pulled the nose up and hit the afterburners.
Cars - Top Fuel or Funny car. They used to do exhibitions at Edgewater Park down the street. You could stand 10 feet away from where they did the burnouts and launches.
Most Eerie - My old sponsors turbo, 3-stage nitrous Funny Bike. The exhaust wasn't loud with the turbos so you could hear the slick clawing the pavement for traction as he launched and hit the first stage of nitrous. A Suzuki 500 cc two stroke GP bike at Road America. Coming down the back straight at 180/185+ MPH you couldn't hear the exhaust, all you could hear was the air ripping apart at the front of the bike.