Cedartown's College and Career Academy campus was recently home to one of the fastest vehicles in the world.
Students got a chance to see the U.S. Army's M18-TFV (Model 18 Top Fuel Vehicle) as it was showcased at the Polk County College and Career Academy on April 30.
Capable of covering 1,000 feet in 3.6 seconds, the race-car is a feat of engineering made possible through several different skill sets, and military men were present to highlight just what it takes to make an award-winning vehicle.
“The reason we bring these cars out to the high schools is, number one, because they think we're just going to talk Army,” SFC Mike Wiggins said. “Number two is because they say 'yeah, we'll have the car out there, but we're only going to have the automotive classes come out there.' But when I actually talk, what do I talk about? I talk about a little bit of everything- STEM.”
“Science, technology, engineering, math. I start from the front of the car and go all the way back to the car and talk about every individual little part,” he added. “That's why we have Spanish classes come, math classes, biology- because I tie everything in together, it isn't just for automotive.”
The M18-TFV is home to a 500-cubic-inch DSR aluminum HEMI with more than 11,000 horsepower, a Chuck Ford supercharger, and a billet steel crankshaft. Operators Tony and Don Schuman have driven the vehicle in numerous championships, and with multi-skilled technicians backing it up, the vehicle is expected to be in many more.
“After the race, the mechanics rip this whole motor apart down to the bare bottom, tear everything apart, inspect every piece of it, and put the whole thing back together in less than 40 minutes,” Wiggins said. “If you're near this thing when they fire it off, certain things are gonna happen to your body. Number one, if you don't have hearing protection, you will get a ringing sensation in your ears- if there's blood just flick it, number two, your nose will snot, number three, you might throw up. Nitromethane sucks oxygen, what do you have in your lungs? You will come close, but you'll be alright. It is awesome.”
Various classes, regardless of subject, were allowed to partake in the lecture and take pictures with the vehicle before returning to class around 1 p.m. Those interested in drag racing can visit http://dragstory.com/ws/.
Editor's note: In this story both online and in the May 9 edition, we incorrectly named the branch of the military this NHRA Top Fuel Dragster represents. It is for the team representing the U.S. Army.