C02 Dragster A digital textbook by Alex Darrow

Drag Racers of the Past, Present, and Future

C02 Dragsters of the past: I couldn't find much info on Dragsters back then, so I will go with what I have. Back then, C02 dragsters were designed whe people wanted to make toy cars that were only controlled by the forces of earth like gravity, friction, actelleration ect. They started off with ramp like creations and what you see in the picture. Sadly though, thats all I could find. Throught the years C02 dragsters have been made faster and faster by their designs.

C02 Dragsters of the Present Day: C02 dragsters today come in many different types. Like Normal, Rail, Shell, Model, and show but they are all made for the same purpose. To be a good dragster. People know to have a smooth top and it slowly rises up towards the back to allow wind to blow past in easily to make less friction. The weight needs to be as little as possible, the aredynamics needs to be fantastic, and rolling resistance needs to be minimal.

C02 Dragsters of the Future: Like the past, there is not much info on this because if someone has an idea for a dragster, they can easily make it with today's technology and science. But I believe that in the future, there wil be more thought on how to specifically design dragsters to make them more faster and versetile. I also think that people in the future will focus on wind resistance more than anything for making new cars, but it seems like poeple make dragsters for all disadvantages.

Components of Designing A Dragster

When designing a Co2 dragster, there are 4 components to be aware of. Specification, areadinamics, weight, and rolling friction. Each one will effect if you dragster will go sonic speed or lazy person on the couch speed. Lets go over them shall we?

Specifications: Each race has requirements that each dragster must reach, each one must not excel, and each one cannot have. They usually have a minimum and maximum weight, size of body, # of axles, and size of wheels. They will also have limitations to what you can use or add like pre made kits or dragsters, no rubber tires, or no add on parts. I will have a list of the details of the race we are doing in here.

Areadinamics: The areadinamics of a dragster needs to be good to be able to pick up speed and keep it. These include the shape of the body, size of wheels, and the center of mass. There are a lot more but I can't name them all because there are so many of them. If the areadinamics is good, your dragster will have a lot of speed starting out in the race and keep it all the way to the end.

Weight: This is tecnally also a specification, but my teacher told me to have it in a whole other section, so ok. Weight affects the speed and acceleration of the dragster. Having too much weight will result in the dragster not keeping its speed and too little wieght will make it brake when it is stopped at the end of the track, which is obviously a discuolification.

Rolling Friction: This is something most people ROLL OVER! HA! GET IT? LIKE A WHEEL ROLLING? Ok, ill stop. Rolling resistance is something most people don't pay attention to because they think it doesnt help much, maybe at all. But actually having good rolling resistance will result in your dragster going faster. To increase the resistance of your dragster, basiclly make sure not to accidentally make the axle for the wheels tilted, so make it straight. You can also do an interesting strategy which is proven, but makes sense when you think about it. If you lift one wheel off the ground, it will go faster. Right? It will cause the dragster to have more resistance by moving the friction and moving it to your kinetic energy. Its not proven though, but makes sense.

Types of Drag Racers

The 5 main Types of C02 Dragsters

There are 5 main types of C02 dragsters and if a C02 dragster does not fit into one of the 5 catigories, then its not a C02 dragster. They are Rail, Show, Shell, Model, and Normal. They all have pros and cons and some are good and some are just plain terrible. Lets go over them shall we?

Rail Dragster: A rail dragster is a really weird looking one, but is decent in competition. They are the most common made dragster made and have a narrow rail down the middle, have external wheels, and are usually low to the ground in the front and get higher in the back. The pros are that is easy to build and can get great acceleration. The cons though out weigh it. The thin rail has a high chance of breaking and the wheels and body shape make it have terrible aredynamics. It does best when put into a straight drag race with no bumps.

Show Dragster: These dragsters live up to their names. They look amazing! They have a lot of detail and also is very appealing to the eyes. The pros are they show the creativity and work by the builder and are just plain cool to look at. The cons however, make it the way it is. They are usually fragile, use special parts that may not be available, and usually require specific tools for making it. This makes them way to hard to be made by average students like me and besides, they are mostly just plain terrible in overall racing. Obviously you don't see any of these in tournements.

Shell Dragster: These dragsters are made for pure speed and is the most used car in tournements nationally. They get their name from their round shell like body. Their wheels are made inside of the body and the inside is hollow. The pros are it has very low drag aredinamic shape, can easily reach high speeds, and is a great use of programs like CAD and CNC. But the programs start us off with our biggest con. Its round shape makes it very very hard to be made by hand and therfore requires a building program to be made like CAD and CNC. As well as the round body and hollow shell make it hard to build it for students.

Model Dragster: This type of dragster looks, well, it is modeled from real cars or automobiles. They have much detail like Show dragsters and have the same properties as well. There pros are the attention of the builders creativity and being really cool looking. The cons are that they are not made for racing so they have very low acceleration, they are hard to build, and require materials that are hard to come by. These are also not seen much at tournements.

Normal Dragster: This type of dragster is basiclly anything that is considered a dragster that doesnt fit into one of the other 4 catigories. These cars are made very commonly because they show the creativity of the designer and can be made into what the builder wants. They all have specific pros and cons but they aren't commonly seen in tournements because of there unkown designs in certain cases.

Starting To Design My Dragster

Spodick told us all the specifications for our dragster. Here is a picture of them. He also said we will design the basic concept for our dragster after spring break.

The specifications that our dragsters must follow. Like making the body a minimum dimension of this # and a maximum dimension of this #.

The specifications now that I look at it more closely, its hard to read them. So I'm just going to type them down here so they are easier to read and because I need something to do because Spodick isn't here. So lets do this. Body= Length: 200-305mm. Height with wheels: 48-75mm. Mass with wheels: 28.35-170.10g. Width at axles, front and rear: 35-42mm. Total width (including wheels): 60-90mm. Shape (width and height): 10mm-unlimited. Body height above the track: 5-10mm. Axles= Number: 2. Wood surrounding the axle hole: 5-10mm. Rear axle hole distance from rear of car: 9-100mm. Diameter: 3mm. Hole diameter: 3.5-4.5mm. Hole position above body bottom: 5-10mm. Length: 42-70. Spacer Washers: 8-9 mm diameter. Wheel base= 105-270mm. CO2 cartridge= Hole depth: 50-52mm. Safety zone thickness around entire power plant: 3mm-unlimited. Chamber diameter: 19-20mm. Lowest point of chamber diameter to race surface (with wheels): 26-40mm. Clearance from body bottom: 32-34mm. Screw eyes= Inside diameter: 3-5mm. Distance apart (farthest point): 150-270mm. Alignment: center line along car bottom. Wheels= Rear and front diameter: 30-40mm. Front width: 2-18mm. Rear width 15-19mm.

March, 20th. I was given a piece of paper to make 5 different designs to think of and these are the ones I came up with. I chose the middle one because I want it to slightly slant down near the end to have good speed.

Its sideways because of the way I took the picture.

March 23rd. Coach Spodick finally got back so now I can get the big piece of paper to start making my design. Like I showed in the picture above, I will be going for a curved design that goes down. I made the more precise design and got it a name. Check it out!

The Melon Mobile

Melon Mobile, like it? I'm going to paint it like a slice of a melon because WHY NOT!? I also turned it in and got the design thingy to make the last design before I start making the real thing. Here it is.

The original piece of wood on the design sketch paper before adding details.

This is also the piece of wood I got to make into the Melon Mobile.

The wood block before it became the Melon Mobile

I will continue to make the sketch into the actual thing tommorrow (if Spodick is still here that is :/ )

March, 24. I drawled the actual design of the dragster and [ut measurements on it as well. I dotted the cockpit for the thingy in the back and I accidentally drawed the wheels in which Spodick told us not to. I will blame I am tired for that mistake. He actually told us to make the axles and not the wheels so I erased the wheels and put down axles instead. Here is a picture of my progress.

The new and improved Melon Mobile

I will turn this in to Spodick and see whats next to do on Monday.

March, 27. I have added more measures, made the outline for the wheels, and completly earased the wheel outline. Now tommorrow I am going to be cutting the paper out, taping it to my piece of wood, and and tracing it. Here is an updated picture from today.

Im too tired to make a caption...wait.

March, 30th. Did I say tommorrow? I meant in 3 days because I completly forgot about STAAR so here I am, continuing what I said I would do on Monday. I started off by cutting out the top and bottom sketches and then I taped them on. I drawed the outline of it and Spodick told me to push my pencil into the axle holes so we can know where they are. Here is the Melon Mobile after all this.

He's almost there

I then took off the paper and made the axle holes go all the way through. Here it is now.

He's getting there

Tommorrow I will get Spodick to cut the actual dragster out and make the Melon Mobile almost complete.

March, 31st. I waited the whole period but I couldn't get to the front of the line, so I will have to cut it next week.

April, 3rd. I cut out the Melon Mobile and now all I need to do is paint him and then he will be (almost) finished! Tommorrow I will finish him by painting him his first layer.

He's got his body!

April, 4th. Well, I lied. I forgot about the sanding. I started off today by sanding him to make him more smooth and then I got some other type of sand paper that makes it WAY more smooth. So I used that as well. Now he is way more smoother.


I got a note to the office for something so I missed the class period. Tomorrow I will see what I have to do next.

April, 5th. I started the class period off by doing a bit more sanding and then I was told it was time to paint. FINALLY! But I was a bit bummed out. I had to start off by Paintin the entire block white. Don't know why, but ok then. I spray painted it white, and here what it looks like now.


Kinda hard to tell the difference, but trust me, its white. Tomorrow I will see if I can paint it red.

April, 7th. So I accidentally skipped Thursday, but all that happened was that I sanded a bit, had to put another coat of white paint to make it stronger, and that was it. Today I painted it red, and thats it. These memos are getting littler and littler, aren't they? Here's the Melon Mobile coated red.

The main coat is down.

April, 10th. So there was some cracks on the red coat because of the way I spray painted it. Apparently I sprayed certain places too hard so little cracks are on a part of my dragster.


I put another red coat on it and not only are the cracks gone, but it looks more lively! Take a look.


Tomorrow I will look at getting the "Finnacnce design" is what Spodick calls it. It lets you do more specific painting so I will then do the green in the back.

April, 11th. IT IS COMPLETE! The Melon Mobile is here. I was able to get both the green back side and all the black seeds on today. AND NOW ITS COMPLETE!

Melon Mobile

Now I just need to find out what I actually do next... What do I do next?

April 21st: I raced today and got a really fast time. I think I was the fastest but I'm not sure. I got around 140km/s. I will bring home the Melon Mobile toady and finish this part of the school year. Next I will be going into Future Home Design. Hopefully not a spark page for that.

Created By
Alex Darrow

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