Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

The first ride to use magnets as a booster?

Recommended Posts

Hello there!


If I ask you what is the first ride with a magnetic launch, you answer me it's Flight Of Fear in 1996.. We're ok here.



But if you look closely at Big Thunder Mountain in Paris, there's no tires in the station nor elsewhere, but magnets instead (LSM, LIM??). This ride opened in 1992. 4 years before Flight Of Fear!


See on the left. It's the garage track, and around the friction brake, there's two blocks of magnets.


It seems that the other BTM®'s run with magnets too (not sure for all). They opened respectively in 1979, 1980 and 1987.


So the question is, wich was the first ride ever to use magnets as a booster?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 16
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Oh nice, didn't thought of that one. According to Wiki, it opened in 1975 and used LSM. So that technology is older than I thought (I mean, its use into amusement parks).. Thanks for the reply!


And do you know what's the first coaster using magnets?


(Sorry for improper placement of the topic by the way.)


Edit :


Here's a pic of BTM I took earlier today:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Don't LIMs need prior movement to generate acceleration, and therefore cannot work on a train at a halt? Like a drive tire needs to start the train? I always wondered how Wicked Twister moved without apparent drive tires (would these be in some casings I'm assuming are LIMs?) I don't remember whether or not I saw drive tires on Flight of Fear at KI, but I think they were on the KI Backlot Stunt Coaster. Essentially, is it possible for a LIM to start a train without movement by another source, or is that limitation only inherent in LSMs and, in reverse, magnetic brakes (can't totally stop a train?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

This is old, I know. But to back up that 'from a dead start' argument, if I'm not mistaken there is no magnetic current until electricity is fed through the LIMs. That's why the lights in Mr. Freeze dim during the launch, and why these coasters are such electricity hoggers. One electricity is fed through, the current is 'activated' and the train is propelled. So the key is basically the electromagnetic current. The current isn't already pre-existent like in magnetic brakes which use an eddy current. I'm pretty sure that's how this works. So, yes. LIMs can propel a train from a complete stop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both LIMs and LSMs can move from a dead standstill. Examples: Superman: EFK, Halfpipe, Inverted Impulse coasters, Rock N Roller coaster, Premier Spaghetti Bowls...the idea is that they both generate a moving magnetic field, and a moving field generated can move anything from a dead standstill, regardless of LIM or LSM. I'm assuming there is something regarding timing or energy usage that Intamin preferred to use drive tires previous to launches with their blitz coasters. It saves a lot of energy.


As far as magnetic brakes, it's a completely different concept. The brakes work by generating eddy currents in the fins by moving a magnet near them. These eddy currents are only generated with a moving magnetic field, and therefore are only generated when an object is in motion, and these eddy currents generate a magnetic field directly opposing the direction of movement. Basically, the faster the magnet is moving, the stronger the eddy currents are, and alternately, as the speed approaches 0, the strength of the eddy currents approaches 0 as well.


Random fun fact: Impulse coasters do not have brakes in the station, they are held there simply with gravity during loading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Starting from a dead stop seems a motif in LIM coasters, I wasn't aware of any single-launch coasters that don't. Extra credit if the LIM makes a noise when doing so (FoF). On the other side, Backlot Stunt Coaster starts with less than a full train length of LIMs, so it takes off less suddenly, more appropriate for kids. It gently pushes back your head.


Starting any electric motor from a stop takes a lot of current, though. Also there's no low gear. The resulting "ratio" also seems to make most LIMs top out about 70 MPH or less as diminishing acceleration meets greatly increasing launch length. Probably a design without the need to start from zero could go faster, although that's a little complicated for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I can clear some things up.


Electromagnets, meaning LIMs and LSMs, can propel a coaster from a complete stop. However, they can't bring a train to a halt. That is why rides like California Screamin' have only two ride components that move the train: electromagnets

and friction brakes.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am very sure, if not certain, that impulse coasters have friction brakes in the station. I remember, while in line for Wicked Twister, I was watching how the ride works. Electromagnets propel the train, both forwards and backwards, as it cycles back and forth through the station. When the ride is complete, friction brakes come in contact with addition brake fins mounted on the train. As far as I know, it is impossible to use pure electromagnets to stop a coaster; but, there is one exception:


Superman: UF at SFDK.


Does anyone know how it purely runs off of electromagnets, both to propel and stop the coaster?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^That is incorrect. There is no friction involved on Wicked Twister, the train is actually stopped by the LIMs. What happens is the magnetic brakes outside the station slow it down to a low speed, then the LIMs basically drag it back. The way the LIMs stop the train is basically by moving the magnetic field in the direction opposing the direction the train is moving. When the train is parking, the LIMs basically balance the forward/backward propulsion so that it slows down just enough to stop right where it is supposed to. What ultimately stops the train is simply friction; once the LIMs power down, the train is moving around 1in/s.


Perhaps what you were thinking of is the harness release contact plates, which make a loud slapping noise onto the trains as the harnesses release.


There is another Intamin inverted coaster that does use friction brakes in the station, and that's Volcano at KD. There are friction brakes actually above the track that clamp onto fins protruding from the wheel bogeys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/