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Can somebody answer my questions on coasters?


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1. When a ride first does it's test run, and the ride isn't a launch/powered coaster, do full speed tests happen all the time, or does full speed tests happen after the first test runs? And if full speed tests happen a few weeks/days after testing, how come people complain about the ride being too slow during the first test run (other than the fact this is their coaster enthusiasts)?

 

2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

3. Why do parks/manufacturers rename certain elements (KK/RMC renaming the zero g roll into a corked roll, Carowinds/B&M renaming the overbanked turn into a barrel turn)?

 

4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Interesting topic...

 

2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

I'm going to go with, preparing the land, and pouring footers.

 

If it is not a flat barren piece of land it can take a lot of time to prepare the land and pour all the footers.

 

3. Why do parks/manufacturers rename certain elements (KK/RMC renaming the zero g roll into a corked roll, Carowinds/B&M renaming the overbanked turn into a barrel turn)?

 

Copyright??

 

4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

 

Physics??

 

For the other questions... Idk... Maybe someone else on here can provide some more insight!

Edited by DoinItForTheFame
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3. Why do parks/manufacturers rename certain elements (KK/RMC renaming the zero g roll into a corked roll, Carowinds/B&M renaming the overbanked turn into a barrel turn

 

I'm not an expert on this or anything but i'm going to go out on a limb and going to say that it's just a marketing ploy. I mean the Airtime hill on Goliath at SFGAm is called a "Zero G Float". Or sometimes, there are slight modifications to the element, thus making a rename of the element a bit more acceptable. Hope this helps.

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Copyright??

I don't think the terms 'overbanked turn', 'airtime hill, and 'zero g roll' are copyrighted.

 

It was the best I had!

 

I wasn't sure if the first company to come out with a "zero g roll" felt the need to copyright it.

 

Maybe different companies given them different names to make them sound more unique???

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2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

This really depends. The erection process can be more difficult for some than it is for others. It's nothing any one manufacturer should be ashamed of though.

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4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

 

Well, from experience of riding coasters (as all of us here have), the steeper the curve of a hill is, the more of a "pop" of airtime you will receive. Also, the steepness of the descending drop also can be a factor for how much airtime the riders will experience. The less steep a hill is, the less airtime you'll experience. Also, double-down hills can produce airtime as well. I hope this helps.

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2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

This really depends. The erection process can be more difficult for some than it is for others. It's nothing any one manufacturer should be ashamed of though.

 

I read the first two sentences thinking it would be a normal post, then the last one came. With that being said, I say

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2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

This really depends. The erection process can be more difficult for some than it is for others. It's nothing any one manufacturer should be ashamed of though.

...then the last one came.

This process also varies. No shame here either.

 

Too far?

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2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

This really depends. The erection process can be more difficult for some than it is for others. It's nothing any one manufacturer should be ashamed of though.

Coaster erection has a somewhat different meaning for enthusiasts.

 

To take make an attempt at answering the first question.

On coasters with a lift hill, often the first testrun(s) are performed with a slow lift chain speed. Later in the testing stage they will speed it up to the eventual lift speed.

Also, new coasters that haven't made many rides yet tend to be somewhat slower. I guess they have to be broken in somewhat. This also applies to the wheels of the coaster. The compound of the wheels also influences the speed, with softer compounds providing more friction and thus a lower speed. On some coasters (B&M's for example) they change the wheel compound during testing.

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1. When a ride first does it's test run, and the ride isn't a launch/powered coaster, do full speed tests happen all the time, or does full speed tests happen after the first test runs? And if full speed tests happen a few weeks/days after testing, how come people complain about the ride being too slow during the first test run (other than the fact this is their coaster enthusiasts)?

 

2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

3. Why do parks/manufacturers rename certain elements (KK/RMC renaming the zero g roll into a corked roll, Carowinds/B&M renaming the overbanked turn into a barrel turn)?

 

4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Feel free to ask for further clarification or simplification, because trying to summarize literally tens of thousands of pages of engineering textbooks into just a couple of paragraphs is almost as hard as trying to learn it all in the first place.

 

1: A full speed test would have to happen all the time as per the restrictions on the type of coasters you mentioned, because the only power for pretty much the whole ride would be gravity. The E-stop sections would be needed to be tested at various stages in order to make sure the brakes, electronics, etc. would work but a lot of the time, blocks aren't designed to accelerate the ride back all the way up to full speed after an E-stop because it would be unnecessarily expensive to buy motors, etc. powerful enough to do that job but only be used on rare occasions; therefore, there's an increased risk of the train to valley somewhere later in the course, and that needs to be tested. (EDIT: This is assuming that they are using a constant speed motor for the lift; if the motor the design firm chose can vary its speed, then they will test it under various speed scenarios.) As for the speed of brand new rides, it's because new wheels need to get broken in, like many other components. Once they get used, they wear themselves down, which creates a gap just big enough so that they eventually run normally. When individual wheels need to be replaced in the future, this happens again once you put the new wheels in place; on some coasters, if you replace all the wheels at once, there's a dramatically increased risk of the ride stalling somewhere. Also affecting a ride after it's been broken in is the ambient temperature; Once the coaster has been sitting in the cold overnight, the wheel lubricants thicken quite a bit. So when the ride first starts up in the morning, the oil can behave closer to something like peanut butter, thus slowing down the train a lot, but by midday or afternoon, the train has run enough times on the track that the heat transferred into the wheels from the friction they normally encounter (as well as atmospheric heating) will then make the lubricants less viscous so that it runs at full speed.

 

2: To give a more accurate response, I would require employment by an amusement ride firm, because there are a ton of factors that come into play and it's probably highly different for each situation. The major factors that jump out at me after thinking for a few minutes, however, are that you have the amount of supports, the track itself, however many crossovers you might have, how many footers you have, however many support and track connections you have, how much construction equipment and how many construction workers can physically occupy the space at one time, and then whenever bad weather strikes that will hold you up no matter what stage you are at. You might have a ton of existing underground infrastructure you have to worry about so that could dramatically slow down digging. (I would also expect on occasion a ride manufacturer to deal with a situation where they knew very little about what was beneath them which would cause them to dig super carefully.) You might have local labor and/or zoning laws requiring workers to work at specified times for a specified duration, which those laws could vary from job to job (so it could theoretically affect the local steel construction companies more so than the foundation layers.) And then you have horrible or great weather at any phase of construction, and it will affect that part of the ride's progress accordingly. I can all but guarantee that I only barely started to cover the main subjects, though.

 

3: That would be largely a combination of marketing as well as legal reasons, for company X might have intellectual property rights to element name Y, much like how copyrights and trademarks might work elsewhere.

 

4: The equation for centripetal acceleration over a level turn is a = (v^2)/r, where v is the velocity of the object, and r is the radius of the turn it's currently navigating. That means, if you double the velocity, the turn has to be made four times wider in order to keep the G’s the same. With coasters, gravity comes into play, because you often aren’t level for a lot of the ride. As gravity pulls you downward, the train gets faster, so in order to keep the G’s the same, the radius of the track has to continually widen accordingly. However, the track is typically designed according to the center of gravity of the train, because the whole train, no matter how long or short it is, travels all at the same speed, as if it were an infinitely small point located at its center of gravity, which is usually quite close to the middle of the train. So, let’s say the radius of the track at the very top of the hill is designed to produce -0.5 G’s while the middle of the train goes over that point at 30 mph. By the time the center of the train is halfway down the drop, the track at that point was designed to still keep -0.5 G’s of floater air for the center of the train now that it’s traveling 45 mph. But now the back seat is traveling 45 mph as well, over a point of the track that was designed to generate -0.5 G’s at 30 mph, so now the back of the train is experiencing hard core ejector air at -1.5 G’s. The longer the train is, the more difficult it is to control the G’s on either end of the train, which is why only short, low capacity trains are the only ones that ever break the steepness records anymore. If you are angled at less than 90 degrees, gravity is pushing the train towards the track, but more than 90 degrees means the train is pulled away from the track via gravity, making the airtime that much harder to control because the G’s will change that much more quickly; with a two row train on a Eurofighter, there is very little difference in the G’s between the front and back row since they are almost already at the center of gravity, as opposed to the 16 row trains on Ride of Steel or those insanely long trains on the Zierer family coasters (where on the Tivoli large coasters, if you sit in the front seat, you get the really weird feeling of accelerating up a hill due to gravity because the train is so long compared to the hill it’s traversing.)

 

If I missed anything, it's because it's both getting late and I've been a slave of my French Press for the last few weeks, which will only get worse until I finish my finals.

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4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

Each car on a coaster train passes through any given point on the track at a speed unique to that car. So to isolate the effect of shaping - let's consider one particular car moving at some particular speed.

 

Neglecting air resistance, a freely launched object will follow a path mapped by a curve called a parabola. Therefore, if you shape an airtime hill as a parabola, and if a car enters that parabolic section at precisely the right speed, there will precisely no force exerted to the track by the train, since it "wants" to follow this trajectory on its own. IE, it is the path that would be followed if no track existed there.

 

This is the theoretically perfect, "floater" airtime. John Miller was the first to apply the concept to actual coaster construction when he began designing perfectly parabolic hills in the 1920s.

 

Flattening the hill for a given entry speed means you won't reach that 0g force equilibrium; the train will still be 'pressing down" on the track and you won't feel as much floatiness. Steepening the crest with respect to entry speed has the effect of achieving negative-g, that is, the train is actually "pulling up" on the track. This transition, often quick, from positive to negative force (mathematically - a "jerk" - a changing acceleration) is often labeled "ejector" airtime.

 

If we extend our scope outside perfectly shaped parabolic hills, ride designers can tweak the profile to achieve the exact acceleration and jerk profile they wish to. In modern times, this can involve increasing that "jerk" to the point of near discomfort.

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2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

This really depends. The erection process can be more difficult for some than it is for others. It's nothing any one manufacturer should be ashamed of though.

...then the last one came.

This process also varies. No shame here either.

 

 

 

Oh the joys of TPR!

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2. When constructing a coaster, which takes longer, erecting the coaster, or preparing the land, and pouring footers?

 

This really depends. The erection process can be more difficult for some than it is for others. It's nothing any one manufacturer should be ashamed of though.

...then the last one came.

This process also varies. No shame here either.

 

Too far?

 

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4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

Each car on a coaster train passes through any given point on the track at a speed unique to that car. So to isolate the effect of shaping - let's consider one particular car moving at some particular speed.

 

Neglecting air resistance, a freely launched object will follow a path mapped by a curve called a parabola. Therefore, if you shape an airtime hill as a parabola, and if a car enters that parabolic section at precisely the right speed, there will precisely no force exerted to the track by the train, since it "wants" to follow this trajectory on its own. IE, it is the path that would be followed if no track existed there.

 

This is the theoretically perfect, "floater" airtime. John Miller was the first to apply the concept to actual coaster construction when he began designing perfectly parabolic hills in the 1920s.

 

Flattening the hill for a given entry speed means you won't reach that 0g force equilibrium; the train will still be 'pressing down" on the track and you won't feel as much floatiness. Steepening the crest with respect to entry speed has the effect of achieving negative-g, that is, the train is actually "pulling up" on the track. This transition, often quick, from positive to negative force (mathematically - a "jerk" - a changing acceleration) is often labeled "ejector" airtime.

 

If we extend our scope outside perfectly shaped parabolic hills, ride designers can tweak the profile to achieve the exact acceleration and jerk profile they wish to. In modern times, this can involve increasing that "jerk" to the point of near discomfort.

Man, I'm so happy I can understand somewhat in depth posts like this now, as I'm in AP Calculus and AP Physics currently, and we're learning about many of the concepts described here. Thanks for an in depth teaching to improve my basic knowledge of coaster physics!

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Also can somebody answer how compressed air launches work, like the ones on dodonpa, and Hypersonic XL (or the ones that used too. )?

Compressed air launches are fairly simple. Air is loaded into a huge pressurized cylinder underneath/next to the track. That pressurized cylinder has a valve on it that connects it to another cylinder (or chamber/whatever you want to call it) that has a piston inside it. That piston is attached to the catch-car that hooks onto the train. Once the correct air pressure is achieved, the valve opens and immediately fires all that compressed air right into the piston chamber, which pushes the piston down the tube, which pulls the catch-car that pulls the train down the track. This is actually the same launch system used on aircraft carriers to launch fighter jets off the flight deck.

 

Just for kicks, I'll mention that hydraulic launches like on Top Thrill Dragster or Kingda Ka are fairly similar, except replace the air with hydraulic fluid, and replace the piston chamber with a giant cable winch that winds up SUPER fast to pull the catch-car down the track via two cables attached to it.

 

Ain't engineering just the coolest??

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4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

 

Well, from experience of riding coasters (as all of us here have), the steeper the curve of a hill is, the more of a "pop" of airtime you will receive. Also, the steepness of the descending drop also can be a factor for how much airtime the riders will experience. The less steep a hill is, the less airtime you'll experience. Also, double-down hills can produce airtime as well. I hope this helps.

Not an engineer by any means, but from what I've experienced riding coasters, it seems like height of the hill is also a pretty big factor.

 

The ride in your avatar is a perfect example. The beginning few hills on Skyrider (Now freestyle, located at some random-middle-of-nowhere park in Italy ), gave mainly strong floater air. However, once the ride hit the final bunny hops before the break run, you got a couple great pops of ejector air.

 

That also reminds me that it's not just the shape of the hill/element that affects the amount of airtime, but also where in the train you are. Looking at Skyrider again, the last two hills gave the best ejector air in the front; however, on other rides, like Vampire at La Ronde (a BTR clone), the Zero-G gives far better airtime (if you can call it that) in the back.

 

All in all, as others on here have already stated far better than I have, there's a lot of factors that come into play.

Edited by canadianparkfan
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Also can somebody answer how compressed air launches work, like the ones on dodonpa, and Hypersonic XL (or the ones that used too. )?

Compressed air launches are fairly simple. Air is loaded into a huge pressurized cylinder underneath/next to the track. That pressurized cylinder has a valve on it that connects it to another cylinder (or chamber/whatever you want to call it) that has a piston inside it. That piston is attached to the catch-car that hooks onto the train. Once the correct air pressure is achieved, the valve opens and immediately fires all that compressed air right into the piston chamber, which pushes the piston down the tube, which pulls the catch-car that pulls the train down the track. This is actually the same launch system used on aircraft carriers to launch fighter jets off the flight deck.

 

Just for kicks, I'll mention that hydraulic launches like on Top Thrill Dragster or Kingda Ka are fairly similar, except replace the air with hydraulic fluid, and replace the piston chamber with a giant cable winch that winds up SUPER fast to pull the catch-car down the track via two cables attached to it.

 

Ain't engineering just the coolest??

How come compressed air launches have a faster acceleration than hydraluic launches, even though they are both similar?

Oh how I love science. Especially chemistry, engineering, and astronomy.

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4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

 

Well, from experience of riding coasters (as all of us here have), the steeper the curve of a hill is, the more of a "pop" of airtime you will receive. Also, the steepness of the descending drop also can be a factor for how much airtime the riders will experience. The less steep a hill is, the less airtime you'll experience. Also, double-down hills can produce airtime as well. I hope this helps.

Thr height of the hill is also a pretty big factor.

 

The ride in your avatar is a perfect example. The beginning few hills on Skyrider (Now freestyle, located at some random-middle-of-nowhere park in Italy ), gave mainly strong floater air. However, once the ride hit the final bunny hops before the break run, you got a couple great pops of ejector air.

 

That also reminds me that it's not just the shape of the hill/element that affects the amount of airtime, but also where in the train you are. Looking at Skyrider again, the last two hills gave the best ejector air in the front; however, on other rides, like Vampire at La Ronde (a BTR clone), the Zero-G gives far better airtime (if you can call it that) in the back.

 

All in all, there's a lot of factors that come into play.

Would a hill give ejector airtime if it was shaped to give 3-5 secs of floater, but crested at a speed of 70-80 MPH?

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Also can somebody answer how compressed air launches work, like the ones on dodonpa, and Hypersonic XL (or the ones that used too. )?

Compressed air launches are fairly simple. Air is loaded into a huge pressurized cylinder underneath/next to the track. That pressurized cylinder has a valve on it that connects it to another cylinder (or chamber/whatever you want to call it) that has a piston inside it. That piston is attached to the catch-car that hooks onto the train. Once the correct air pressure is achieved, the valve opens and immediately fires all that compressed air right into the piston chamber, which pushes the piston down the tube, which pulls the catch-car that pulls the train down the track. This is actually the same launch system used on aircraft carriers to launch fighter jets off the flight deck.

 

Just for kicks, I'll mention that hydraulic launches like on Top Thrill Dragster or Kingda Ka are fairly similar, except replace the air with hydraulic fluid, and replace the piston chamber with a giant cable winch that winds up SUPER fast to pull the catch-car down the track via two cables attached to it.

 

Ain't engineering just the coolest??

How come compressed air launches have a faster acceleration than hydraluic launches, even though they are both similar?

Oh how I love science. Especially chemistry, engineering, and astronomy.

Im not an expert on this, but my guess is that compressed air launch systems are a bit simpler mechanically (they have less moving parts overall), and the fact that gas is much less dense than liquid so it can move faster with less resistance. (?) Someone please confirm or disprove this because I'm not entirely sure.
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4. How does shaping of a airtime hill affect the type of airtime it will give?

 

Well, from experience of riding coasters (as all of us here have), the steeper the curve of a hill is, the more of a "pop" of airtime you will receive. Also, the steepness of the descending drop also can be a factor for how much airtime the riders will experience. The less steep a hill is, the less airtime you'll experience. Also, double-down hills can produce airtime as well. I hope this helps.

Thr height of the hill is also a pretty big factor.

 

The ride in your avatar is a perfect example. The beginning few hills on Skyrider (Now freestyle, located at some random-middle-of-nowhere park in Italy ), gave mainly strong floater air. However, once the ride hit the final bunny hops before the break run, you got a couple great pops of ejector air.

 

That also reminds me that it's not just the shape of the hill/element that affects the amount of airtime, but also where in the train you are. Looking at Skyrider again, the last two hills gave the best ejector air in the front; however, on other rides, like Vampire at La Ronde (a BTR clone), the Zero-G gives far better airtime (if you can call it that) in the back.

 

All in all, there's a lot of factors that come into play.

Would a hill give ejector airtime if it was shaped to give 3-5 secs of floater, but crested at a speed of 70-80 MPH?

Nope, that would just kill you.

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