Avalanche's Speed

Friday, October 1, 2004 8:49 PM
When I first went to Timber Falls to ride Avalanche, there was a guy there with a radar gun saying it was running in the high 40's. Later the ride ops were saying 55 and then 60. Looking in Amusement Today, they have the speed listed at 65. This ride IS wicked fast, but is 65 even possible for an 88 foot high coaster? Timber Falls is claiming that Avalanche is WI's fastest coaster, but Mt Olympus is still claiming Zeus is.
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Friday, October 1, 2004 8:51 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar Theoretical maximum for 88 ft. is 51.307 MPH unless you get a little push from the lift.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, October 1, 2004 8:55 PM
The lift seems pretty normal other than you seem to disengage the lift and start to accelerate a bit quicker due to the shorter train. It does not seem nearly enough to make it go 65, but it does seem very fast for its size. Also, it does not seem to drop lower later in the ride, but it does maintain high speed...or maybe even picks up more.
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Friday, October 1, 2004 11:15 PM
Theres quite a difference between going somewhere in the late 40 mph's to going 65 mph.
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Saturday, October 2, 2004 2:06 AM
Lift speed does not add to the overall speed at the bottom of a drop, despite what you'd initally think. Second, for the most part, the longer the train, the faster it will go... correct?
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Saturday, October 2, 2004 11:31 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar ^ wrong on both accounts.

The lift speed doesn't add *much* to the overall speed at the bottom of the drop but it does add initial velocity at the point when gravity takes over. It's not as simple as adding this initial velocity to the final velocity of the drop, but it does add speed.

Second,

The longer/heavier the train, the faster it will go when friction starts to try to slow it down. At the bottom of the first drop, this is so neglible it's not worth mentioning (lift speed has a greater effect by this point). Later on in the course, it does start to make a big difference.

Additionally, the longer the train, the lower the center of mass will be when the train disengages the lift. Because the train is presumably bowed downward, The CoM is actually quite a bit below the track and train when the it disengages. This means that the height for the mass of the train is calculated from a lower point than it would for a shorter train which would have a higher CoM at the top. Of course, this plays the other way at the bottom of the drop as well. The longer train bowing upwards has a higher CoM than a shorter train. The difference in height between the two is smaller for the long train.

This was one of my original thoughts on why B&M has shorter trains and the pre-drop. Both serve to get the most speed out of the same lift height.

I actually think it would be fascinating to see the curve the CoM of a train traces out on cosaters.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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