# Could coasters approach their terminal velocities?

Friday, August 25, 2000 11:29 AM
With the recent spate of coasters with very long drops (MF, Steel Dragon, etc.), I wonder: has anyone worked out analytically, or with a computer model, what the terminal velocity of a typical roller coaster train, carrying a typical load, might be? I'm not interested in the idealized free-fall terminal velocity, but the physical terminal velocity including track friction as well as air drag. Will we ever see a coaster tall enough to approach it?
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Friday, August 25, 2000 5:43 PM
well, in freefall, a humans terminal velocity is 140 mph, and i imagine that with friction and higher drag, GRAVITY DRIVEN coasters will top out at 110 to 120
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Friday, August 25, 2000 7:58 PM
Gigacoasters rule, in almost all cases of free fall the person/train cannot exceed 125 miles per hour
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Sunday, August 27, 2000 12:30 PM
Contrary to belief, yes you can fall faster than 140 miles per hour. Ever hear of speed diving? People are flown up to like 100,000 feet (I think) and dive out head first. They reach speeds up to like 300. Why? Smaller area for air resistance to work on. The area is decreased, therefor wind resistance is decreased. Maybe coasters will be designed more stream lined, possibly smaller? Who knows.

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Shawn Bailes
Webmaster of Coasters R Us
http://coastersrus.home-page.org
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Sunday, August 27, 2000 2:37 PM
A person in my class did a report on hot air ballons and a person jumped out of one and broke the sound barrier [ 600 mph] it didn't kill him eithier.

Riddler's Revenge : The most underrated ride in the world!
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Monday, August 28, 2000 8:32 AM
Yep. I heard about that. The only reason why he got to such a velocity is because there is hardly any air as high as he was. There wasn't much friction/drag forces on him to slow him down. He actually failed the first time. He was unconscious when he jumped from the baloon. Good thing he had the safety device that opened the parachute for him. He finally succeeded on his second try.

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Shawn Bailes
Webmaster of Coasters R Us
http://coastersrus.home-page.org
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Monday, August 28, 2000 9:37 AM
The other thing you're forgetting is mass. The more mass there is, the less air friction will tend to impact the object.
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