Degrees In Drop

Sunday, June 9, 2002 3:45 PM
If there was a 200 foot coaster with a 45-Degree drop, would it still go as fast as if it had a 90-Degree drop?

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Sunday, June 9, 2002 3:48 PM

im not sure about a 45 degree drop, but im pretty sure a 60 - 65 degree is faster than a 90 degree. i dont have real evidence to show you, but coasters in RCT and nolimits seem to go faster w/o a vertical drop.

Sunday, June 9, 2002 4:33 PM

Discounting friction, they would be the same speed. That's basic physics. But with friction, who knows? (I doubt anyone here)

The steeper the drop, the less friction with the track because there is less track length. However, the curves in the track required for a steeper angle of descent also create friction. Hard to tell which would be faster without a detailed study, but I'm sure they are done all the time by roller coaster designers.

Also, a coaster's speed also has something to do with the speed at which it comes into the drop. So if it has a faster lift (like Millenium Force) it would go faster.

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Sunday, June 9, 2002 4:47 PM
Fast lifts will increase speed, but only an insignificant ammount. Simplifying physics, a 1 degree drop from 200 feet up will reach the same speed as a 90 degree drop from 200 feet.

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Sunday, June 9, 2002 5:05 PM
With friction accounted for, the rule is: the longer the drop (in terms of track legenth, not height), the slower the speed.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2002 10:52 AM

As has been said, in a perfect world with no friction, both trains would reach the same speed. Because the track is longer for a 45 degree slope than a 90 degree slope the train on the 45 degree slope would encounter more air that would cause resistance and the train wheels would have to turn more revolutions to cover the distance, causing more resistance. How much resistance? Not much. With a 200 ft hill, you may loose 1 MPH.

The Steel Dragon in Japan is not much taller than the Millennium Force, It has a slower lift and is not as steep as the Force, but still beats it by one or two MPH.

As for acceleration, the closer you get to 90 degrees (vertical), the closer you get to free-fall, so you will actually accelerate faster and will reach the bottom of the hill faster.

Get to the Point

Tuesday, June 11, 2002 10:58 AM

John Ball said:

As has been said, in a perfect world with no friction, both trains would reach the same speed.

...true enough that NO friction exists only in a "perfect" world, but in terms of MINIMZING friction to the lowest possible level, go to Holiday World....may not be "perfect", but it sure comes close!


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