First Launching rollercoasters

Saturday, April 26, 2008 1:49 PM
Hey I'm doing an english paper on all froms of rollercoaster launches and I've come across a few problems.I'm fine when it comes down to the new ways like hydrolics and magnetic ones, but I can't seem to find anything about older methods. Wikipedia mentions a "flywheel, catapult and electric motor and spring tension method."

Can someone explain to me how these methods actually worked? Are there anyother methods, and how did they work? And what was the first roller coaster to use each of these?

Thank you.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008 2:06 PM
Come on dude! You have THE INTERNET (and the answers) at your fingertips...something I didn't have when I was in school. I found most of the answers on the same wikipedia page you were looking at. For the rest, try the roller coaster database.
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Saturday, April 26, 2008 2:06 PM
Schwarzkoph uses the flywheel, and weight drop catapult methods with it's launched shuttle loop coasters. A piece on the track called a mouse would engage with the back of the train then launch it out of the station.

http://www.rcdb.com/model2.htm

Arrow uses an electric motor to launch. The process is done with a small cart looking device that rolled on the track that would launch the train out of the station and down into the loop.

http://www.rcdb.com/model4.htm

Not sure who actually opened the first ride since they both opened them in '77.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008 2:08 PM
Look here

http://schwarzkopf.coaster.net/

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Saturday, April 26, 2008 2:08 PM
UGH! Someone gives the answers and yet another kid learns nothing. What ever happened to making students do THEIR OWN RESEARCH?
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Saturday, April 26, 2008 2:16 PM
Flywheel: An electric motor spins a very large flywheel. Once it is running at high speed, a clutch connects the spinning flywheel to the mechanism that drives the haul rope to drag the train out of the station. An example of this is Montezooma's Revenge at Knott's Berry Farm.

Weight-drop: This is the same method that the Wright Bros. used to get some of their airplanes into the air. A very large weight is hoisted to the top of a tower. That weight is connected via wire rope and pulleys to the haul rope that drags the train out of the station. An example of this is Greezed Lightnin (ex-SFOG Viper ex SFGAm Tidal Wave) at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

Both of those catapult systems were used on the Schwarzkopf-built shuttle loop coasters. I believe both launch systems may have been designed by Reinhold Spieldeiner; you might look him up and see if there are details available in patents. I'm not sure which rides were the first to use each, but hey, it's your paper. :)

I don't know if the Arrow launched loop system really qualifies as a "launch". For that system, a DC motor is operated at up to 200% of its rated load to pull a push-car which is used to shove the train out of the station and push it over the edge of a 50-foot drop so that it can make it through a vertical loop. The ride has a similar push system at the other end. The first of these rides to open was the Screamin' Demon at Kings Island (was relocated to Camden Park where it ran as the Thunderbolt Express). The oldest of these rides is the Afterburner at Fun Spot, the original prototype which previously operated at Circus World (Boardwalk & Baseball).

The first LIMcat launch were Outer LIMits: Flight of Fear at Paramount's Kings [Island | Dominion]. The first ride to open with a hydraulic launch was Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm, and the first coaster to employ a pneumatic launch was Hypersonic at Paramount's Kings Dominion.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008 2:39 PM
Thanks everyone (even Mamoosh for the encouragement lol). That should be enough. I never really thought of looking on rcdb. I was just googling and finding nothing before.
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Thursday, May 1, 2008 12:29 AM

Mamoosh said:
UGH! Someone gives the answers and yet another kid learns nothing. What ever happened to making students do THEIR OWN RESEARCH?

As long as they don't use AIM talk or plagerize in their papers, I don't care HOW they get their research.

I'm not kidding about using the AIM lingo in papers -- I about blew a gasket when I was grading one 8th grade girl's term paper.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 5:47 AM
Just make sure that you use the correct spelling: It´s "hydraulics" and please don´t "plagiarize"

For a non-native speaker like myself these mis-spellings always stick out. Sorry for being a smart a$$.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 10:18 AM

Mamoosh said:
UGH! Someone gives the answers and yet another kid learns nothing. What ever happened to making students do THEIR OWN RESEARCH?

Thats funny, I always thought asking or interviewing experts on a subject was considered research?

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 12:18 PM
I just wonder why ride manufacturers never used the launch systems they have been using for decades on aircraft carriers (steam). Too expensive? Too dangerous? Too powerful? These all seem like problems that could be mitigated.

Anyway, I think the posted could get better descriptions (including images) on the Web...as opposed to asking a bunch of enthusiasts. Then again, perhaps someone here might be able to provide better descriptions since we are all awesome writers. ;)

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 1:53 PM

Soggy said:

Mamoosh said:
UGH! Someone gives the answers and yet another kid learns nothing. What ever happened to making students do THEIR OWN RESEARCH?

Thats funny, I always thought asking or interviewing experts on a subject was considered research?


We're experts? What's the kid going to do? Cite" Soggy, 5/1/2008, Thread "First Launching Coasters, Coasterbuzz.com forums" in his bibliography? *** Edited 5/1/2008 5:54:27 PM UTC by ApolloAndy***

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 1:57 PM
See, I was so tempted earlier in this thread to just holler at 'Moosh to "chill out"...

In an academic work, you're free to use any source you want, but sources need to be cited, and the reliability of any source can be called into question. For instance, do you want to take my word for it that a system works in a particular way? If so, well, then I'm flattered, but there are better sources out there. But maybe you need direction...and chatting it up with a bunch of enthusiasts might be a good start. For instance, knowing that the Schwarzkopf shuttle uses a flywheel launch system designed by Spieldeiner...that provides a bunch of places to go for information: flywheels, clutches, patent literature, Physics texts, biographies, company web sites, all kinds of neat stuff.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:02 PM
ApolloAndy: No, he wouldn't cite me because I didn’t give him any answers. I don’t claim to be an expert either, however like Dave mentions, asking coaster enthusiasts about coasters is a good way to start. Simply shooting him down by saying “look it up yourself” is not helpful.

And as always, if the topic does not interest you, feel free to not leave a comment.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:19 PM

Soggy said:
Simply shooting him down by saying “look it up yourself” is not helpful.

I'm not sure giving him the answer is truly helpful either, but what do I know?

I dunno. I see both sides here, but I tend to lean towards Moosh's idealology.

While I can at least kind of understand the idea of asking people interested in such things for basic info or a good place to start, I understand it less when the one asking is a regular poster/enthusist themselves.

I guess I'm old-school in that I believe much of the point of papers like this is to learn how to research and find answers.

Then again, it's the age of the internet and he did find his answer.

Then again again, it's the age of the internet and any bozo with two index fingers and a keyboard can hammer out "information" for others to use.

In the end, while times are a-changing, I'd still probably fall to the "look it the hell up yourself and learn the valuable skill of information retrieval" side of things.

Then again again (again?), I don't understand why many things are asked around here that could probably be looked up quicker or people that ask how to plan trips or where to stay or how to 'do' a park or any of that stuff.

I'm old school. Asking here is the absolute last resort for my industry-related informational needs.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:29 PM
^On the other hand.....how many hands DOES Gonch have? ;)

gator, envisioning a photoshopped Gonch/Siva mix-up... :)
*** Edited 5/1/2008 7:30:10 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:41 PM
I've seen both sides so many times that I'm starting to fall into Gator territory. :)
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Thursday, May 1, 2008 4:06 PM
Like another poster said:


We're experts? What's the kid going to do? Cite" Soggy, 5/1/2008, Thread "First Launching Coasters, Coasterbuzz.com forums" in his bibliography? *** Edited 5/1/2008 5:54:27 PM UTC by ApolloAndy***

How foolish would that be? Ofcourse the kids not going to do that.

What happened is he ran into a mental road block. He took his research to a certain point then said, why don't I ask for some others help/opinions?

Look what he recieved! A few new websites to look at, plus a ton more terms and coasters to research himself.

I think it actually will make the paper better with opinions and help from many, instead of just the view point of one. *** Edited 5/1/2008 8:07:27 PM UTC by Gary B***

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 4:21 PM

Mamoosh said:
Come on dude! You have THE INTERNET (and the answers) at your fingertips...something I didn't have when I was in school. I found most of the answers on the same wikipedia page you were looking at. For the rest, try the roller coaster database.

Surfing the internet and finding information is no more "educational" than someone providing the information. The only difference is that is "teaches" you how to surf the internet. Big deal. You read what someone else has written on the next on another site, or you read the information in these posts. Same thing. He has learned something about the launch systems either way, and Dave Althoff's explanation is probably about as insightful as anything else found on the net.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 5:09 PM
IMHO surfing the net is this generation's version of going to the library, looking up the topic on index cards, and walking the isles until you fine the book or magazine you're searching for.

Gonch said: I'm old school. Asking here is the absolute last resort for my industry-related informational needs.

Ditto. I'm 99% certain I've never started a thread asking for information I knew I could easily find on my own. In fact I dare someone to prove me wrong.

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