Heads up: SkyRush down for 2012

Vater's avatar

It's not fair to label some Intamin rides as unreliable based on some of the issues mentioned (like the Hellevator incident). It had nothing inherently to do with Intamin, and everything to do with how the rides were (or weren't) maintained.

Kind of hard to NOT relate it back to Intamin when they have so many darn issues...

If your cables are breaking on a normal basis, there seems to be some type of design issue. Sure, it is the parks responsibility to oversee these cables and their condition, but I have a hard time believing that so many parks neglect the condition of the cable especially after so many incidents. Usually they bust before the park ends up switching them out. It is possible though (park neglect), but I think the cable size is at fault here. I am guessing the safety of factor for the cable size and the forces and stresses involved is not exactly as good as it should be. But any thicker and the cable won't spool as quickly as it needs to on the hydraulic launch rides? Just a theory, not exactly sure.

But really, the last of Intamin's problems are all their cable issues... It is all the ride modifications required to brand new rides, terrible train designs (discomfort) and reliability issues.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

If a ride malfunctions, it still shouldn't hurt or maim the riders on board. To me that's a pretty piss poor design that there wasn't a mechanism in place to stop KK's drop tower when the cable broke.

I know Intamin seems to be the only ride manufacturer out there that pushes the envelope, but they need to design (or redesign) a safety mechanism in place so that when Bad Things Happen* the ride can safely shutdown and not hurt anyone and not destroy itself.

I don't think its any accident that no other current ride manufacturer is using a cable for a launch mechanism. LIMs and LSMs lack high speed moving parts. It's a system that has shown over time that in the case of a failure the ride can stop safely and not hurt anyone (GL's Steel Venom being the exception).

Of course I'll still ride Dragster.

*As trademarked by Rideman

eightdotthree's avatar

I found Diamondback to be the most boring B&M hyper coaster I've been on. Carry on...

Last edited by eightdotthree,
rollergator's avatar

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

I know Intamin seems to be the only ride manufacturer out there that pushes the envelope, but they need to design (or redesign) a safety mechanism in place so that when Bad Things Happen* the ride can safely shutdown and not hurt anyone and not destroy itself. (snip)

*As trademarked by Rideman

I think the first issue is acknowledging that they HAVE a problem. When Premier was approached about the FoF OTSR's, they could have simply said that their system was safe and that there was no need for them to retrofit. Instead, the company re-designed their restraint system and ended up with a significantly better product. Seems to me that Intamin won't take the first step...which, as in any 12-step program, is admitting that there is a problem.

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Fun's avatar

LostKause said:

Oh yea. The incident with the little girl whose legs got severed by an Intamin drop tower was the turning point for me, now that I think about it.

The irony of that incident is that it was an e-stop was not automatically initiated when the cable broke, before the car was dropped. Needless to say that type of simple engineering might have prevented a horrific accident. As Jeff has pointed out many times, the complexity of Dragster's control system often creates downtime for simple things like sensors on gates.

Granted those sensors could have been installed at the request of park, but it shows there is a lack of consistency among projects that may be beneficial in some regards. If you are building a B&M Invert, you are essentially getting the same ride system as every other one built, which means B&M has the opportunity to collect the knowledge from all of their operators and refine the product if necessary for future installations. Now of course, this doesn't explain how B&M seems to just get it right with their prototypes as well. And for that, I just chalk it up to more thoughtful engineering.

Coasterfantom2 said:

My point being is B&M may have never built a giga if Intamin(or Morgan) didn't do it before them. I don't knock B&M for reliability and safety at all. They are the best when it comes to that. I'd rather see the envelope pushed and if a ride has to be modified because an over intense inline twist then so be it. Sinking boats are a whole other issue. ;-)

Well, it's a general rule of thumb in engineering to do things that are based on practice (or based on standards, etc.). It's a lot easier to propose an idea when it's tried/tested. Logically, it would have more reliability. In an industry such as coaster design where you have very few projects and clients, doing something correct the first time leads to larger returns for all people involved (safety = $$$).

With respect to B&M not pushing the envelope, does Intamin have a lay down/flyer design? Isn't B&M one of 3 companies that offer it?

Last edited by jonnytips,
Raven-Phile's avatar

Some stories floating around the intertubes have been pointing to failed axles as the reason for closure. I don't know if it's 100% accurate, but I guess that would warrant this kind of an emergency closure.

^This makes much more sense to me, although it's the first time I heard the rumor. Why would the park have closed the ride now because of the restraint issue so close to the end of the season? That doesn't make sense, especially since the ride operated months with the restraints and there was only a handful of operating days left in the year.

I think a more serious issue has merit for the closure.

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
LostKause's avatar

Failed axles? Stupid Intamin.

Fun's avatar

Certainly not impossible, but I'm skeptical of that explanation because there is nothing fundamentally different about these axles compared to all their other rides. Granted, the weight distribution is different with 4 across seating, but I can't imagine the coaches are significantly heavier than the 2x4 seating on the mega coaster cars. For the axles to fail on a proven design, my immediate thought would be a manufacturing failure.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Well the quote was "failed in some way" - so that doesn't necessarily mean catastrophic or even anything to that extreme - I mean, it could have been something that was found to be a problem now, that could have been a LOT worse.

Jeff's avatar

Remember that the heartline on Maverick was removed not because of any adverse effects on the human body, but because of the wear and tear on the axles. It's not that they were in danger of failing, but they were not going to last as long as they would have liked.

I bring this up because the thigh pain is consistent with negative G's that are too high. Remember Hypersonic XLC? That. I think it's reasonable to speculate that the trains are enduring the same issue.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

kingdakacor's avatar

I hope they have modify the station in some way so that loading and un-loading is easier than it has been. Bummed out though..was going to head down there next week to see how the temp padding fix on the restraints were.

Sky's the limit.

Wow... Axel issues? Come on Intamin!

Again, poor engineering... All the stresses and forces should be counted for in the design of the ride layout. They are pushing their designs to extremes and designing elements and layouts too much for the train to handle. First Maverick and now this...

I think they really have to go back to the drawing board and either reduce the forces on the ride layouts or make a more robust train to handle all this stress. Components should be engineered to handle the fatigue stresses caused by thousands and thousands of cycles (if not infinity) given the maximum forces sustained on the ride. It is relatively basic machine design concepts (but applied to extremely difficult systems, I know).

I can't help but keep blaming Intamin... Given their track record lately, I have NO doubt it is their fault. Probably incorrectly designed the axel to handle the high moment forces if it shares the forces from the outer seating. Distance away from center drastically increase forces.

I can't imagine what the orginal restraints were like in terms of "softness," because the new material ones were more than enough painful to basically ruin this potentially amazing ride. This has all the makings of a Top 5 coaster in terms of layout, but after the amazing first drop that has explosive ejector airtime, the pain overtakes any potential thrills. I'm an easy to please person when it comes to judging a ride based on pain. For example, Predator at Darien Lake is a sleeper hit in my book.

This unique (well to me at least) issue with the restraints pressing down repeatedly seems to be due to their orientation. I have had the occasional one or two extra clicks happen on other intense coasters, but never as much as Skyrush. Something in the engineering allowed for the forces experienced on this ride to take over the restraints. At this point, I would prefer OTSRs like on i305, or the original T-bar over this. Even if the "floorless" element is lost.

Last edited by AJFelice,

Speculating on design issues is nothing new. Going back 10 years to Dragster not being guaranteed to make it over. Never understood how something could be designed to possibly not always work in this business. Skyrush has some of the most out of control laterals and one or two pops of crazy air, but its short length and feeling after a minute that you have had enough keep it from being elite. Not sure that you might totally lose some of the out of control feelings if there were totally different restraints.

rollergator's avatar

Honestly, if you had the trains from Rock'it (only with a better coupling mechanism, I'm still dissatisfied with the performance of the rear car)....the ride would be too good. Too good.

Of course, that only solves the restraint issue, and does nothing about the axles. ;~P

sirloindude's avatar

Before I jump into the crux of my opinion, let me first emphasize that I don't condone all of Intamin's mistakes. Some of the issues that have arisen from their rides are indeed unacceptable, with the undersupporting of rides like V2, Wicked Twister, Xcelerator, etc. being the most appalling to me. How a company with the engineering experience they have could undersupport rides on multiple occasions is beyond me. I'm sure RideMan would have more valuable insight (the technical aspects of my engineering education have atrophied as they aren't used in my career), but it just seems like of all things, they should have caught the fact that they didn't properly account for the loads on the track like they should have.

With that said, though, there are some instances where I don't think they deserve all the flak they've received. Consider aviation, for example. Look at the headaches aircraft like the A380 or 787 have had, and they're both very young designs. When limits are pushed, there are going to be some challenges, and I'm not at all surprised that roller coasters have endured similar challenges.

Again, I can appreciate the irritation at the failing axels, because it seems like at its core, it's the same situation as the undersupporting - a failure to properly plan for the conditions the rides must endure. With that said, though, Intamin has done all this in the name of advancing coaster technology (the world needs variety) and delivering rides that actually stand out on their own. I love B&M dearly and many of my favorite roller coasters were engineered by them, but I guess that given my extremely high tolerance for intensity and aggressiveness, the risk of reliability issues is worth the rewards when it comes to Intamin coasters.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones


Jeff's avatar

Comparing a 787 to a roller coaster strikes me as absurd, for the difference in number of parts alone. Like I said, Intamin couldn't seem to keep water out of boats, a problem Arrow solved decades ago, without motors or computers.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

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