Heads up: SkyRush down for 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:59 PM

Well, like I said, I do view some of their failures as unacceptable. I would classify the keeping-water-out-of-boats in the same category of ridiculous as undersupporting, especially when, as you said, Arrow did it ages ago. I'm more defending the challenges with the systems that genuinely advanced coaster technology.

As for the comparison between coasters and airliners, I wasn't intending the comparison to be so specific as to say they each are as complex as each other. I was more trying to make the point that in other industries, it isn't unheard of, even in this day and age, for new technology to not work beautifully right off the bat. Sometimes it's stupid oversight or negligence (undersupporting coasters, or, dare I say it, the iPhone 4 with the bridging issue where if your finger slid over the antenna gap, it could lose its signal), but sometimes it's genuine difficulty (hydraulic launches).

As a last note on the 787 comparison, though, the 787 may be far more complex than roller coasters, but I'd like to think that Boeing has FAR more engineering resources going into its airplane than Intamin will ever have for its rides.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 1:50 PM

Back to the topic at hand... SkyRush. Was it ever on the list for HP in the Dark?

I remember the initial release of the list did not include it... not sure if it was added later and then removed, or never on at all.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:28 PM

I remember it being on the list with a Halloween name. No proof though.

Jeff said:
Like I said, Intamin couldn't seem to keep water out of boats, a problem Arrow solved decades ago, without motors or computers.

Looking at some of the stuff bolted on to their flumes to keep boats and water in leads me to believe that they just got lucky with that one and let's not forget that they had to replace Magnum's up-stops when they realized that pads like Gemini's weren't enough.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:13 PM

Yeah, and they used slide rules, dude, not computers.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:21 PM

Didn't they have issues with "X" as well?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:38 PM

I believe they had issues with the trains being too heavy.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 8:46 PM

I never said Arrow was awesome... you're taking my point out of context. I was using one specific example of how something simple, boats floating, was apparently too much for Intamin.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:10 PM

We weren't accusing you of saying that Arrow was awesome, but if we tie the whole discussion back to the original point, it does imply that Intamin isn't the only manufacturer that has had its share of mechanical problems, and to be more specific, fatigue problems, of which this axel issue appears to be, are not unique to Intamin either (see the 4D coasters).

Also, to be fair, B&M has had its issues as well. Didn't SUF at SFOG have problems with the dual station?

Last edited by sirloindude, Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:10 PM
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:16 PM

If control system issues are the best you can do, then there is no comparison.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:56 PM

sirloindude said:

...Intamin isn't the only manufacturer that has had its share of mechanical problems...

But the share that they do have is a lot greater than a lot of the other big coaster companies.

Arrow's one-of-a-kind (at the time) X had some problems, but I don't recall that ride ever severing children's limbs or spraying people's faces with shards of wire. Remember when that dad and son had their terrifying incident in which the cable snapped and sliced the poor kid's leg open and dislodged his seat, video-recorded and leaked onto the internet? I don't ever recall anything that serious ever happening on a B&M or Arrow.

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:57 PM
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:06 PM

Okay, I'm not saying that there is a level playing field. I said in my first post on the reliability issues that Intamin has had its fair share of reliability problems that went beyond "acceptable technological challenges" into "how on Earth did you screw that up?" However, I am just trying to get the point across that every company has had its problems at one point or another. I wholeheartedly agree that companies like B&M or GCII have much better records than Intamin when it comes to reliability, but I think it at least bears acknowledgment that those issues have existed elsewhere.

What's more, the SkyRush issue appears to be stress on the axels, and in that sense, other companies have had problems in the same area. Why was it OK that X had the problems it did for years and years before it finally got modified into X2 and SkyRush gets work done right off the bat at the end of season 1 and it's not OK? Why is it okay that The Voyage had to be reprofiled in several areas but yet it wasn't okay that Maverick got tweaked right out of the gate? All of those were stress issues, which is what the initial crux of this thread was.

My issue here is that a number of you have taken this opportunity to blame Intamin for being terrible because they built a ride that suffered from a problem that has struck at least two other companies on occasion, one of whom is considered the probable be-all, end-all king of wooden coaster design. If this were a sinking boat issue, it would be one thing, but it isn't.

I would like to add that I acknowledge the possibility that even the whole fatigue/stress thing could probably be in some way considered unacceptable, but I find it interesting that 3 companies have built "modern" rides that have suffered from it.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:07 PM

To be fair, the reason B&M can only have control issues attributed to them is cause they don't venture out into anything besides traditional coasters and mechanisms. How long did it take them to use mag brakes? And didn't some of their inverted cobra rolls have issues?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:25 PM

To help out Sirloindude a bit (acknowledging that they might not want my 'help'), what it seems like Sirloindude is reiterating is the following argument, which requires some initial notes.

To be clear, we want to compare qualities of coaster designers and manufacturing. This is complicated because there are number of dimensions along which we evaluate the quality of a coaster firm. For simplicity, suppose that we agree on which dimensions are the "important" ones, and remove from consideration all other possible dimensions. Then one way (though not the only way -- but I claim without argument that any other "careful" method you choose will yield the following result) we might go about comparing firms' engineering capacity, for instance, is by holding fixed and constant all other firm characteristics across all firms (i.e., supposing that firms produce the same level of "thrill", use the same technology, etc., where these might be, though might not be, some of the dimensions on which we previously agreed) and then consider how firms compare along the chosen dimension; here "engineering capacity."

But that is not what any of Sirloindude's "skeptics" are doing. Sirloindude tells us we're comparing apples and oranges when we compare a B&M to Intamin because we've failed to hold constant other relevant firm characteristics that have bearing on the characteristic we want to consider!!

As an extreme example, you might say comparing designs of Intamin to those of B&M is like comparing some iteration of "The Scenic Railway" to El Toro ("Heidrich is such a moron."). But obviously this is an absurdity.

Last edited by cdude3, Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:30 PM
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:53 PM

sirloindude said:

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.

That really doesn't surprise me as one of Intamin's business strategies seems to be the low price leader. Steel is expensive and I think the support issues are just a matter of the engineers cutting costs too aggressively. In order to please the accountants they probably engineered a structure that was right at the limit of structural integrity on the computer. Add the real world into the mix and things didn't turn out so well.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012 2:39 AM

I don't think this discussion really needs all the analysis it's been given. People crap on Intamin because they get things wrong on a pretty regular basis, moreso than most other coaster companies, regardless of how significant or insignificant the problem. It's nice to point out other companies' faults for comparison's sake, but all that does in my mind is magnify Intamin's failures (as Krause pointed out, multiple deaths and a dismemberment).

It's really pretty simple: Intamin fails, and fails again. Then fails some more.

1. SkyRush gets berated all year for its awful restraint design and pain it causes.

My judgement is reserved until I ride it, but enough people have complained that I can't ignore that this is obviously a valid problem. I love Intamin's extreme coasters, but why do they seem to always have a major issue?

2. Then it closes early for the season.

At this point I think, "I really hope they finally fix the problem so people aren't killing their thighs anymore."

3. But then rumors fly that it closed due to an axle problem.

This obviously isn't confirmed yet, but still, I think my (and I assume others') reaction of "Really? Another problem?" is justified.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012 5:01 AM

With the killing and dismemberment, though, I believe it was pointed out earlier that some incidents could likely be attributed to how the parks maintained the rides or their enforcement of safety procedures. I don't think the SROS issues were necessarily the fault of the company. Those seemed to be more along the lines of ride operators allowing people who should not have ridden the coasters to ride them.

Also, with regards to cable snaps, what was park policy for monitoring the integrity of the cables? No cable that goes through the stresses of launching roller coasters or carrying free-fall vehicles is going to last forever.

Look, I'm playing devil's advocate with this a little bit. Even I found myself highly disappointed that this happened, and I do think the sentiment you and a few others (myself included) share is indeed justified. I just wanted to get the point across that this particular failure was not unique to Intamin when the discussion seemed to be heading in an it's-only-Intamin-who-would-have-this-problem direction. What is unfortunate is that this isn't the only mistake they've made in the past.

Last edited by sirloindude, Thursday, October 18, 2012 5:20 AM
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Thursday, October 18, 2012 6:59 AM

sirloindude said:

Look, I'm playing devil's advocate with this a little bit.

Sirloindude, I posted with Lord Gonchar. I knew Lord Gonchar. Lord Gonchar was a friend of mine. Sirloindude, you're no Lord Gonchar.

~Rob

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Thursday, October 18, 2012 7:13 AM

Yikes! Totally missed that. I may have professed to be playing devil's advocate, but I assure you, I do not claim to be the Gonch.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:10 AM

I was really just pointing out that Arrow got lucky with the boat thing.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:20 AM

I think it's a little sketchy to blame poor operations for all the S:RoS ejections. The operators on Intamins are appoximately equivalent to those on B&M's and ejections have happened on Intamins in many different parks in many different chains and never on B&M's (that I know of).

Ejections from Intamins: Hydro, PP, S:RoS SFNE, S:RoS SFA, S:RoS SFDL.

5 parks, 3 chains, 2 countries.

Ejections from B&M: None.

You could argue that this is because there are simply more Intamin rides than B&M rides but 5 ejections to 0 ejections strikes me as a design issue, not an operation issue.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:20 AM
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