I've been working on a coaster engineering design/analysis project this semester, which I have to present next week. I'm a Mech E undergrad, BTW.
Basically my project is to evaluate the feasibility and commercial viability of personal roller coasters, and design therein. Yes i satrted this project well before anyone had heard of the Blue Flash, and as you'll see my design methodology is totally different.
Now, I'm done with design and I'm done with analysis (and research, but i'll get to that later) so don't say "dood, you should put 13 overbanked turns onto... or "the Gs would kill people"
But i need a nice statistic to put into my presentation. So I will describe my work quickly, show some computer models and what i need to know is the following:
If these were being produced by a company as a stock model, how much would you pay for one.
Also based on the design criteria below, if not give a short synopsis of what you would or might buy and what you would pay for it.
If I get a good turnout it'll make a nice graph and I'll obviously plug coasterbuzz on it.
Anyway, here's a half page on what i've done.
First, i assumed construction in Ohio, because it's convenient for me. A private facility operating such a device (a private owner not selling rides) would not need to have a $500 a year state inspection. My municipality would classify one as an "accessory building" which limits the height to 16 feet. Outside city limits there would be no such height restriction, a practical limit from a cost perspective is approximately thirty feet.
Second all design options are woodies, because the construction is more amenable to a small company. The design I've put the most work into (computer model, working 1/12th scale model) is a launched shuttle woodie, approximately 200 feet long and 16 feet high. The launch (and catch-return) are bungee and the whole ride is computer controlled. I will refer to this as stock model. Please realize this is earlier concept art and the support structure is not 100% complete.
The rather scary looking bald woman is jsut for size reference, she would not come with the coaster.
As it stands the coaster with one car accelerates at 2g to about 30 Mph, pulls about one negative G on the first hill and one and a half on the second. The coaster is launched by an elastic system and launched backwards by another elastic system, computer controlled of course. A single car coaster would be able to shuttle approximately four times each way before having to be launched by the launch system again. If there are no height restrictions, the coaster could very easily have a normal spike instead of the elastic catch mechanism at the far end.
That is stock. How much, if anything, would you be willing to pay for one? (no one will hold it against you, i for one don't intend to go into the business of mass producing little roller coasters)
Alternatively the same basic system could eaily be modified for other launched or normal complete circuit (launched limited to about 40 mph, normal limited to 30 feet or so, but you can use terrain if you like) layouts. In this case, what max height and length (length would been to be under about 700 feet or it'd have valleying problems) and a one sentance description would you be interested in and what would you be willing to pay for it?
If anyone got through that really gruelling post and actually responds, bless you. I'm not intending on making any sort of sales pitch, just for feasibility i know what these things could be made for, but what people are willing to pay is always an open question.
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