How are drops Measured?

Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:42 PM
What is the difference between height of drop and lenth of drop? shouldn't they be equal? ex. colossos in germany: rcdb says its its 196ft tall. It then says the drop us 159 ft. shouldnt the height of the ride be equal to the drop? http://rcdb.com/id988.htm How exactly are drops measured? This has always confused me. im gonna guess and say height is obviously the overall height of the ride. Drop really referes to LENGTH of drop in which they measure the length of the track from the highest point down to the bottom of the drop. Can someone help clear this up for me? *** Edited 10/13/2005 10:43:25 PM UTC by DorneyDante***
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Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:45 PM
Lenght of drop is the acutal track lenght of the fall. Drop height is how high you drop from/how far you fall. In a graph, lenght is on the x-axis, while height is on the y-axis.
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Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:49 PM
The height of the ride is how tall it is at it's highest point above ground level.

The drop would refer to the longest drop on the ride measured from top of hill to bottom.

TTD is 420 feet tall, but at the bottom of the drop you're still 20 feet above the ground. Thus a 400 foot drop.

Goliath (SFMM) is 235 feet tall, but goes underground resulting in a 255 foot drop.

Thunderbolt (KW) is 70 feet tall. The largest drop on the ride is 95 feet thanks to the terrain and has nothing to do with the hill that is the highest at 70 feet above ground level.

They measure two different things.

Make sense?

*** Edited 10/13/2005 10:53:29 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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Thursday, October 13, 2005 8:52 PM
To make sure it's clear:

Height of the coaster is how high you are off the ground. Length of drop is the height difference from the highest point to the lowest point you travel. It actually has nothing to do with the length of the track itself.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005 8:56 PM
Well, yeah, if you want to be all succinct about it. ;)
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Thursday, October 13, 2005 9:10 PM
The drop can be any length as long as it provides enough energy to get it over it's next higheest point, And so on and so on and so on.

Remember, energy can be stored, The next hill doesn't have to be the next highest hill as long as sufficent energy is stored from earlier drops.

Big drop, Bunny, Bunny, Camelback big hill, bunny, bunny ect.

Chuck, doing his best Dave Altolf immatation and failing misserably

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Thursday, October 13, 2005 9:45 PM

dannerman said:


Length of drop is the height difference from the highest point to the lowest point you travel. It actually has nothing to do with the length of the track itself.


Mole above said the exact opposite. Also, no one answered my Colossus question. I understand that height is the measurement of the highest point on the ride from ground. what im unclear about is the "drop" measurement. Am I wrong by saying length of drop refers to the actual measurement of track on the coaster's drop, (like what mole said.) I'm getting different answers thats why im kinda confused.
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Thursday, October 13, 2005 10:24 PM
No. Mole is totally incorrect. The height and drop stats on RCDB have nothing to do with length of track. It's all about elevation.

The drop is simply a measure of the biggest single drop on the ride in terms of elevation.

If a hill on the ride layout is 150 feet tall at the top and the bottom (or pull-out) of the hill is 10 feet above the ground, then the drop is 140 feet. It doesn't matter which hill this is (the lift, the first, the second, etc.) on the ride and it has nothing to do with how tall the ride is.

Keep in mind we're talking about the stats as RCDB displays them.

I'm not familiar with Colossus, but I am familiar with what the RCDB stats mean.

For Colossus:

-The highest you will ever be (above ground level) on the ride is 196' 10"

-The furthest you will drop anywhere on the ride in a single instance is 159' 1"

(assuming RCDB's statistics are correct, of course)

EDIT - let me explain it with a coaster you're probably familiar with - Steel Force (I figure the screen name Dorney Dante is for a reason :) )

When you reach the top of the lift hill, you are at the tallest point on the ride. 200 feet above the ground.

RCDB lists the height of Steel Force at 200 feet.

The first drop on Steel Force is the biggest. You go from 200 feet above ground level to 5 feet below ground level. (200 feet minus negative 5 feet equals 205 feet)

RCDB lists the drop on Steel Force as 205 feet.

*** Edited 10/14/2005 2:33:44 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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Thursday, October 13, 2005 11:30 PM
Thanks, LG.. that's essentially what I was trying to say as well. The actual length of the track itself has nothing to do with the drop measurements. My guess is that Mole must have misunderstood your question because you referenced "length of drop" and "height of drop" instead of "ride height" and "largest drop"...

Here's another example you'd be very familiar with:
Hercules at Dorney Park - the height of the ride was 95' and the drop was 151'. This was because the height of the top of the biggest hill was 95' off the ground, and the drop took you down the side of the hill, 56' "below ground level" (referencing the same point in terms of elevation as the highest hill).

In like manner, your less-than-favorite Hydra has the same 95' hill, and then only drops 10' below ground level for a drop of 105'

Edit: fixed a word from my brain thinking to fast. *** Edited 10/14/2005 3:36:32 AM UTC by dannerman***

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Friday, October 14, 2005 3:43 PM
maybe this diagram I made will help people understand better :-P

http://img425.imageshack.us/img425/2962/sfmmdrop3bi.jpg
the actual distance from start of ride elevation to top of ride elevation is 328 feet, but the "ride" / structure itself is 415 feet... kinda stupuid to have such a height record so tall when the ride doesn't go nearly that high...

I used superman @ SFMM because i remember a very comical represenation of height vs. drop that sombody made, but goggle didn't help me find it...

-- alan j *** Edited 10/14/2005 7:45:30 PM UTC by SFDL_Dude***

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Saturday, October 15, 2005 12:52 PM

dannerman said:


In like manner, your less-than-favorite Hydra has the same 95' hill, and then only drops 10' below ground level for a drop of 105'


I don't recall ever stating Hydra is my "less than favorite ride." Was there really a need to say this? Furthermore, I think everything is cleared up (minus the Colossos thing). The stats on rcdb must be wrong for colossos im assuming.
*** Edited 10/15/2005 4:53:11 PM UTC by DorneyDante***
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Saturday, October 15, 2005 2:19 PM
Assuming that the stats for Colossus are correct, then what is happening is probably very similar to what happens on Son Of Beast. The height of the lift hill is 196 feet above the ground. However, The ride drops a little and then makes a turn before hitting the first drop, which causes some loss in elevation before the first drop begins. You can see that in this picture : http://rcdb.com/ig988.htm?picture=15

The ride does get fairly close to the ground on its first drop, but it is still a few feet above the ground at the bottom, as you can see here : http://rcdb.com/ig988.htm?picture=30

However, there could be some elevation rise on the ground from the top of the lift to the bottom of the drop which would also make the actual height of the drop shorter. All of these factors are probably enough to account for the 37 foot height difference between the height of the lift and the height of the first drop. Hope that cleared things up a little.

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Saturday, October 15, 2005 4:06 PM

Mustang said:
Assuming that the stats for Colossus are correct, then what is happening is probably very similar to what happens on Son Of Beast. The height of the lift hill is 196 feet above the ground. However, The ride drops a little and then makes a turn before hitting the first drop, which causes some loss in elevation before the first drop begins. You can see that in this picture : http://rcdb.com/ig988.htm?picture=15

The ride does get fairly close to the ground on its first drop, but it is still a few feet above the ground at the bottom, as you can see here : http://rcdb.com/ig988.htm?picture=30

However, there could be some elevation rise on the ground from the top of the lift to the bottom of the drop which would also make the actual height of the drop shorter. All of these factors are probably enough to account for the 37 foot height difference between the height of the lift and the height of the first drop. Hope that cleared things up a little.


I understand everything you are saying and it makes sense. but i dont think that accounts for the 37 missing ft on colossos. that little dip before the first drop and the height of the first drop above ground certainly cant be 37ft.
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Saturday, October 15, 2005 4:24 PM
Just for kicks...

Everyone is talking about 100 to 200 to 400 foot heights and drops...

One of the best examples of how much they can differ is the very short (by comparrison) Leap-The-Dips at Lakemont Park.

RCDB has its height as 41 feet, but its longest drop (really only a little "dip") as only 9 feet. As stated above, highest point off the ground is 41 feet. Hight difference between the top of the highest drop and the bottom of the highest drop is 9 feet... but even at the bottom of the heighest drop you are still 30+ feet off the ground.

To muddy the waters a bit more...

Becareful of how things are worded... A few years ago I was reading info provided by a park on its coaster (I forget which one, possibly Apollo's Chariot at BGW... and I forget the exact numbers), but it stated something like "700 feet of drop" or something like that. For this purpose they were measuring TOTAL drop... in other words... 200ft + 150ft + etc etc etc to get a total of 700 feet. (again, forgive the numbers or the coaster.... just an example).

Granted, I only ever saw this "total Drop" b.s. once and at first glance it caught me a little off guard.

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