How fast is Superman The Escape at SFMM???

Tuesday, May 6, 2003 8:31 PM
With all the buzz about Top Thrill Dragster being the fastest coaster they keep bringing up past record holders and ive read in several articles that Superman was a record holder at 100 mph in the past. Now for those who rode the ride when new, did it ever go that fast??? And how fast is it today?? I rode the ride this december and it seemed very tame/lame to me and not very fast, defitnely slower than Xcelarator at Knotts which i rode.

What are your thoughts on this??

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 8:35 PM
100mph but it takes 9 sec to reach that speed, where as TTD does it in 4 sec and goes 20 mph faster

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Summer 03-CP, HP, Canobie, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 8:36 PM
It definately doesn't FEEL fast, due to the more gradual acceleration, but it is faster than Xcelerator. (Which I also liked much, much, much, much more.)

I believe it isn't getting as high as it once used to. I'd be surprised if it hit the 300 foot mark much anymore. I'm just not sure it does...

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"Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation." - David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap
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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 8:46 PM

Touchdown said:
100mph but it takes 9 sec to reach that speed, where as TTD does it in 4 sec and goes 20 mph faster

It's 0-100 mph in 7 seconds. Nowadays, Magic Mountain will not run the ride to its full ability in order to heighten reliability and reduce down-time. Superman The Escape runs at about 88% of what it used to when it opened back in March '97. This is what happens when you develop the first ride to achieve that "mythical" speed of 100 mph in a time where nothing of the sort was thought possible. And reaching that speed within 7 seconds and climbing up a titanic 415' tower recieved a raging surge of disbelief and "eye-poppage". This ride was also the first to utilize Linear Synchronous Motors, having Souther California Edison Electric to dedicate an entire line to feed the ride. The LSMs was of the main factors in its delayed opening, upkeep and maintenance, and lowered performance power.

But don't forget that this ride was intented to open in 1996, more than half a decade ago from Top Thrill Dragster's opening. So by even comparing it to any of the newer launched coasters of today is a flattering matter for The Escape.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 8:49 PM
If I had to guess, S:TE gets to around 90ish now, or just below that. Based on the height that the car currently travels up the tower, it certainly isn't 100 anymore. Of course, SFMM would never admit that. ;)

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The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 8:53 PM

Bob O said:
Now for those who rode the ride when new, did it ever go that fast??? And how fast is it today?? I rode the ride this december and it seemed very tame/lame to me and not very fast, defitnely slower than Xcelarator at Knotts which i rode.

What are your thoughts on this??


You did not feel that it ran slower than Xcelerator. What you felt was the increased intensity of the launch due to the lowered ratio of the time it gets to the maximum speed. Xcelerator's hydraulic catapult system propels riders into a sustained 2 G launch from a standstill to 82mph in 2.3 seconds. Superman The Escape's outdated (less reliable, less economical) method of launching vehicles, LSMs, sends the 15-passenger gondolas from 0 to 100mph in 7 seconds.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 9:15 PM
Well I was VERY lucky to see the left side run 100mph once again on my last visit. The ride had broken down with us on it ( as you can see here here and here) and they were having trouble getting it to launch at all. Then all of a suddon the launch started (we were down by the chute-the-chute) and it was gunning it like I had never heard before in my life. The car shot up the tower, tapped the brakes, and returned to earth... if only I was on that car.

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www.CaliforniaCoasterNews.com
www.SFMWZone.com

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 10:02 PM
dunno about S:TE, but ToT always seams to get up to just below 100. there is a camera at the top and last time i went on it (2001) i could clearly see the camera.

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Colossus [1]
Nemesis: Inferno [6]

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 10:50 PM
Tower of Terror runs at around 157km/hr (97mph) most of the time, according to odometer display in the station that works no more than 1% of the time. I'd imagine that Superman runs at the same or a similar speed these days (I'm guessing this is the next setting down or something).

And just for adequate stirrage in the discussion, let's not forget that TOT opened around two months prior to S:TE, so any record you try to claim for S:TE should go to TOT. :)

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 6:00 AM
Yeah I never got that, auscoasterman. SFMM always claims STE was the first ride ever to hit 100mph blah blah blah, but everything I remember points to ToT hitting that record *and* opening up first! So what is the deal with that?

Also, have you ever been on The Giant Drop when ToT was falling back down to Earth? That seems like it'd be a pretty neat "race." :)

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Top Thrill Dragster -- The most intense, unbelievable, and spectacular fifteen seconds on any coaster, anywhere, ever.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 6:31 AM
I wonder if MM has considered rehabbing the ride to a similar hydrolic launch system as what Xcellorator and Dragster have, not that it would be the smartest economical move, mind you.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 6:40 AM
You won't find me criticizing Superman TE. That ride was ahead of its time. Coaster or not it is quite an attraction.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 8:14 AM
John Peck: Not a smart economic move at all. To replace the entire launch system with a hydraulic system would cost far more than S:TE will ever be worth. Even if it did get back to 100 MPH, with the length of its launch track, it would still pale in comparison to the other hydraulic rides. Besides, this is SFMM, since when do they improve their rides that need improvements? ;)

As for S:TE, its ok. It was amazing at the time, but with the advancements in technology, 90 MPH in 7 seconds just doesn't have a lot of punch to it. Even so, it has some cool airtime at the top.

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The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 8:30 AM
The funny thing to me is that this thread suggests S:TE is *yesterday's news*. If that's the case, WHY was there a wait of over 1/2 hour during ERT at Con....this may be an historic ride, but it's *still* got drawing power....there's NO way SFMM will do anything to dramatically change the ride while it's still THAT popular, even among enthusiasts...

Now, getting both sides to launch together....that would be a popular move that won't happen either...;)
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"Like most problems in life, it's nothing that can't be solved with a little bending"...Bender, Futurama

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 8:47 AM
i have been on the giant drop when TOT when up the tower! damn that thing shakes lol. seriously you here it coming, the vibrations, and when it goes up beside you it sounds really awesome, like a monorail stopping, it'd be awesome if they put a holding brake at the top! hey auscoasterman, which side do u prefer east or west of the giant drop?

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Colossus [1]
Nemesis: Inferno [6]

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 8:52 AM
I agree that Superman may be a little overrated in the speed department, since it takes nearly twice as long to reach a speed twenty miles/hour less than TTD, but it was a revolutionary ride and without it, we probably would not have rides like TTD around to compare it to.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 9:33 AM
Not only that, but you dont get much sense of speed because there really isn't anything flying by you during the launch, just a lot of open area (from what I remember) making it seem pretty slow....
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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 9:37 AM
Let's also not forget that S:TE was delayed an entire year and actually *did* test at 100mph long before TOT opened.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 10:37 AM
When i rode the ride it didnt get anywhere near the top of the ride and maybe it was as fast as some say here but it sure didnt feel that fast and IMHO i found it boring and rode it several times only because the park was slow and you only had to wait for one luanch before you could re-ride. When i saw it on tv it sure seemed alot faster than it did in person.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 11:04 AM
The Superman that roars today hits a max speed of about 88 mph, for far too many reasons to list here. A launched coaster not run at full potential is obviously not going to be much to write home about, we've already established that.

A few years ago I worked on this ride. It's such a high maintainance ride that there *was* talk at one point about replacing the launch system in house, without Intamin's involvement, or perhaps going with a outside company(premier rides I'm guessing). This was back of course when the ride was a top priority of the park. Obviously it isn't anymore, and the budget slashing Six Flags of today isn't the least bit concearned with fading rides, they're concearned about making it through the quarter.

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Evanescence-My Immortal. Coming to a rock opera near you...
*** This post was edited by DWeaver 5/7/2003 3:08:13 PM ***

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