Hydraulic Launch??

Thursday, January 9, 2003 7:08 AM
With the announcement of dragster, it was stated that it uses a hydraulic launch to rocket the cars up the top hat. Xcelerator also uses this lauch, or so i heard. CAn anyone explain this theory. How does it work. I understand LIM's and all, but not this. Anyone know how it works?
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Thursday, January 9, 2003 7:19 AM

It's pretty much like an air pressure catapult. Instead of an electronic motor, air is compressed in a tank (like a water gun) and released all at once when the pressure has become too much (launch). It was first introduced in Hypersonic XLC in Virginia, I believe.

This is only from what I've been told. I may be wrong on some or a lot of this.

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Thursday, January 9, 2003 7:34 AM

I created an animation, showing the important details of the hydraulic launch. You will find it in my article about Xcelerator - the link: http://www.coastersandmore.de/Rides/Xcel/xcelmain.shtml

Note: The text is in German, but you can start the animation by clicking on the pic with the text "Animation starten".

*** This post was edited by cam on 1/9/2003. ***

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Thursday, January 9, 2003 7:34 AM

X It To Xtreme, you're thinking about S&S power's Ta2k's, which uses an air pressure launch instead of a hydraulic launch, which is what the new intamin rocket coaster's are using. You can find most of your answers about hyrdaulic launches in this thread.

http://coasterbuzz.com/forums/thread.asp?ForumID=11&TopicID=27575

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Thursday, January 9, 2003 7:34 AM

So a cable is attched to the car, which is pulled down the track by a drum, that is spun by hydraulics right? The cable is then released when each car reaches a certain speed. So their is probably a sled that is permantly attached to the cable, that in turn grabs and releases the cars, like on MF's lift. Big difference is it just accelerates the cars like a bat out of hell since it is connected to hydraulic motors, powed by hydraulic accumualtors and compressed nitrogen cylinders. Now it makes sense, glad i am an Engineer with some hydraulic experience.

*** This post was edited by Tuffy303 on 1/9/2003. ***

*** This post was edited by Tuffy303 on 1/9/2003. ***

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Thursday, January 9, 2003 7:46 AM
I haven't got details yet, but here are some hydraulic basics for you:

Hydraulic systems work by moving fluid under pressure. Hydraulic systems differ from pneumatic systems in that fluids are non-compressible. So if you have a pipe filled with fluid with a plunger in one end and a plug in the other, if you push the plunger, the plug will be forced out the same distance. That is the basic theory behind all hydraulic systems. You have a supply of fluid, a source of pressure, and some kind of hydraulic load.

My understanding...not yet verified, but I think it's fairly close to the way things work...is that fluid is pumped into a large volume accumulator. An accumulator is basically a rigid cylinder with a plunger inside where the blind end of the cylinder is filled with Nitrogen gas. Hydraulic oil is pumped into the open end of the cylinder which, since the oil cannot be compressed, forces the plunger towardsthe blind end. It is able to move because Nitrogen gas *is* compressible. This allows a large amount of fluid to be stored under pressure. For the launch, the accumulator is emptied out into the vanes of a hydraulic motor which is able to spin at high speed and at high torque (hydraulic motors can generate awesome torque at any speed). The motor pulls a wire rope which hauls a catchwagon down the launch track at very high speed. After the launch, the system resets...the catchwagon goes back to the start of the launch track, and the accumulator is repressurized.

The accumulator is used because it can deliver as much fluid to the motor in 4 seconds as the pump can deliver to the accumulator in 40 seconds (based on the stats given on the CP web page). In other words, it allows the use of a drive motor 1/10th the size of what the launch force requires.

As I learn more about the launch system, I'll be happy to share... :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, January 9, 2003 8:03 AM

Tuffy303, you have that idea right. The launch cable works in a very similar manner to a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop.

The train on Xcelerator goes backwards a foot or two right before the launch to engage the cable.

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California Screamin- it's good!

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Thursday, January 9, 2003 10:49 AM
The train on Rock N Rollercoaster does this too, (moving back slightly to engage the sled to the bottom of the train) even though it is LIM.
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Thursday, January 9, 2003 3:23 PM
Someone posted a link once to the translated version of that site. Do a search for hydrolics.
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Thursday, January 9, 2003 3:44 PM
^ Just be sure you spell "hydraulics" correctly, or your search will turn up nothing!

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