Intamin announces Vertical Launch Coaster model

Jephry's avatar

Looks like Intamin has something interesting cooking. Great timing too, given what’s going on with Dragster.

Still, I’m excited to see what could happen with something like this. The feeling of being launched vertically on your back, depending on the speed, would be incredible. I’m sure there are folks who are way more learned in this area, but we could see coasters going to new heights, even if it’s not the recording breaking heights, given the space saved on a traditional lift or even a horizontal launch section.

Last edited by Jephry,
Jeff's avatar

The problem is, what do you do near the top? You either have to back off acceleration early or brake so you don't break passengers at the thighs as they go over the top.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Raven-Phile's avatar

Yeah, I wondered that, too. Those would be some seriously extreme forces at the top. Zierer has a vertical launch ride out there:

I wonder how that one does it.

IIRC, Wicked accelerates horizontally and during the transition to vertical, but once it hits 90* the LSMs just maintain it's speed to the top of the hill. No brakes over the top.

eightdotthree's avatar

Since I was just tinkering in the Roller Coaster DB... Here is the Coasterbuzz listing for Wicked.


You either have to back off acceleration early or brake so you don't break passengers at the thighs as they go over the top.

Skyrush says "hold my beer"

I found Wicked to be unsettling during the launch. I expected a sensation similar to what Dragster provided, in other words I thought I’d feel the ride begin to slow once it went vertical. But no, it seemed to increase in speed straight toward an empty sky, and I didn’t care much for that.
On a side note it was only the second ride I’ve ever seen that provided attachable children’s seats in the station so literally everyone could ride that scary thing.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Will they have to alternate the rocket launch and the coaster train launch like they do for Kilimanjaro and Kingda Ka?

Vater's avatar

Would it need to be that different from Lightning Rod, besides being vertical? It slows up at the top so it isn't uncomfortable going over the hill.

eightdotthree's avatar

I am definitely intrigued. If they can do a launch on an airtime hill ala Pantheon, why not on the spike? Maybe they do a swing launch and a launch on the spike?

It’s already been done, just think Mr. Freeze. There’s a launch boost going up that spike.

Jephry's avatar

Lightning Rod came to mind when I saw this solution. I’m not sure what it was like when it first opened, but Lightning Rod’s launch feels more like a quick way to get you up the lift rather than a true element of the ride. But for Dragster, depending on the speed, it could really give a different feel to the ride all together.

From the video the vertical launch looks more like a speedy lifthill. It does look like it slows at the peak.

Launching up part of the top hat makes sense for Dragster. It could clear the top with less overall speed

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, the more I think about this, the more that I suspect "launch" is overselling it. That's a heavy train full of people you're pushing straight up. Maverick's "lift"' is LSM but I wouldn't call that a launch either.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

OhioStater's avatar

It's the end of the rollback as we know it, and I feel fine about that.

The timing of this release almost seems too coincidental to not be related to Dragster 2.0, but one (at least I do) does question the idea of another Intamin prototype replacing what was the most problematic ride in the park's long history.

If you look through the brochure, it's all there:

Strongest LSM launch available on the market
Panoramic top hat with anticipation stall possible
Launch directly into the first (inverted) ride elements
Combinable with single-, multi- or swing-launch-sections
Comfortable, state-of-the-art trains
Most comfortable restraint system for maximum freedom

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

Dragster has basically had all of its track removed except for the tophat at this point. Theoretically, LSMs could be installed all the way up to the last white track piece; however, those pieces currently remain in place so I'd say it's unlikely that's happening.

Unless they're just waiting for the end of the season to bring a crane in, which would make sense. Anyone anticipating more info on this project at IAAPA, or will we be waiting longer?

Last edited by cmwein,

They could have removed a lot more track with the crane they previously had on site.

Brandon | Facebook

Jeff's avatar

Well, my suspicions were correct. I wouldn't call 25mph a "launch."

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog


They could have removed a lot more track with the crane they previously had on site.

I never saw photos of the crane, but if that's the case then I'd say that's pretty telling.

LagoonCoasterFan's avatar

Wicked is at my home park, and I love the vertical launch. However, on rollbacks, they launch you from a dead stop, which is so much more exciting. It does have a small stapling/leg breaking issue going over the top, but it can easily be solved by holding your lap bar up. Also, in this photo: you can see that the LSMs go quite far up the tower.

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