Does anyone know if there are one of these in the states anywhere? It looks like a fun ride.
The ride is an unreliable and unsafe maintenance nightmare. Well, at least a vanilla katapult - I guess Mirabilandia's katapult has received some modifications considering it's located in a modern and reasonably large amusement park.
Some of the problems with the model (the prototype actually) that was in Finland's Linnanmäki somewhere around early 90's were that the train was propelled with tires that needed replacing often, lapbars acted quirky and opened a few times during operation, a few neckrests came flying off while the train was moving and it was impossible to stop the ride quickly - even in a case of emergency.
All in all, not one of Scharzkopf's finest creations.
It was a very strange ride to me. Usually, you have a lot of momentum going into the loops, but not on Katapult, because it takes a while to build up speed. So, you are really aware of the transitions, kind of like riding an inverting pirate ship or space shuttle.
Schwarzkopf made a similar, but more extensive shuttle-type ride with hills called "Wiener Looping" that can be "ridden" in No Limits. I'm pretty sure it still exists, but I'll have to look it up later. *** Edited 12/4/2006 11:10:22 PM UTC by Intamin Fan***
The big sensation back then was the backwards loop and the relatively fast acceleration from the station into the loop.
It is arguable if Katault is a coaster or a powered ride. The only gravity powered part is the top half of the loop.
I have to disagree with the above poster that the ride was any more dangerous or of inferior design than the other Schwarzkopf rides.
Restraints consist of a lapbar and an OTSR. If those restraints were prone to open during the ride and headrests would fly off, then it was definitely a problem of neglect and the ride may have been treated badly during its first ten years of operation.
I understand that the tires were under heavy wear and tear if the ride train was propelled out of the station into the loop. Most of the time the operator would drive the train slowly into the loop, so that the train would climb up the first quarter of the loop. held there for a few seconds, and then would roll out of the loop again.
This would be repeated several times backwards and forwards. The train would accelerate from this point, using gravity and the drive tires to bring it to speed. This would be done to save the material and to add some "show and awe" for the spectators and the riders.
Most rides I had with an Katapult would have three consecutive forward loops and three backward. The "out of the station"-starts used to be rare, mostly when lines were long. Sometimes the train would even accelerate backwards out of the station and do a full loop. This was actually pretty amazing and I am not aware of any other rides that can do this stunt!
There would always be a bit hangtime in the loop which added to the "we´re never going to make it" feeling.
The train could be held in the "quarter loop" position and could be brought to a full stop in the station after coming out of the loop.
If the ride in Linnanmäki could not do this, it was seriously in bad shape.
Actually the drive tires were used on the "Bayernkurve" since the 60ies. A Katapult was just an extended version with an added loop.
They LOOK really cool, like an Anton-ized version of a cross between the Bayern Curve and the Larson Ring of Fire...
Thanks for all the info. I wish that there was one of these near me, as I would love to ride one.
It reminds me of a Bayern Curve with a loop added to it.
Keep your head high and the coasters higher.
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