Monty Jasper on Dragster

Friday, February 21, 2003 3:10 PM
A small group of enthusiasts got to chat with Monty Jasper today. This is what he had to say about Dragster.

Xcelerator was essentially a "proof-of-concept" for Dragster. Its motor, at 8,700 horsepower, could even launch a dragster train the full 120 mph, but they aired on the side of caution with a 1,000 horsepower motor.

The ride has several hundred switches and censors on it, the most complex in the park.

The blocking, on the other hand, is probably the simplest. Trains will indeed move in pairs. There will be a seperate unload, for a pair, on the back turn. Down track of the load station, there will be two areas, one "hot" block for the actual launch, and one standby. As soon as the first train has cleared the top of the ride, the second will move forward to the launch. Once the train ahead clears the brakes, the second will be launched. When the second has crested the top, the next pair of trains are rolled up.

At this point they expect to use one person per train per side on the load, meaning four people. They'll have nearly 60 seconds to load.

The ride has a total of 32 motors connected to a planatary gear arrangement, 16 on each side of the drum you've seen in the pictures. A total of four valves will actually serve the motors from a number of accumulators (he wasn't sure off the top of his head how many).

Lighting has been tested, and it's said to be a pretty awesome thing to see.

The ride's power is fed off of the same dedicated line that feeds Wicked Twister. Dragster, by comparison, will likely be far more expensive to operate from a power consumption standpoint.

The foundations for the tower are only between 7 and 10 feet deep. Little did anyone know that they extend under the midway by about 50 feet, so you were walking on them all season long. They were poured last winter because they obviously couldn't tear up the entire midway during the season.

The launch will pull between 1 and 1.5 G's. WT, for comparison's sake, does about 1.7.

There will be sound effects to accompany the launch (i.e., squealing tires), and the "Christmas tree" on the tower will let you see from pretty much anywhere in the park when a launch will happen.

There was more, but I don't remember off the top of my head what else was said. Bill Spehn, VP of operations, was also there, and actually handled the more operational questions.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Friday, February 21, 2003 5:22 PM
Sounds sweet, Jeff. Thanks for the update...I wonder when the TTD is sinking rumors will start due to the shallow footers. ;)

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Friday, February 21, 2003 6:50 PM
No, no, no, redman.

With the shallow footers will come the rumors of the tower leaning an extra inch each season. :)

"Leaning Tower of Dragster" :)

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Friday, February 21, 2003 7:05 PM
But Chi, isn't the leaning due to the fact that the footers on the side closer to Sandusky Bay are sinking faster than the ones on the other side...;). Just like a race car, TTD will have a *cant*...as if we didn't already have one...

Sometimes I *am* forced to wonder how the "n00bs" EVER catch up....;)

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Friday, February 21, 2003 7:20 PM
Sure 'gator', we will throw that theory in as well as everytime a train crests the tophat, the structure will be to "top heavy" thus causing the leaning effect. ;)

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 4:48 AM
As I said on GTTP:
Let's not forget the 105 miles of electic wiring
And some of those construction workers (and their trucks!!) ;)

Jo
NON-enthusiast
2000/2002 Raptor Crew
Lifetime Raptor flights: 708 :)
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It's all about getting around the barrels or over the fences, right leads, no faults, fastest time and still looking pretty when done. What's so hard about that? :)

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 7:14 AM

Chitown said:
Sure 'gator', we will throw that theory in as well as everytime a train crests the tophat, the structure will be to "top heavy" thus causing the leaning effect. ;)

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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"


And that will lead to calling it "Top Heavy Dragster" :)

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 8:13 AM

rollergator said:
But Chi, isn't the leaning due to the fact that the footers on the side closer to Sandusky Bay are sinking faster than the ones on the other side...;). Just like a race car, TTD will have a *cant*...as if we didn't already have one...

And CP will still win by having the world's first reverse overbanked turn. ;)

-Danny

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 2:37 PM
Ok, 1.5g's...less that WT. I remember WT's launch, and even though it was at the time earlier this season this it was down, it really wasn't the intense, it just kind of jolted forward. Now, before I go saying other things, was WT's launch when it wasn't down any more noticably intense than it was when it was down? Is so, how much? And how many g's would you say WT's launch did pull when it was down?

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LeWiS

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 3:08 PM
The 1.7G's on Wicked Twister would be probably the inital thrust force, it wouldn't be sustained for the entire launch (I'd expect it'd drop down to under 1G or ½G after the inital thrust). Top Thrill Dragster on the other hand, may have a more gradual acceleration (lower intial thrust force), but keep increasing the acceleration through the launch, where Wicked Twister might plateau and accelerate at a constant rate.

I'd say Wicked Twister's Velocity-Time could be simplified to y=x^½, and Dragster's as y=2^x. Pull out the old TI calculator and take a look for yourself. :)

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 3:09 PM
Yea Chris, i agree....was a bit puzzled by that.

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 3:10 PM
I doubt it'll be under 1.7, Xcel's it 2.3 and drops off to 2.1 halfway down the launch track (Sandor himself explained it at Solace last year). I don't think they'd develop a 8,000 Hp motor to launch a train at 1.5 g's, doesnt really make sense. Even LIM rides initially pull between 1.8 and 1.6 g's ont he launch, which drops off to around 1.2 by the end. It just doesnt seem right to me, if thats the case, then this will be as weak as a weight drop shuttle loop! Hell even flywheel shuttles would accelerate faster, lol ;)
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Saturday, February 22, 2003 3:37 PM
Jeff, is there any website that posted the complete conversation so we can see all of what he said?
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Monday, February 24, 2003 4:52 AM
Why are you doubting any of this? Don't you think that the people who are operating the ride would know better than you?

Think about it, the launch track on Dragster is probably three or four times the length of Twister. It makes perfect sense that its launch will not pull the same G's.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Monday, February 24, 2003 6:34 AM
It seems that the second car in the 'pair' is going to be much more exciting... you'll be in pre-launch holding longer, building anti - ci - pation. You'll spend less time in post-launch holding, plus you'll see the car ahead shoot out ahead of you and up the tower, which will add to the scary mental aspect of the ride.
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Pun is the death of wit.
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Monday, February 24, 2003 9:48 AM
On a side note, does anybody know about the launch G's on Hypersonic. It's seemed pretty intense to me. . .
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Monday, February 24, 2003 10:03 AM
I think I calcualated it to be 2.5 or 2.3 but i could have calculated it wrong
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Monday, February 24, 2003 10:07 AM
Well, it's easy enough to figure out. Acceleration is simply the change in speed (velocity) over the change in time. For H:XLC the change in speed is 80mph (35.7632 m/s) in 1.8 seconds or an acceleration of 19.86844444 (etc.) m/(s*s). Comparatively, the acceration of gravity (or 1 G) is 9.8m/(s*s). So the accereration of H:XLC in "G"s is about 2.03 G. Greater than either WT or TTD
lata, jeremy
---here endeth the physics lesson...

edit: corrected units.
*** This post was edited by 2Hostyl 2/24/2003 3:08:09 PM ***

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Monday, February 24, 2003 10:12 AM
Makes sense. Hypersonic's launch track is incredibly short. The first time I got up to the launch area, I couldn't believe how close the tower seemed!

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Monday, February 24, 2003 10:22 AM
I think something else to take into account (as far as how intense the launch will be) is the time you'll spend launching. Wicked Twister and Hypersonic (and others) push more G's, but for less time. A solid four seconds of positive G's should seem more intense than it actually is. Rather than an intial jolt (like a punch) it'll be more constant pressure (like a fat guy sitting on you for a few seconds).

Does that make sense? Could I have used more parenthesis?

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