New Launching Idea

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 6:27 PM
Hey everyone, I havent posted around here in a while, and I was thinkin about something and I want to know what you think about it.

Dragster has been having a lot of problems with the launch cart over heating, etc. and I was thinking of a more logical way to launch coasters.

I am a ski maniac, its my favorite thing to do, coasters come 2nd, and I'm not sure if any of you ski but have you ever ridden a hi speed detachablel lift? For those of you who haven't, a detachable lift is almost like a skyride at a park such as CP, It connects to the cable and it un connects. High Speed Lifts slow down to let you on and basically accelerate out of the terminal for a quick ride to the top of the mountain.

Click HereFor a Lesson on how high speed lifts work, it'll help you better understand the concept

My idea is, why not use that concept of high speed lifts? Run a continous cable, like a sky ride with 2 wheels at each end with vertical bull wheels, and have a 'grip' on the bottom of the car, as it says on the website, the grips connect to the cable when a wheel on them is pushed down. Its almost like how a bar on coaster track lifts up to lock/unlock restraints. So what'll happen is a bar lifts off that wheel, at the same time the cable is going say 120 mph (in dragsters case) the grip attaches to the cable and the train goes flying at 120 mph, then an automatic bar pushed up on the wheel that releases the grip from the cable at the end of the launch area and the train goes through the rest of the circuit.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 6:35 PM
Correct me of I am wrong, but isn't that idea almost the same as the launch system of TTD?

Secondly, do you think they could get this "high speed lift" fast enough (120mph)?

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 6:36 PM
I think that while it works for ski lifts, which go much slower than 120MPH, it would not work for something going that rate of speed.


Tuesday, January 6, 2004 6:40 PM
I think they should get loads of ferrets attatched to the front of the cars and get them to run really fast...
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 6:44 PM
The thing with TTD, is that there is alot of friction involved between the sled and the sled track. This way there would be no friction, because the cable would be tight enough, like a ski lift, that it would't need a track.

Yea high speed quads don't go 120 mph, but wouldn't the conecpt work if there was a powerful enough drive motor?

If you haven't been skiing before, you'd be surprised how fast these things go. TGV at Tremblant, you get on that, and that launch is intense :) you go flying out of the 'station' and if you look at the chair coming back down, you have to lookfast because they FLY by, and when you get off it basically sends you flying. Its a sudden stop that sends you on your way without you even having to do anything.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 6:47 PM
The closest thing to what you describe is the flywheel launch system (used on some Schwarzkopf shuttle loopers). You can't just have the cable moving fast because it wont have enough force or momentum to use that speed to accelerate the train faster. The flywheel launce uses a big heavy wheel that is always spinning to build up energy and then connects with the catapult when ready to launch. Rocket coasters also have catapult launches but use some kind of hydrolic power (I haven't read much into their workings).
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 6:53 PM
I would think a continuously moving cable, especially at that speed, would create more issues than a sled that launches every dispatch. How would you propose the car "grip" the cable? I think it's an interesting idea, at least for something to discuss during the off season besides how stupid all of us enthusiasts are.

I claim no special technical knowledge. I dropped OUT of Engineering school!

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 7:07 PM

There is a link to Doppelmayr CTEC, the mostest trusted name in detach lifts ;)

The idea is that you use the already successful grip they use for chairlifts, think about it, they have got to be safe, they are carrying people over cliffs by a single cable, that grip has GOTTA stay connected, and therefore could be designed stronger to accomodate a coaster launch system, and the grip can be built onto the bottom of the car

Here is a picture of the basic idea

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 7:09 PM
And if there are booster wheels used, like on hulk, then it can accelerate to connect to the cable, thats what high speed lifts do anyway, wheels move the car to let people on, think about skyrides, then there are faster wheels, so that it speeds up then connect, so its not such a jolt.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 7:25 PM
M'man... where do you come up with these crazy ideas?

First it was your mini drop tower you made on your garage, and now a new kinda lift....

I think you're thinking too hard. It wouldn't be feesible on a launch coaster so as much as MAYBE a lift for a coaster... even then... high-speed lifts are NOT cheap... and would definately not benefit a coaster, as they are many millions of dollars.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 7:32 PM
The ski lift idea sounds very similar to the flywheel launch on Anton shuttles, only that engages the stationary cable to the moving flywheel, not the moving cable to the stationary train.

A few questions, though: Wouldn't running the launch cable all the time waste a lot of energy? Stopping the cable and restarting before each launch would take too long for it to spin up, right?

I had a couple of other questions... but they kinda went -poof- in my head and I don't remember.

*** Edited 1/7/2004 12:42:38 AM UTC by Michael Darling***

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 7:37 PM
well obviously dragsters launch system hasn't worked out to well...:/
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 8:11 PM
You're right! 120 MPH operation for 10-12 hours a day would fix it.

Why couldn't I realize this myself? Teach me more...


Tuesday, January 6, 2004 8:12 PM
Well, yes it would take alot of power to constantly have the cable accelerate, but I know on high speed ski lifts, it takes about 10 seconds to get to full speed, which is about 15-18 mph, some faster

I'm not saying install a ski lift, I'm just sayin use the concept of using a grip connected to the bottom of the car to hook onto the cable...

Even so, think about dragster, that motor takes 4 seconds to get to 120 mph, so could this, it would just be more like a endless pulley with two wheels at each end like a chairlift, getting rid of the need of a launch sled. when the operator pushes the dispatch button, a bar will raise up releasing the wheel on the grip, and hooking onto the cable. If that sudden jolt is too much, then there could always be some boosters, I mean thats what hi speed quad chairlifts use. Look at the site in my original post, you can see what i mean.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 8:15 PM
I think your idea would work Ride of Steel if the train gripped the cable while the cable was motionless and then the regular launch system would launch the train. If you just tried to have the grip on the train grip the cable moving at 120mph, the cable would snap every time. The trains are just too heavy, loaded or empty. Not to mention what it would do to the passengers, 0-120 instantly. Ouch!
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 9:56 PM
Maybe there could be a shock absorber like a spring or something to spread out the force.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10:01 PM
If you boosted the train up to a speed so that it wasn't jolted by the grip onto the cable, the cable wouldn't be launching at all.

Additionally, having something in constant motion all day long (esp at a speed like 120MPH) has to take a lot of power and require a lot of maintanance.. TTD does what, 4 seconds out of every 45?

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10:08 PM
Andy, try 4 seconds every 45 MINUTES ;) (or hours/days)

Just a thought, i mean this hydrualics thing has had alot of problems. What if we did my idea with the cable, and just connected it, and fired the motor, and the launched it? Could a motor do that? Or would it need hydraulics like ttd?

Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10:55 PM
Bonus points for spelling "hydraulics" correctly, but negative points for an ambigious question. Connect the cable to what?
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10:58 PM
Just a reminder, as out there as this idea is, it would be considered in the "brainstorming" stage. The hydraulic launch system has gone through years of testing in other applications so they new its limits. The energy consumtion of this idea, sure it is a concern, but consider LIMS. Initially (and still) they used incredible amounts of power compared to traditional rides. Due to reliability, compactness, and added thrill parks invested in them. Come up with a realisitic way to prove this system is better than a revamped hydraulic launch system and you may have something. Consider the future though. Even if you seriously come up with a viable solution add 3-7 years of ride advancement to it. By the time your idea would go live we may be looking at 150-200mph and 500-700 feet. Every idea starts somewhere and around every idea are people willing to say it won't work.

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