We debuted the latest S&S ride today during the ACE tour.....not everyone was able to ride but those who did said great things.
Our drop tower is 360ft tall with a 260ft freefall. At 100ft in elevation you enter the cylinder tube at approximately 90mph where a cushion of air slows the vehicle. The vehicle is essentially a piston that compresses air within the cylinder tube. Small vents along the sides of the tower expel the air to reduce the Gs. Currently, the deceleration is about 5Gs.
There is seating for two people in a small capsule vehicle. The walls are steel grating with a plexiglass window on the front. The riders enter the vehicle and once secured the main cylinder door is closed. This leaves the riders in complete darkness.
The ascent takes close to a minute and the view of Cache Valley is fantastic. Once at the top, the ride pauses for a few seconds and then you plummet.
Hitting the tube at 90mph is incredible! Pitch dark...Loud...Fast...Great Gs. Controlled Chaos.
This is the most intimidating ride I have ever experienced but it is phenomenol. I rode three times yesterday during testing. Awesome stuff!
I don't have a picture right now but I'm sure there will be plenty of photos and video on the net within the next few days.
Picture a regular Intamin 2nd Gen Freefall. Instead of magnetic brakes, the pill shaped vehicle enters a round pipe. The vehicle fills the entire cross-section of the pipe, and pressurizes the air beneath the vehicle. Small air vents along the sides decrease the stopping Gs by releasing the pressurized air.
There are walls around the passengers so you cannot reach out and touch the inside of the pipe while moving at 90mph.
Although this sounds pretty cool to me, it makes me just a little nervous. I know that there are no laws of physics that will prevent the freefalls with magnetic brakes stopping. By your description, a failure could occur if the air cylinders were left open, but I assume there is some sort of fail safe.
I admit I would probably ride it despite my concern.
New and innovative ways to use AIR for rides... I don't think it's a waste at all. Just kind of those "i wonder if we could do it" kind of things, and with it being S&S, they decided they would. Judging by the description / dark tunnel decent, I think it may be a great thing :)
But it comes down to reinventing the wheel. As a park owner, why would you buy this over the mag drop towers, or even the standard S&S double shots?
The thing I don't entirely understand about S&S is the fascination with compressed air. Time to branch out, I think. I get the impression that the design process starts with "what can we do with air" instead of "what ride experience do we want to create."
I read somewhere that he thought of all of his ideas by throwing his children in the air. He just started messing with air to somehow throw bigger people in the air. Is the air relatively less expensive? I think if that is the case then why not? It would attract parks with less money to buy something like this. If im not mistaken magnetic operations are a bit more, so maybe that is why stan is still throwing out these kinds of rides.
I thought the whole point of S&S using compressed air for their rides was to provide a smooth and forceful ride without excessive jerk? In the Supreme Scream video that was on the S&S website, I recall a quote that was something like "it's extremely smooth, it's powered on air".
How is it *possibly* less expensive or less maintenance to keep a compressed air system that has a lot of moving parts working over a giant 50' magnet with no moving parts? Magnetic braking force has got to be the least expensive over time of any system. The initial cost is probably higher, but you rarely have to do more than say "yup, thing's still there" and it'll keep doing what it does until the laws of Physics are repealed.
Well, have you ever ridden Hypersonic vs. a hyraulic or LIM launcher? I think the jerk is a heck of a lot more prolific on HS than on the others. The air-launch is faster, so again, unless dear old Dreamer Stan finds a way to change the laws of physics and the equation for force, a faster acceleration is going to be more forceful and more "jerky" than the other more drawn out launches (although that statement right there probably contains the biggest advantage of air launches over cable or magnetic systems).
S&S continues to spew crap and people continue stand in the spray wanting more ...