Sky Rocket Design Flaw?

Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:55 PM
kpjb's avatar

The second half just may be faster tomorrow...


Hi

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Thursday, July 15, 2010 5:27 PM
obxKevin's avatar

Good to hear, can you tell us geeks how many blades will be gone?


The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004
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Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:01 PM
kpjb's avatar

I think there are only two left on that second vertical drop, so I assume one. We also have two different types of fins that will react differently and slow accordingly.


Hi

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Thursday, July 15, 2010 10:01 PM
DantheCoasterman's avatar

Wait...what's going on tomorrow?


-Daniel

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Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:28 PM

Any chance that they're going to take some of the magnets out in the holding area behind the station? The trains move so slowly through there that one train is halfway through the course before the other train makes it into the station.

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Friday, July 16, 2010 2:17 AM
Jeff's avatar

The magnets are on the train, not the track. As far as I can see, anyway.


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Friday, July 16, 2010 2:36 AM

Its like that here to with Six Flags New England and Canobie Lake Park Gonch. That's funny too because I always thought of Kennywood as Canboie Lake park on Steriods when I went there a few summers ago.

Last edited by Eric Hossfield, Friday, July 16, 2010 2:37 AM

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Friday, July 16, 2010 9:04 AM

An interesting point to make would be that Pittsburghers are almost conditioned to expect an intense ride experience. I mean what have we been raised on? Thunderbolt, Steel Phantom, then Phantom's Revenge, not to mention major flat ride additions of the Sky Coaster and the Pitt Fall? Growing up, the original Phantom was my (and many) Pittsburghers' first steel coaster. Whether you liked the Phantom or not, I can't think of any coaster out there today that matches what the Steel Phantom did in terms of sheer, unrestrained intensity, save for maybe the Voyage or the pre-neutered I305.

Anyway, growing up with rides like that seems to mean that Sky Rocket's underwhelming second act (ok, not the whole second act, just the surf curves and final air hills) might be a bit more of a letdown to a public that hasn't had a looping coaster in their home park in 10+ years. That might be unfair and even illogical from a coaster enthusiast point of view, but a fair number of non-enthusiast burghers I've talked to share that sort of sentiment. Speeding up the second half should make it better, but I'll reiterate my feelings from before the thing even opened: surf curves (a marketing term for 'lame track wobbles') and tiny air hills stilted up 15-20' off the ground were just bad design decisions on what is otherwise a great, thrill-centric ride.

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Friday, July 16, 2010 4:30 PM

Bill
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Friday, July 16, 2010 9:33 AM

Jeff said:
The magnets are on the train, not the track. As far as I can see, anyway.

...And while that is a more efficient way to build the ride from a component point of view (magnets are heavier and more expensive than fins) it is also an aggravating design decision operationally...

On Phantom or Jack Rabbit, the brakes can be adjusted on a per-caliper basis by adjusting the width of the airgap.

On Sky Rocket (I'm guessing...I'll see it on Sunday...) with the fins on the track, the magnet airgap is going to be constant, which means the brakes are less adjustable. Fins can be replaced with different materials, or they can be trimmed down (although that can not be undone...).

So I imagine the braking on Sky Rocket is undergoing some fairly serious tweaking...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Friday, July 16, 2010 9:47 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

kpjb said:
The second half just may be faster tomorrow...

Ohhhhhhh! I may have to go tonight to check it out. Been wanting to go all week.


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Friday, July 16, 2010 2:44 PM
Josh M's avatar

Hmmm... very interesting news. Maybe I should drive down to the park and check it out this afternoon. It's just sooo hot out today... :)


Josh M.

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Friday, July 16, 2010 4:42 PM

RideMan said:

On Sky Rocket (I'm guessing...I'll see it on Sunday...) with the fins on the track [and magnet on the train], the magnet airgap is going to be constant, which means the brakes are less adjustable.

I didn't notice when I was there, but take a look at it when you get there. On a ride like Sky Rocket where so much of the braking isn't meticulously controlled by computers, it wouldn't surprise me (and in fact would be more than a little impressive) if the magnets mounted to the train were, at least to some degree, mounted to some sort of clamp-like mechanism to enable, at least to some extent, the sort of adjustment you're speaking of. Especially with some of the trims mounted in places where adding/removing them means a crane ride (I'm looking at you, first hill), it would be nice to have a variable-separation magnet gap on the bottom of the train that could be fooled around with depending on conditions. Cold day in October? Widen the gap a bit. Hot, rainy day in July? Tighten the gap.

I realize I'm backseat engineering with perfect hindsight, but I'd be interested to know if Premier considered that and proactively designed for it.


Bill
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Friday, July 16, 2010 9:09 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

I haven't ridden Sky Rocket yet, but was wondering why the last 2 legs of the ride are up so high off the ground? Were they gonna put the turnpike cars (can't think of their real name) back under the ride at some point?


Billy
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Friday, July 16, 2010 9:31 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Billy, the cars were called The Turnpike.

Funny, my first visit to Kennywood was in 1991 at the age of 11, a year after my first visit to Cedar Point. I thought Kennywood was the greatest park ever and it had nothing to do with the Steel Phantom which I found to be a mixed bag of fun and awfulness.

I guess I can relate to the "growing up with Cedar Point the nearby alternative to my home park" as I had Adventureland as my home park and Worlds of Fun (in its glory days) just a few hours from home. I've grown to appreciate Adventureland more over the years and Worlds of Fun less and less (until Prowler).

Last edited by Acoustic Viscosity, Friday, July 16, 2010 9:32 PM

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Friday, July 16, 2010 9:51 PM
LostKause's avatar

As a teen, I lived between Kennywood and Hersheypark. In my area, those were the two parks that got compared with each other, and Hersheypark was considered the better of the two.

I'd still consider HP to be better, even if they did recently build two red, looping intamins with a tower lift and drop, and remove their rapids ride for a swimming pool.


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Friday, July 16, 2010 10:11 PM

BBSpeed26, I am sure the calipers on the train are adjustable as you suggest, but I think you missed my point. The brakes have to be adjusted so that when the train gets back to the station it reliably cuts the speed to the point where it can be reliably stopped. So the caliper on the train is going to be adjusted in accordance with the requirements of the most critical brake on the ride. Because while the caliper is adjustable, it can't be adjusted on the fly, automatically, while the ride is running.

My point is that on, say, Phantom's Revenge, every brake caliper can be individually adjusted so that if one brake needs to be lightened up a bit, that can be done while the next brake can stay the same or even be tightened down a little to compensate further. It is possible to do that kind of fine tuning with the fins on the track, but the adjustments are not nearly as fine unless you want to start cutting the fins down. Which, by the way, I believe is what Cedar Point did with the launch sled brakes on Top Thrill Dragster.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Last edited by RideMan, Friday, July 16, 2010 10:12 PM

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Friday, July 16, 2010 10:23 PM

Dave, wouldn't adjusting the gap on Sky Rocket be more difficult because the same caliper is used for both the LSM fins as well as the brake fins? To me, it sounds like removing brake fins is easier than reprogramming the launch sequence.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010 12:02 AM

Is it? That is an observation or assumption that I can't either confirm or deny. But if they are indeed using a single set of magnets for both launching and braking, then yes, that could be an issue. Again, I'm planning to see the ride in person on Sunday.

My point was that if you're trying to adjust trimming mid-ride, the best you can do is coarse adjustments by adding, removing, changing out, or cutting fins.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
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Saturday, July 17, 2010 12:15 AM

I can confirm that it's one set of magnets for everything on the ride. The design is quite ingenious really, as all the different control systems on the ride utilize the same magnet device under the cars. The launch and brake fins ride through the magnet, the drive wheels ride under the bottom of the magnet, and the brake pads also push up against the button of the magnet assembly.

Last edited by PhantomTails, Saturday, July 17, 2010 12:16 AM
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Monday, July 19, 2010 3:09 AM

Sky Rocket is a pretty amazing ride, and a whole lot of fun. I can get back to the technology discussion after I get some sleep. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
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