S&S Tower Rides?

Monday, October 25, 2004 8:09 PM
I was recentaly thinking about how S&S tower rides work. How does compressed air get you to accelerate that high that fast? Is it a giant pnumatic cyclinder or something else?

Also how does S&S launch their trains on their Thrust Air Coasters?

Monday, October 25, 2004 8:22 PM
I believe it's just the concept of pushing air in a confined space really fast. I think Thrust Air coasters use the same concept.
Monday, October 25, 2004 11:27 PM
Just from observing Power Tower, I gathered that each car has a cable on each of the 4 sides that are connected through a pulley system at the bottom and top of the yellow (at least yellow on PT) tubes. The large center tubes are just for filling and purging of the air tanks.

I'm pretty sure that the yellow tubes are a closed system.

Monday, October 25, 2004 11:42 PM
What he said. Cables wrap around from the car over a pulley at each end of the tower and connect to a piston in the tube. The air is compressed and forced into the tubes, pushing the piston one way, and therefore the car goes the other way. Air on the other side is compressed by the piston, which causes the bounce.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 2:02 AM
I was always fascinated by this, and I wonder why they're more reliable (I'm thinking Supreme Scream, its always running) than hydrolic launches (Like TTD)? Why not use the same concept on rocket coasters?
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 2:30 AM
Well Dodonpa in Japan goes to 0-~107mph in like 1.8 seconds. This is the same time it takes the prototype, Hypersonic, to launch as well. There may be a restriction on the length of time the air in a thrust air can be released. I've heard that the launch on Dodonpa borders on being uncomfortable. If you work it out through the basic kinematics equation:

v = v0 + at, v = 107mph or 156.93 feet per second (47.83 m/s), v0 = 0, t = 1.8 seconds. It comes out to be an average acceleration of 87.185ft/sec. This is a pretty extreme acceleration compared to the other launched coaster technologies we have.

There is one major difference between the S&S cars and other companies' designs though, and that is the overall mass of what is being launched. Intamin and Premier's trains are full in length while S&S's cars are pretty small in comparison. Would their system be able to launch trains that were extended in length? If so could they shape the top of their hills so that the negative G's aren't excessive?

*** Edited 10/26/2004 6:30:30 AM UTC by CPgenius***

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 9:53 AM
If Hypersonic is any indication, I wouldn't go as far as to say that the air launched coasters have better up time than the hydraulic launchers. I think with Hypersonic and Dragster, both are plagued more by control system issues than actual mechanical problems.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 10:55 AM
Aren't most of Dragster problems with the blocking system, Jeff?
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 11:06 AM
To answer the question about why the rocket coasters don't use the same launch system, I would think that it is because S&S owns the rights to that type of technology and it would cost Intamin far more to buy rights to that technology verses just using their own.

As to the concerns around control systems, I would of went with a system built by Consign AG. They are the company behind B&M and have never known to have major issues.

Also note Consign AG doesn't only provide controls for coasters, they also build them for flats(KW's Raging Rapids comes to mind).

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 12:48 PM

Mamoosh said:
Aren't most of Dragster problems with the blocking system, Jeff?
Depends on who you ask. I've heard of some really stupid things like a broken prox switch on a fence gate to a low zone, which shut down the ride. I've heard some other things from People Who Know(TM) that I probably shouldn't repeat, but rest assured they're rarely safety issues. So many problems have to do with the fact that there are just so many damn switches all over that ride. It sounds like mechanically they're in much better shape than they were a year ago.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 1:38 PM
Well they tell you all the time not to shake the airgates because it'll shut the ride down. While I understand the need to safety-switch the gates, I don't agree with the lack of "idiot proofing" on those gates. You have to realize that although you may not *want* them to, people are going to lean on and/or shake those gates. So design them for that - advise people against it, but don't make the system so sensitive that it can shut the entire ride down.

That's like putting a big red button in front of each row that says "Don't push red button". Of COURSE people are going to push it ...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 6:17 PM
If the gates for that ride are set up like Magnum is, which I'd be willing to bet they are, there is a little "give" in the gates, and they won't shutdown the ride unless someone shoves them or shakes them violently.

We try to tell people on Magnum to not shake the gates, but they continue to do so when they see that they can shake them a little and nothing happens. Then you get a jerk who shoves them and stops the train from leaving or entering the station.

On Dragster when the person in contols announces something like "Do not shake the gates in front of you or you WILL shut down this ride." Seeing as how Dragster is so temperamental, it's pretty effective and people stop immediately. It may also have to do with the fact that there are less young kids waiting for the ride, and people or overall more aware of their surroundings, though.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 9:31 PM
For those of you playing at home, Intamin's hydraulic system also stores its potential energy in compressed air. It just happens to route that potential energy through hydraulics a drum and a cable when transferring it to the train whereas the S&S just goes straight into the launch sled.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 10:06 PM
^.....MG ALERT.....:)

So, anwho, what makes IB's S&S tower ride different is that the SECOND shot contains as much PUSH as the first....why's that one SO good on the second blast upwards?

Keansburg's was also GOOD, but not like IB's....LOVE *that* Double Shot!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 11:24 PM
Dragster uses compressed nitrogen, not air. Nitrogen expands faster due to it's temperature properties.(someone correct me if I'm wrong) And the main point of the topic.. Jeff has pretty much how it works. It's simple, yet very complex. There are slight differences between a shot or drop tower, but not in the basic concept.

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