S:UF Chair Inversion Mechanism

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 2:05 PM
Hi everyone, first time poster!

I'm a mechanical engineering grad student trying to put together a (hopefully!) interesting project for a undergrad class I teach. I want it to be based on the mechanism used on Superman: Ultimate Flight to turn the train cars from the seated position to the flying position.

I think I've got the basics sketched out on paper from a fair selection of pictures on the web, but am not sure how the whole system is actuated. Are the air cylinders connected to each car the main input, or is it the motors located way up above the track?

It's been about 3 months since I've been on the ride so I just can't recall that well myself :(

Sorry for a post that requires a lot of brainwork, but any help from anyone who's recently ridden and notices these types of things will be VERY appreciated!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 2:12 PM
From what I've watched while working, this is how it works. The main drive motors for the raising/lowering have drive axles that come out of them. Their rotation causes the bars that run along the track in the station to raise up and lower down. As the train rolls into the station, special wheels on the side of the train thread into this bar. The bar moving up and down while the wheels are in it cause the train to raise and lower. This isnt a true vertical rising, but more a "roll up" and "roll down". This is how the train raises and lowers. The "shocks" on the back of the train are just to make it not move too much while you're getting in/out. There are also pins that screw into the car from the main chassis.

SFoG Train Engineer since '03.
SFoG: Land of rides under 2 min.

*** This post was edited by Chris the Coaster Freak 9/10/2003 6:16:11 PM ***

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:10 PM
Olsor's avatar RFL - this idea is already better than... er, every single project I ever worked on majoring in ME at University of Illinois. Bravo!

Way better than taking apart a leaf blower...

Ask about my references

Thursday, September 11, 2003 1:22 AM
As a sidenote B&M calls this device the SAM--Swing Arm Mechanism.

To add to Chris's post:

There are small wheels, 2 per car, mounted on each side of the car. These make no contact with the track and are used strictly for raising/lowering the trains. As the enter the station, the wheels enter a U-beam (one on each side), which is the contact point for the SAM and the train.

The U-beam is semi-rigid and hangs from vertical beams (again, on each side of the train). Those vertical beams are mounted to a counterweighted device (I can't think of the proper name here, I'll just call it a pivot). Anyway, the pivots on both sides are connected by an axle... and all the axles are connected ad moved via a larger, longer axle that runs above the track. This primary axle turns those pivot axles via a gearbox.

The primary axle is the only motorized part of the SAM.

The SAM is also counterweighted.

You can see a good picture of the wheel I mentioned about to enter the U-channel beam here:


You can see the upper portion of the SAM here:


In the latter picture, of AIR, te U-channel beam is the lowest greenish coloered horizontal beam. The vertical struts move it up and down and are connected to pivots at the top. Connecting those pivots are the secondary axles running into the gearbox (blue). The larger axle runs lengthwise through th estation and is connected to a motor at one end.

Thursday, September 11, 2003 7:02 AM
Wow... awesome information! Thank you!!!

GP, any chance you have an identical picture to the AIR one above, but in the inverted position, just so I could compare from the same viewpoint how everything lines up?

Also, does anyone know in the return cycle (lowering the cars back down), is there any power needed at all, or do the locking pins release and let gravity and the shocks provides a slow return back to ground?

Again, thank you tons for all of your help! I too hope this will be better than a standard "let's look at a four-bar" ME project.

Thursday, September 11, 2003 8:04 AM
Power is needed for raising and lowering if using the SAM. there is a manual release that can be used in emergencies that will let it down though...

SFoG Train Engineer since '03.
SFoG: Land of rides under 2 min.

Thursday, September 11, 2003 9:22 AM
Sorry, I couldn't really find any good ones of the train in the prone position showing thre SAM. The only difference is that the channel beam and vertical struts travel down to raise the cars. The counterweights (which are at the top of each strut) invert themselves so assist the SAM. Did find another shot of SUF's SAM:



I found two shots on RCDB which showed nearly identical pictures of the trains in laoding and prone positions. Note the location of the channel beam in regards to the yellow track rail:



You can see that the SAM actually goes down to push the trains up, and vice versa to lower them.


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