The Cantilevered Roller Coaster Concept

Monday, September 13, 2010 6:38 PM

The cantilevered roller coaster is a thrill ride concept which utilizes two sets of rails to create an unpredictable ride experience (similar to 4D coasters). I remember hearing about this concept a few years ago. The ride could function as a slower dark ride or a high speed steel coaster. I recently read an interview with John Hogg, the inventor and patent holder of the concept. This answer really intrigued me:

"I’ve tried creating virtual models several times using the help of friends who are proficient in different 3D software systems. Unfortunately by its nature the CRC has some complex interdependent kinetic relationships that make it difficult (and therefore expensive!) to model. Previous attempts have utilized 3D Studio, Maya, and other software platforms, none of which have yielded a really useful model containing the interdependent characteristics that the system requires.The funny part is that every time someone has started to try and model it, they’ve insisted at the start that they’d be able to pull it off,and that they understood everything about the mechanical nature of the CRC system. Instead, each time they ended up tired and frustrated realizing that the system was much more complex than they’d expected,and that the chosen program was inadequate to do the job."

After reading that I decided CATIA and Iwere up to the challenge. Following a few weeks of work, here is the result. Some of the movement is a bit exaggerated (the engineers probably wouldn't like the car hiking out that far to the side) but gives you an idea of the full range of motion of the vehicle. So, what do you think? Is this a feasible design? Will this concept ever be fully realized? If so, which park will build it first (and fund the R&D)?

Last edited by Amnesiac, Monday, September 13, 2010 6:40 PM
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Monday, September 13, 2010 6:47 PM

I guess the question I have, is why? Would the experience be different enough to make all of those moving parts worth it? I suspect the challenge with such a system is the same one that the 4D has, that you need to make the system rigid enough so that the "steering" track and bogies works, but without causing some weird dynamics on the structure of the vehicle.

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Monday, September 13, 2010 6:55 PM

Talked with Ed of S&S some years ago at the TGG auction and he said then that the whole issue with the thing was weight of the trains and that as lighter stronger materials become available they would be more proficient as well as practical to build

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Monday, September 13, 2010 7:54 PM

I'm with Jeff here. It seems like a really elaborate mechanism that would be both very expensive and difficult to maintain in terms of operation. It would be "unique," of course, but I'm not sold.

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Monday, September 13, 2010 10:25 PM

I agree, it sounds incredibly pointless.

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Monday, September 13, 2010 11:16 PM

The only benefit I see is that you can't see a track while riding, so you can be surprised when it suddenly slides over and out of the way of an fast approaching obstacle. That's almost exciting.

I've been watching this idea slowly grow for years. I'm still not impressed. Maybe it's final incarnation with added scenery and special effects could be kind of cool, but right now it seems gimmicky, pointless, and it looks very unreliable.

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Monday, September 13, 2010 11:17 PM

I did not see any maneuvers that that cantilever concept did that a normal coaster could not do aside from the hindrance of the view of the track. You can still see the groove where the cantilever pokes up so the argument that you can't see the track is no good anyway.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 2:40 AM

LostKause said:
The only benefit I see is that you can't see a track while riding, so you can be surprised when it suddenly slides over and out of the way of an fast approaching obstacle. That's almost exciting.

Hmm, I still don't think that has a lot going for it. You could sit in rows 2 - 8 on a B&M inverted and get the same effect pretty much.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 6:53 AM

I think it has more merit on a Dark Ride - although there are pneumatic and hydraulic systems out there which mimic this as well.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:37 AM

You could always throw a RoboCoaster on a dark ride track, and get the same effect.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:31 AM

From my point of view, the main objective of the cantilevered coaster concept is to create an unpredictable ride experience by being able to hide the track from view. Keep in mind that there are different track arrangement configurations. For instance, the whole model could be inverted with the vehicle hanging below the track, or the car could be cantilevered on the side too. You would be riding along right at a giant pillar or tree and at the last instance the car would swing out to the side barely avoiding a collision.

Actually, in a dark ride format, I think the ride experience would be quite similar to the Indiana Jones/Dinosaur rides at the Disney parks but without the electro-mechanical, hydraulic actuation, and delicate on-board computer control systems. I realize a big cost of those rides are the extensive theme but ideally, after the R&D costs are out of the way, the cantilevered coaster would be a cheaper alternative, opening the doors for a non-Disney or Universal park to build one.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 12:09 PM

How could any of that not be accomplished by what is already available?

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 12:15 PM

^ I agree, it just seems like a lot of effort to achieve very little. If it was such a revolutionary idea I don't see why nobody has picked it up yet.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 12:31 PM

In theory, you could almost do the same thing with the new S&S(Eagle's Flight?)concept, too. Just put a counterweight on the other side of the wing, and start it vertically rather than horizontally. You could hide the bottom under whatever, and have it swing from side to side, giving the top the same type of effect.

Really, it seems there's definitely ways to pull it off using currently available technology.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:27 PM

The thing that you guys seem to be overlooking is the marketing/buzz angle. First cantilevered coaster in the world, etc. It could be something unique that other parks don't have.

Besides, I think that when you have a new innovation like this, someone will find a way to use it that cannot be duplicated with existing ride systems. The concept seems fairly simple and an extension of existing technology. Those are the best kind of innovations and usually the most sucessfull. It strikes me as an technology that would open up flexiblity to all sorts of options. Plus, even if the movements are similar, I doubt the sensations would be the same. Instead of pistons (or whatever) pushing you, it just seems like it would be a more natural pulling/falling in different directions. Motion simulator rides feel more like you are being moved around erratically and doesn't really simulate the sensation right - you're just getting jerked around in your seat. This seems like it would be more smooth or at least different enough to be appreciated.

Finally, I have to say that the video is very impressive. It does a very good job of giving you a feel for how the ride dynamics work and illustrate some elements that could be accomplished.

Last edited by decil76, Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:31 PM
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:58 PM

The thing that you guys seem to be overlooking is the marketing/buzz angle.

But the marketing push from that and the resulting influx of new money would need to be big enough to cover the cost of installation for a prototype.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:28 PM

Marketing and buzz for a ride that doesn't work is not a good plan. See Top Thrill Dragster the first year.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:58 PM

Besides, how would that feel natural? It seems to me like there's more push/pull there than anything. At least if you turned an S&S Power Eagle on its side, and made the bottom "tub" a counterweight, it would be a natural sway.

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Friday, September 17, 2010 9:46 AM

Raven-Phile said:
You could always throw a RoboCoaster on a dark ride track, and get the same effect.

A robocoaster / dark ride?? Well thats a ridiculous idea ;)

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Friday, September 17, 2010 10:28 AM

That's exactly what I'm saying, It's nothing that hasn't been done/tried in some way or another. :)

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