The Rattler at SFFT. Holy flexing of structure batman!!!!!

I did my occasional youtube searching of parks and coasters and came upon this SFFT video. At about the 2:54 mark you see the Rattlers wooden structure flex extremely. I have never seen a wooden structure flex as much as this thing does. I had to watch it a few times to make sure what I saw was happening.

Click here.

Wow, just WOW!!!!

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nasai's avatar
That's pretty f'd up, and cool, all at the same time.


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Jason Hammond's avatar
I know structure is suposed to have give. Because if it doesn't bend, it breaks. But, Wow. If someone can confirm that it has always been like this, then I won't say another word. But, that much flex doesn't seem right. It's not just flexing, it's flailing.

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What you are seeing is due to low-resolution video. The ride is fine.
Yes, it really does flex like that. You can feel the train snap back to the left when you are riding it. The best views are from the queue to the rapids ride. It's always fun to take first-timers there and watch their reaction.
I've built K'Nex structures that are 100X more solid than that!

But what really impressed me? What a great-looking park! I've never been there and really don't know too much about the place but now I really want to go. Those waterfalls are a nice idea and everything looks nicely landscaped. I particularly like the Scrambler built on wooden boards. Hopefully Sharpiro DOES make the other Six Flags parks follow in the spirit of Fiesta Texas- looks like they're doing things right down there in San Antonio.

I remember back in the early 90's going on the Mean Streak and while waiting in line under the structure I always liked to point out to people how the structure would move when a train passed by, this literally caused several people to get out of line because they thought something was wrong with the ride! :)


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delan's avatar
Yikes...thats pretty scary. Looks like SOB accident waiting to happen.
That's no low-resolution trick. The train is flexing back and forth even before it makes it to the lifthill. Wow, I'm glad I didn't see what I saw in the video footage before riding it. That makes The Legend's turn next to the staircase to the station look rock-solid.

That just might explain why the triple up-and-down helix is so bad. And then again, I don't know if anything could save that monumental design disaster.

Definitely has nothing to do with the resolution of the video. That structure is wiggling around like paper in the wind.

I suppose that's what's one of the biggest problems with building a tall wood coaster- the higher you go, the more structure you need to support the thing, especially if you go for something twisty. Maybe that's why Heide Park's Colossos and the taller portions of El Toro are out-and-backs? There are very few side-to-side forces to act on a structure when the train is traveling in a straight line.

I stand corrected! The next shot at 2:56, when it goes into the inclined straightaway, you can really see the whole thing shake.
HOLY POOP Thats scary.
Roller coaster structural engineering by Play-Doh!
It's even more impressive in person.

You used Joe Satriani's "Summer Song" for the music, right? It fits the movie.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

Who you? Me? I didn't make that video. But, I have seen the disaster that is Rattler in person.

(And, closer to the front, it's not completely bone-shattering.)

That looks pretty neat actually. I agree with Rob though that the park looks very nice as well.
San Antonio is looking more and more like a destination in the near future with SFFT, Sea World and Riverwalk. If not this year, hopefully next year.
eightdotthree's avatar
Texas Giant's first turn flexes like that too. Its pretty crazy to see. Feels like it too. Ouch.

Like I said, I think it's the larger coasters that do that. Taller structures generally tend to flex more than shorter ones since there are more areas for the structure to flex. I assume that an unusual amount of flex in the structure is/was the reason Hercules, Mean Streak Texas Giant, the Beast, SOB and Rattler have/had their share of problems. Something to be said for thinking on a "normal" scale...

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