top thrill Questions

Friday, July 18, 2003 2:31 PM
I was recently at CP on the 14th. WOW. what a great park. top thrill is the best ride ever. couple questions on it though. I noticed on the brake run these little black airbag looking things under the track that would expand and contract during a ride. what were those?? also does the sled that propels the car attach to the front of the train coupling or is a special hook made for it? lastly, I know that a tire fell off during launch, and that is one of the reasons they took them off. is it also that it put extra weight on the train, making it harder to clear the tophat???

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I am one.
I am Turbo.

Friday, July 18, 2003 2:44 PM
As far as the weight thing goes, the "dragster wheels" and foil did not add as much weight as 2 more passengers.

Missing the Fallen:
King Cobra 1984-2001
The Bat 1981-1983

Friday, July 18, 2003 4:05 PM
Another question about Dragster, it seemed like before a train would launch, only half of the brakes on the launch segment would be up. Then, they would pop up, after which all of the brakes would retract, then the launch. Why not just have all of the brakes up?

Track Record (probably incomplete)

Saturday, July 19, 2003 3:25 PM
Airbag-looking things under the track...

Airbags, perhaps?

Several of the advancing wheel assemblies are mounted so that they can move up and down. A pair of coil springs holds the unit in the "up" position; inflating the two airbags lowers the unit, and lowering the unit pullls it down far enough that the advancing wheel does not touch the bottom of the train. Here are a couple of photos:
Airbag deflated, tire engaged
Airbag inflated, tire disengaged

As for the catchwagon...
The catchwagon is in the middle in this shot, you can see it's little more than a metal bar with a hole in the center, attached to all three of the wire ropes (which you can't see). Notice those two black rails outboard of the catchwagon that end just short of the first brake fin? Those are electrical contacts. Let me see if I have another view here...
Here is the blue train sitting in the staging area. The shot is a close-up of the area just in front of the fourth axle. You should be able to see a flattened-circular can attached to the underside of the car, aft of the brake magnet, forward of the forward road wheel axle, more or less in line with the green prox switch on the track. If you look even closer, you can see that just to the left of that (behind it in the photo, along the car's longitudinal centerline) there appears to be a piece of diamond-plate with an oval hole in it. I believe there is an electrical contact on the bottom of that canister, which, I am guessing, actuates a solenoid to lower a spring-loaded steel pin from the slot in the center of the car. This would be the back of the third car.

My educated guess about how this all works is as follows:

The advancing wheel assembly advances the train until the fourth axle is in position over the catchwagon. Once suitably positioned, a spring-loaded pin is electrically dropped from the bottom of the third car into the slot in the catchwagon. The airbags on the advancing wheel assembly are inflated, disengaging the tire from the train, and allowing the train to roll backward until the pin is suitably wedged against the back end of the slot in the catchwagon. Wedged in place, it cannot retract into the train until the train over-runs the catchwagon at the end of the launch track, so it functions like a conventional chain dog. Spring-loading the pin insures that if the train doesn't make it over the top of the hill, the pin will retract, and will thus fail to catch the catchwagon as the train rolls over it on the way back to the start of the launch. It also keeps the pin from banging around when the train goes over the advancing wheels.

Hope that helps! :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Saturday, July 19, 2003 3:55 PM
As for the brakes, I believe there are block segments and once the train passes a block, that segment of breaks pops up.

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