Vekoma Is Late

I just gotta ask - Am I the only one who sees a bit of futile humor in Vekoma's plan for 4-abreast seating on their coasters? I mean are they seriously gonna try to compete with B&M after 16 years since the debut of Batman ? Besides, Vekoma already released 4 across seating on their flying dutchman style coasters and they proved nowhere near as smooth or enjoyable as the B&M counterparts. I guess Ill shall wait til 2010 to see the end results, but I for one think it is a wasted effort since B&M has more or less PERFECTED that seat design!! Any other thoughts ??

Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?

Maybe they've got some new breakthrough or new ideas to improve on things.

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

Jeff's avatar

What difference does it make? B&M is doing two-across now.

People like to piss in Vekoma's Cherios, but just remember who seems to build all of Disney's coasters in the recent past.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

^The only problem I have ever had with Vekoma, besides there somewhat roughness, but also on Deja Vu at MM, the bottom wheel isnt touchingthe track.

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

Mamoosh's avatar

^ That's not uncommon.

SFoGswim's avatar

^ And not unplanned.

Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!

Jeff said:
What difference does it make? B&M is doing two-across now.

Do you consider that 2 across seating or more of a spread out 4 across? It's in the same department as the Deja-Vu's and I still considered that 4 across (albiet in a more spread out form). Sure it's 2 per when loading the train but aren't all 4 seats on the same axle?

Color me confused. :)

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Jeff's avatar

The new trains are absolutely not like Deja Vu. Those are two very distinct rows and the cars have a much longer wheel base. Now that I've seen one up close at IAAPA, it's like any other two row car, only they flare out the rear row.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Does this mean there is some kind of truth to B&M having had a patent on 4-across seating? If B&M started building rides in 1990 and it's now 2008, that's a little more than the 17 years for a patent...

john peck's avatar

Vekoma has done a lot to stay innovative lately. Introducing the 4-rows now make them a little more competitive to parks that prefer that style of seating arrangement.

Jeff's avatar

You can look up patents, and I doubt very much that you can get a patent for seating four people in a row anywhere. That certainly falls under "prior art" if you ask me. What the hell happened to Jeremy? He'd probably have some insight. I can only find five patents, and they tend to be more specific to restraint design.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Z-Force opened with 4-across seating in 1985.

matt.'s avatar

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I thought Z-Force and the other Intamin ones that sat 4 across were more or less B&M projects, no?

They were. My point was that it opened well before 1990. If Bolliger and Mabillard were working for Giovanola at the time, then Giovanola (who supplied Intamin) would have the rights to any patent.

Mamoosh's avatar

I hope I'm remembering this correctly....

The B&M patent I think being referenced had to do with seats attached to a wheel assembly via stationary (i.e. non-swinging) vertical supports for a "suspended" coaster design. It was this feature that enabled B&M to design a coaster on which trains negotiate inversions while suspended from the track, something Arrow had famously tried without success with the prototype of their suspended coaster. B&M named it the Inverted Coaster, the first of which we all know debuted as Batman The Ride at SFGAm.

This patent is why when Vekoma introduced the SLC the train design is such that the seats are attached to the wheel assemby on a vertical post that, without the diagonal stabilizers, would swing side-to-side.

Jeff - did any of the four patents you came across match the above?

Jeff's avatar

Yep... that was one of them. It very clearly described and had diagrams of an inverter seat assembly. The number of seats was not described as far as I remember.

There's also one for securing your legs in the flyer model. The other three, if I remember right, were more generalized descriptions of roller coasters, heavily referencing other patents. I'm not an IP lawyer, so I'm not sure what the purpose of those really is.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

I wasn't sure if there was any truth to that rumor about B&M laying claim to 4-across seating. There was a time when that was a popular rumor and I never bothered to look into it and see if there was any truth to it. I know that B&M started designing coasters with 4-across seating while working at Intamin. Isn't it possible they could have patented something like that when they started their own company if Intamin had never bothered to do that while B&M were Intamin employees?

I do agree that seating arrangement is more of an artistic thing (as Jeff pointed out) but it never ceases to amaze me what people will patent if they think it gives them a competitive edge.

Jeff's avatar

I didn't say that it was artistic, I said it was prior art, which is a standard that essentially says you can't get a patent on something that already existed.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

So if B&M could show they were the brains behind the "prior art" (Z-Force, Shockwave), would they have the right to the patent? Or were you referring to something completely different by using the phrase "prior art"???

Last edited by d_port_12E,
Jeff's avatar

Well, no, you can't just apply for a patent on something you "invented" 20 years ago, nor could you prove that there's anything novel or original about arranging four seats together in a row.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

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