Swiss news magazine FACT (comparable to TIME) recently printed an article about Dragster and swiss coaster manufacturers in general.
It consists of the typical standards and numbers but without the typical mistakes. It even reports the numerous technical problems that plague the ride, which are partly due to triple redundant security techniques, according to Intamins chief technician Jasper.
While Sandor Kernacs just states that they will try anything to build what the parks want, Dick Kinzel is quoted that he wants "a flying coaster, a floorless coaster and a coaster with even more inversions in the future".
Chief technician Jasper goes so far to tell the magazine that "a 750 ft. high coaster is within our technical possibilities, but the pull out would go through the whole of Ohio."
I have no idea if Kinzels statements are of any relevance, but I thought you should know what he says to the foreign press.
The article has no pictures, but it is backed by a second article that deals with the end of the coaster race and the parks new interest in family attractions. Its all in german, but I post the link anyway:
Monty Jasper is CP's vice president of maintenance and construction... not an Intamin employee.
Good to hear those comments from Dick though, and I agree with him entirely. He's obviously onboard with the floorless idea since they're putting one in at Dorney.
About the "features" on Dragster... I'm learning from People Who Know(TM) that it's true about the complexity and redundancy issues. You know a bad prox switch on a low-zone gate once brought down the ride? What happened to padlocking and red-tagging rides? Low-tech, but it does the same thing, keeps people safe, and doesn't break the entire ride.
I thinks its because people are getting to stupid to realize that a fence means danger. I cant tell you how many times at SFWoA we would e-stop or ride stop a ride because a person or person tries to retrieve an item they lost. One day I had a very intelligent mother send 6 kids into the RWB yard to look for 1 hat. Her excuse for sending them was she didnt know they werent allowed to jump the fence.
Better safe then sorry, and you'll probably start seeing all the rides like that.
------------------ SFWoA TL 2003! *** This post was edited by XFlight 9/26/2003 3:56:02 PM ***
A broken lock? Have you broken pad locks before? Is there a history of people who have died in low zones from breaking locks and entering the ride area? No, of course not... that's my point. Sure, idiots jump over the fences, but that's just Darwin at work.
Actually, Jeff, the gate is padlocked and secured with TWO prox switches. The interesting thing about it is that the area secured by the gate in question (or at any rate one of the gates in question) is inherently insecure as it connects directly via stairway to the open end of the boarding station...and there is no gate or anything else to block access from the station. Only a locked gate to block access from the midway.
Anyway, the reason for putting switches on maintenance gates is not because there is a history of people breaking padlocks, entering secured areas, and getting killed...there is a history of people entering secured areas without locking the ride out first and getting killed. Subtle difference, sure. But you get the idea.
Not that checking that gate is going to help when someone has entered the area and closed the gate behind him. The only logic I can come up with is if the gate opens inward and can extend into the vehicle reach envelope. In that case, the gate itself is a safety hazard when open, and insuring that the gate is closed can prevent an incident.
(I am, of course, not sure of that...)
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
(edit: No need to sign it twice!) *** This post was edited by RideMan 9/27/2003 12:07:48 AM ***
In my opinion, Cedar Point shouldn't venture further into the giant coaster race until fixing kinks on TTD. If they can't handle a 420 ft coaster, what makes them think they can handle a 750 footer? Well I guess since its just a goal it doesn't matter but still, bigger is not always better...
Den said: WOOO! A 750-foot coaster is planned for Ohio! ;) :)
Where in the article did it say that? Monty Jasper just said that a 750' tall coaster is within their technical possibilities, but the pull-out would go through the whole of Ohio (joking exaggeration).
Maybe he was talking strictly steel coasters within a lengthy period of time, but where's any clue of major non-coaster additions like a Sally dark ride, Giant or new-age flats, motion theatres, a little variety?? It's not that I don't love coasters, but with all they have already including Dragster, what makes them think I'll be so excited about a "flying coaster" or "floorless coaster", especially when I can ride one an hour away. Now a coaster with more inversions in the vein of Thorpe Park's record-breaker... I'm listening. ;)