Xcalibur was supposed to stop mid-ride??

Tuesday, December 9, 2003 11:52 PM
I went back this morning and read over the press releases for SFSL's Xcalibur. It is advertised as it is supposed to catipult you in the air while spinning like it does now, but then come to a halt at the top for a brief moment and then swing back down. Anyone know if they changed the ride due to the problems it had spinning properly in the beginning of the season or it was just advertised wrong?

Here is the link to Six Flags' description of it:


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 12:02 AM
That's the way it was operated at Great Adventure (I rode it once) and I rode Exablibur this past summer and I was much better that it didn't stop (more intense)

*** Edited 12/10/2003 5:03:42 AM UTC by Alex Nagel***

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 12:17 AM
rollergator's avatar

Alex Nagel said:
it was operated at Great Adventure

Really? Never got to see it operating at GAdv, have to admit I was *hoping* that it would swing "back and forth" rather than the single revolution....ah well, I guess that's why there's a Delirium waiting for me next Springtime...:)

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 1:13 AM
It was advertised and the press release was issued before it actually became operational again. From everything i have heard about it from GAdv it was a different ride experience. I know personally that pretty much the only thing the same about the ride is the structure and the gondolas. everythigns else(ie electrial and programming) was brand new. If you ever happend to see the original control booth and controls it was completly differnet than the new controls in place now. So needless to say it would be somewhat of a different ride experience when it opened at St louis. Luckily with higher technology programming that leaves options open for change also. FOr all we know there could be something planned for next season... *** Edited 12/10/2003 6:15:13 AM UTC by SFSL***
Track Record: 51 Coasters... ...for a total of 155,137 feet of track
Wednesday, December 10, 2003 2:32 AM
As you might know the ride used to be called "Evolution" and was travelling the german fairs from 93 to 95.

It originally performed as you described: wheel spins, arm is lifted 180°, wheel slows down, speeds back up, arm is returning to the base. Passengers get off disappointed.

The ride was THE showstopper when it appeared ten years ago. Even the biggest mobile coasters looked ordinary next to this gargantuan machine. But the ride cycle left people underwhelmed.

To make the ride experience more attractive the pre-programmed cycle was changed to manual operations. This allowed stopping the arm at every position which made the ride absolutely stunning but not suitable for every stomach.

High transport costs quickly marked the end of the two transportable versions. One was sold to an italian park and was passed on to Viennas Prater Park. The other one went to SFGadv. I never understood why they had so many problems with the ride, as it was operating very reliably on the fairgrounds.

(is the Huss Jump running at all?)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 2:37 AM
I haven't seen the Huss Jump run in three years.

Evolution probably isn't operating with its mid-cycle stop because my impression is that it's that which gave the ride much of its problems.

What gave me that impression? Arriving at Great Adventure to find the ride suspended upside down and talking with maintenance as they tied their winch around a tree and dragged the ride back around.

Don't step it and it doesn't get stuck, see?


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 11:07 AM
What would even be the point of having it stop at the top? It's not like you would be hanging upside down... all you would have is a view of the other people on the ride. With it not stopping, the ride cycle is shorter and the line moves faster... if it also keeps it from breaking, then these all seem like positives to me.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003 12:24 PM
Centripetal force makes the ride cars swing out so they're perpendicular to their starting location. When the ride stopped upside down, you were facing straight down.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 12:52 PM
If the ride is stopped completly at the top, like whenever the ride was painted/themed, the cars sit just like the do when at the bottom of the ride. The cars can rotate 360 degrees and the bottoms of the cars are heavier than the top of the car, so if it is not spinning at the top of the ride the cars just sit there normally.

The ride can still be stopped at any point and then restarted to continue it's cycle.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 1:28 PM
Okay -- I feel like I'm one of four people who rode Evolution *ever*.

The ride boom stopped at a point 180 degrees away from where it started -- midway through the ride cycle. The lower disc keeps spinning throughout the entire ride.

Theoretically, the ride can be stopped and restarted at any time. In reality, I believe it tends to get stuck upside down.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 1:59 PM
Does anyone have pics of this thing operating? I saw it at Great Adventure many times (not operating, of course) but could never imagine what the ride consisted of. It sounds to me like a Huss Frisbee- is that accurate?
Wednesday, December 10, 2003 2:08 PM
Like Chernabog said, when the boom stops moving at the top, the riders will be facing straight down because the wheel keeps spinning. The bottoms of the cars *are* heavier, which is *exactly* why riders end up facing the ground when the wheel is at the very top (centripetal force pulls the car bottoms straight out).

You can find pictures of the ride operating here and there's a nice picture on the Six Flags site. While the ride does indeed look like a giant frisbee, it doesn't operate like one. Riders sit facing outward in gondolas that can flip forwards and backwards like Chaos cars. When the giant wheel stars spinning fast, centripetal force pulls the bottom of the cars ou to 90* (leaving the riders facing straight up at the sky). Then the boom makes one revolution *very* slowly (unlike the frisbee, it rotates completely around and does not swing - it just moves at a very gradual, steady pace). Once the wheel returns to the bottom position, the wheel stops spinning and the ride is over. It's a very impressive-looking ride, and while it was much more fun than I expected (especially visual-wise), it's not nearly as thrilling as, say, a giant frisbee.

-Nate *** Edited 12/10/2003 7:08:57 PM UTC by coasterdude318***

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:42 PM
Thanks for the link- it looks like a pretty cool ride. Too bad that it was never operating when I visited SFGAdv. Then again, I have seen Chiller run once since it was built, and I have visited the park at least once every year since 1997 (except this year).

Now that I see the ride in operation, it looks kinda like an Enterprise wheel mounted on the end of a giant boom. How fast does that wheel spin?

Just making sure I understood correctly- if the bottoms of the cars are heaviest, then wouldn't riders be facing the ground when the wheel started spinning?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:56 PM
^ The cars face to the outside while in the station. Four people sit next to each other in one car. This makes for an impressive capacity.

The wheel rotates at "Enterprise speed" so that the cars swing outside and passengers will then lie on their backs. This is a pretty cool sensation, as the acceleration is quite strong.
When operated in "freestyle mode", the pole would also stop at 90°, giving you the sensation of multiple sideways loops.
When the pole stops at the top, you will face the ground. Operators used to slow down the wheel and you could then see the other passengers in the other inward facing gondolas. I liked the freaky sensation when the wheel was gaining speed again, while the giant pole would tip over.
Nightrides on fairs would be fantastic, sometimes lasting up to ten minutes!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 4:54 PM
Now I get it... I didn't even consider that the seats faced out instead of in. Now it makes sense.

I wonder why only two were ever constructed? It sounds like a good ride! Were they expensive? And if so, then why did SF buy one? They tend to go for "cheap" when it comes to flats, it seems.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 9:33 PM
Well, only two of the "giant-sized" Evolutions were ever constructed, mainly because they're costly. Fabbri sells a smaller and cheaper version than the St. Louis ride (which is a Nauta Bussink ride).

Six Flags bought the ride used, so it was "cheap" when they purchased it. It's not that SF necessarily goes for cheap flats, though, it's that they go with the same standard manufacturers (mainly Zamperla and Chance) because it seems there's good relationships there. SF just hasn't yet taken the risk on the newer, modern flats from companies like Mondial, KMG, and Fabbri.

*** Edited 12/11/2003 2:36:24 AM UTC by coasterdude318***

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 10:42 PM
I rode the Jump along with 2Hostyl back in 2001, so it has run. I rode it the year before also. It's a very intense ride, and it's a shame that it has so much downtime. It's definitely a portable model, so maybe they could ship it to us at SFA and make it run. I never did get to ride Evolution, despite several trips to the park. I hear it was good, but not a ride you want to get on after eating a theme-park meal.
Thursday, December 11, 2003 2:41 AM

coasterdude318 said:
Well, only two of the "giant-sized" Evolutions were ever constructed, mainly because they're costly.

Actually THREE were produced simultaniously: Two mobile versions were built for german fairs (Evolution and Imperator). The third model was a park model which went to a theme park in Japan. (Kure Portopialand, i think).

The showmen were quite eager to get rid of the monstrous rides, when they had to realize that the ride generated far more spectators than riders! Many people were afraid of the height. Some thought the admission was too high for a relatively short ridetime. (when it opened it just ran the short, pre-programmed cycle).

Maybe the "need" to sell off a relatively new ride made for a relatively low price.

The Huss Jump at SFGAdv is the third model in a series of three.
Again, two models were built and sold by Huss to renowned german showmen. (Distel and Bruch)
It was a time when Huss was under big pressure to deliver a new, top-selling "hit-ride".

After Breakdance became the best selling flatride of all time expectations were high. Some rides they built afterwards didn´t meet the high expectations and were considered flops.

The Frisbee became the last big seller, but it was basically just a re-invented swinging ship. Huss thought they had to set a statement and declared to build the worlds first "freefall flat ride".

The "Jumping" as it was first called was incredibly complicated and "heavy". The shaft in the middle houses gazillions of gallons of oil to catapult the gondolas skyward. Sadly, the much publizised freefall effect was underwhelming, while the manic spinning of the gondolas distracted evenm further from the sensation.
The first two versions were plagued with downtime and used to be a mechanical nightmare in its first month of operation. There was much re-designing and re-building to be done. Ontop of this the public wasn´t too eager to shell out their money for a good looking but boring ride.
The third showman who was waiting for his model to be delivered was not too happy when he found out that he bought a flop ride. He decided to buy it relatively "naked" without much additional lights and eyecandy. It was rumoured that he immediately considered to sell the ride after it was delivered to him. The "yellow" Jump did a few fair appearances but it soon disappeared to SFGAdv.

The Distel family, who own the prototype, managed to turn their once dumb ride into one of the most beautiful and spectacular to look at carny rides in germany. Garnered with neon-lights, bubble throwers, fog machines and millions of spectacular light effect this elegant machine is surreal in it beauty at night. It still appears at the biggest german fairs and is obviously making money. I prefer to watch, though.

I think that the failure of the "Jumping" and all the bad blood it caused in the relationship between Huss and the showmen marked the end of Huss producing carny rides. After the wonderful "Booster" failed to become a top seller as well they went on to produce park rides only.

Thursday, December 11, 2003 11:55 AM
Nate, I doubt SF will ever go with a lot from Fabbri as the package that LARC bought from them for Jazzland has been a down-time problem since it opened. And yes, relationships are a huge part of this industry. Entusiasts seem to forget that the sales part of this world is a lot like any other sales job- part of the sell is the product, part is the salesperson. The ratio to which those impact the varies from client to client.


Thursday, December 11, 2003 12:59 PM
That's a good point LONNOL,however if SF had known to use thier relationship with various manufacturer's based on reliabilty of the product then why is it they keep going back to vekoma time & time again for coasters that in the end fail to work reliably?

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