Maurer Söhne, Pax Back to introduction

SBF-Visa, Vekoma, Zamperla

ABC Engineering
Maurer Söhne

New Tower Coaster layout

Picture: SBF-Visa

Cool & Fresh kept the scene waiting for quite a while, but in fall last year the small, transportable version of the Tower Coaster made by the Italian company SBF-Visa could finally put its passengers through the vertical loop. The actual highlight of the course is the tower construction acting as the lift as well as the vertical first drop. The transition between the two sides of the tower isn´t just a 180 degree top, but a three-quarters of a circle that puts the riders upside-down. The maximum tilt is 135 degrees, so the four passengers of the single cars won´t see anything of the track from there. Due to rideability reasons magnetic brakes keep the speed of the car limited until it reaches the vertical part of the drop. Not doing so and letting the car go according to the laws of gravity, forces of more than 6g would occur - a value that is surely harmful to health, even if it appears in the vertical axis. SBF-Visa tries to further push the tower concept: A layout with a footprint of 55 x 22 meters was presented, offering much more and longer fun than the first version which is reduced to the vertical loop, a turn and a final slalom segment. The new concept offers 396 meters of track, two vertical loops of 19 and 15 meters height, respectively, and another inversion similar to the revolution leading through the first loop.

3D-model train design MK1200
New MK1200 train
Layout Family Inverted Coaster

Pictures: Vekoma

New MK1200 design and layout Family Inverted Coaster

The new MK1200 train design at Everland park

Pictures: Vekoma Rides Manufacturing

At the new booth of Vekoma Rides Manufacuring a couple of innovative and promising concepts were presented. The list ranged from further developments in the field of family rides to high-technology thrill rides and new trains for existing coasters.

The new train design which is developed from scratch using 3D-CAD systems might be interesting for owners of MK 1200 coasters (like for example Space Mountain at Disneyland Park Paris). Next to an improved under-carriage especially the ergonomics of the seats and the restraint system were revised. The open design will significantly ease loading and unloading, which could speed up dispatch and increase actual capacity. The first delivery was installed on an Arrow-Loop/Corkscrew coaster at Everland park, South Korea during the show.

Another field of activity can be found at more family friendly coasters. The new model of the Family Inverter now has two inversions, and there also is a smaller version of the Flying Dutchman. Another novelty for the portfolio is the Family Launched Coaster, offering a catapult start and a classic, L-shaped out-and-back design.

The list of concepts based on existing systems is completed by a looping coaster with ten inversions. Next to other elements there are a Boomerang, a vertical loop, a horseshoe (with a banking of 140 degrees) or a corkscrew as well as a catapult launch.

Tracklayout single launched Motorbike Coaster
Rendering Motorbike Coaster
Racing track Motorbike Coaster

Picture: Vekoma

Motorbike coaster: Layout single track, rendering and racing track

Left: Vekoma`s Peter van Bilsen sitting on the Motorbike Coaster - Right: The classic steeplechase

The highlight surely was the Motorbike Coaster, using stylized motorbikes instead of conventional seats. Those are predestinated for a layout with extremely banked curves negotiated at high speeds and the usage of a horizontal launch system.

A study shows the concept as a compact racing coaster where two motorbikes run on parallel tracks. The bikes can be used individually or combined to a train. Despite their small size they offer ergonomic seating even for adults. A jacket pales the upper body which is leaned forwards, the legs are kept in position by lateral supports. Extreme forces - especially lateral and vertical - aren´t possible with this configuration, so the ride effect will be mainly generated by the launch and the impression of speed. The first delivery of this concept is supposed to be due for 2005.

This concept leads coaster development to a full circle. Around 100 years ago, during the first golden age of roller coasters, the enthusiasm for horse races led to a boom of steeplechase races, some of the first modern rides powered solely by gravity. Nowadays the horses became motorbikes and speeds of around 30 kilometers per hour increased to up to 150, but the basic principle is still very similar.

Rendering: Vekoma Rides Manufacturing

10-times looper with launchtrack

Sketch of thrilllift

Picture: Vekoma Rides Manufacturing

A noticeable thing is the frequent usage of the launch mechanism. Together with Huisman-Itrec a new hydraulic launch system was developed which is supposed to replace the LSM technology used so far. Huisman-Itrec, the specialist for offshore equipment and heavy duty cranes is the holding company of Vekoma Rides Manufacturing for two years now. Next to the propulsion technology other existing concepts have been adopted and methods for construction and production have been optimized. The most noticeable example for this technology transfer is the new Thrill Lift: A technique used for oil drilling towers was modified in a way that a complete track segment including the train can be vertically hoisted along a guard rail, reaching a maximum speed of 4 meters per second. At the upper part the tower is crooked in a way that the track is tilted according to the decline of the first drop. In a computer simulation a model with a slope of almost 90 degrees and a maximum height of the tower of 66 meters was presented. The new concepts were regarded with great interest, but no sales are ready to speak of at the moment.

However, another delivery of the popular Boomerang could be confirmed for 2004: Number 44 of this big seller will open in late summer at the new Metropolitan park near Beirut, Lebanon. In addition there will be two new customized Junior Coasters: In spring the first version with new trains will debut at Belgian Bobbejaanland, in fall the ride for Huanan Mall in China will follow. During the show the sale of another Junior Coaster with 335 meters of track and a Family Suspended ride, both to Pleasurewood Hills in the UK, have be announced. The Family Suspended Coaster is the first installation of this kind in Europe (there are rides for example at Paramount´s in the US), offering a track length of 342 meters. Last but not least there will be a standard SLC for Magic Springs and Crystal Falls amusement park in the US.


Disk´o in action

Picture: Zamperla

Italian manufacturer Zamperla recently hits the ravages of time with its small family rides. At IAAPA in 2002 Rockin´ Tug was introduced: A boat swings along a U-shaped track, rotating around its vertical axis. More than 50 could be sold worldwide since then, 15 of them to Europe.

The further development called Disk´o was presented at the same spot one year later, and it promises to become a similar success. The gondola now is a disc with 24 novel seats mounted to the edge and facing outwards. Those seats provide the passenger with wide freedom of movement, having the choice between angling the legs backwards and extending them over the edge of the disc. The ride is suitable for families but racy at the same time, and it gets a special kick when the gondola swings slightly over the end of the track in a height of eight meters.

As a transportable ride Disk´o can be versatilely placed with a front length of 22 meters and a depth of a little less than ten meters. It can be completely stored on one trailer, and with a connected load of 39kW for the engines and 15kW for the lighting it is pretty economical. Since November 2003 already seven sales could be announced, three of them to Europe. There is a larger version available with 40 seats, a front length of almost 38 meters and a track height of a little more than 15 meters. This raises the capacity from 600 to 1000 people per hour. Other sketches show the gondola designed as a skateboard or as a sled, wherewith the concept approaches the predecessor Rockin´ Tug again.

Picture: Zamperla

Mobile version of Disk´o

With Volare Zamperla´s product range includes a promising, compact Flying Coaster. The first installation was in 2002 at Six Flags Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado. The version for the showman Heinrich Koidl at the Vienna Prater is completely assembed a awaits its TÜV approval right now, while erection of the ride for Paramount Canada´s Wonderland has just begun. Another one will head towards Playland Park in New York at the end of the year. Volare could become worth a consideration as an addendum for many parks if the design proves itself..

Jochen Peschel -

Maurer Söhne, Pax Back to introduction
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