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Euro Attractions Show 2006

Mack Rides

Left: Powered Flying Coaster - Right: Powered Inverted Coaster with kite design

Renderings of the modular Powered Spinning Coaster with and without theming

Mack Rides of Waldkirch are well known as specialists for water attractions and powered coasters, so it´s no wonder that the most news come from those lines of business. A copy of Super Splash Atlantica has been sold to a major park chain in the US. The opening is scheduled for 2007, further details are not released yet.

Right now work is done on another project in the US: The never really opened monorail at Islands of Adventure in Orlando is currently being transformed into a classic powered coaster. The twisted track will use most of the existing supports. More features are promised, but not yet announced in detail.

The powered coaster, a coaster driven by friction wheels without the need for a lift or a launch system, gains new popularity due to several enhancements. So it is now available as inverted powered coaster and flying powered coaster. At the inverted variant the train hangs rigidly below the track, while the seats of the flying version can swing sideways as well as forwards and backwards. Both versions have in common that the seats can be made pivotable around the vertical axis, thus changing the orientation of the riders. This rotation can be controlled or free. Rotatable seats are also available for the sit down powerd coaster, so Mack now also offers a spinning variant.

A flying powered coaster without rotation has been sold to Dubailand which is currently under construction. To satisfy the customer´s demands, the cars will have footrests - otherwise the riders would lose their sandals. As a theming element, the cars will get the kite sail that is already shown in a couple of design sketches. In addition to the coaster, Mack Rides will deliver a boat ride and a darkride system to Dubailand. The darkride will offer some technical novelties with regards to staging as well as theming, but further details aren´t published yet.

There is also news from gravity driven roller coasters The YoungStar Coaster fills the gap between kids and full-grown roller coaster. Bucket seats and individual restraints enable the youngest guests from four years of age or 1 meter in size to ride the coaster, while the racy turns are supposed to please adults, too.

Train design and footprint of Pegasus at Europapark

The layout concepts have been designed in collaboration with the Stengel engineering office and promises a smooth ride due to the new zero level manufacturing. Mack Rides points out the cost/performance ratio as another advantage. As it has often happened in the past, the first installation of this type will be done at Europapark where it will serve as a kind of sample for potential customers. Pegasus will be 13 meters high and 430 meters long. Matching the name of the ride, the trains will be designed as a winged horse with attached chariots. The opening for this ride located in the Greek area is scheduled for Whitsuntide.

Maurer Soehne

Rendering of a launch coaster layout

LSM coaster layout studies and the Ferrari X-Car

The Xtended concept by Maurer Soehne with the central elements X-Car and the ergonomic X-Seat has finally left the drawing boards and trade show floors in 2005 and proven its abilities. With the SkyWheel at Skyline Park in Bad Wörishofen and G-Force at Drayton Manor in the UK - we have reported - already two rides have been successfully inaugurated. After this initial spark another SkyWheel could be sold to the American park Magic Springs & Crystal Falls and a SkyWheel plus extension to Parque de Atracciones in Madrid, both being due to open in 2006.

In consideration of the growing popularity of launch coasters, Maurer Soehne now offers a catapult start for their X-Coasters, too. The Munich-based company focuses on an electromagnetic LSM launch which is applicable not only for the initial start, but also in booster sections on the rest of the track. Even a combination of a - more or less - classical lift and LSM is possible. A launch coaster of course suggests a race theming, so an appropriate train design in Formula 1 look was presented.

Maurer Soehne has shown three layout studies at the Euro Attractions Show. The first one shows a compact ride with a cobra roll that initiates a turn right after the launch. On the back straight a so called Skidback (a kind of banked camelback), a vertical loop and a Half Cuban Eight, an element that initiates another turn of the vehicle similar to a Dive Loop, follow. After another camelback the car hits the final brakes and the station. The other two layouts are by far larger and daring, so it seems they are supposed to show the possibilities of the concept rather than being actual suggestions.

Vekoma Rides Manufacturing

A selection of the new Vekoma launch coaster layouts

Vekoma´s new seat with patent pending

Vekoma Rides Manufacturing has caused a whole lot of interest and won several prices with their Motorbike Coaster. The spectacular seating in combination with the hydraulic launch cares for a new ride experience, showing curves close to the ground rather than daring inversions. The hydraulic system, contributed by the new mother company Huisman-Itrec, is now available for all of Vekoma´s roller coaster types, as is the LSM system. The complete hydraulic system including the winch has been stored in just one container that is brought to the customer completely set up. This reduces the time needed for tests and the commissioning at the park to less than ten days.

Another new development is the presented seat concept. The bucket seats are slightly slanted backwards and show bumps between the riders´ legs. The lap bar is folded down and takes, at least at roller coasters with inversions, a rubber vest with it. This vest holds the upper body without obstructing the view or giving the feared ear-bashes. Due to the modular conception the seat can be used for sit down as well as suspended coasters, thus leading to simplified stock holding and standardized production. This seat is used for most of the subsequently presented coaster concepts, while at Vekoma, too, there is a strong focus on launch coasters. So for every coaster concept a catapult system is offered.

Vekoma´s new seat: To the left a variant for rides without inversions, to the right with a rubber vest nestling to the upper body, keeping it in position in inversions

The family launch coaster with a track of 441 meters catapults the passengers to 72 kilometers per hour -quite an impressive number for such a ride. The concept shows a strongly banked curve and a following, lying eight after the start. With a top speed of 86 kilometers per hour the thrill launch coaster, showing a track lenght of 639 meters in the design, is just a little faster, but offers a far more intense ride. The suspended family launch coaster is 412 meters long with a launch speed of almost 60 kilometers per hour. The "big brother" suspended looping launch coaster shoots the riders into a vertical loop that is followed by a twisted layout with two further inversions and a total track lenght of 700 meters with 90 kilometers per hour.

Even the Flying Dutchman, Vekoma´s version of the flying coaster, is now available as a launch coaster. The 1055 meters of track on a footprint of 166*74 meters look like a disorientating clew. The speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour is the fastest of all launched models, but due to technical reasons the launch is at present performed lying on the back only. At the end of the launch track the passangers are turned by 180 degrees into flying position.

The reborn Big Air coaster with the description of the ride sequence

The last new catapult coaster concept is the ´ZAP´thrill launch coaster with a 438 meters long track including two Immelmann elements. With a compact footprint of 57x89 meters and a launch speed of 76 kilometers per hour the technical data of this ride are comparable to the (suspended) family launch coaster, but the ride experience aims more at the thrillseeking clientele. For the tight layout a new car was developed, offering two coupled, open rows for four passengers each.

Thrill fans are also addressed by the new Stunt Bike. This is a 31 meters high U-shaped profile whose ends are overbent to 120 degrees inwards. In this profile a train of four rows with three motorbike seats each swings powered by LIM modules. As an optional feature, the motorbikes are arranged in a pivotable manner, so the riders´ view is always directed downwards. With just 33x9 meters the footprint is extremely small.

With 75x18 meters the space required for a Big Air coaster is four times as large, but the U-shaped structure with vertical legs reaches an impressive 60 meters high. From the boarding position the train is pulled up the first tower facing forwards via a catch car with decreasing speed. At the top the cars rotate by 180 degrees to shot down with up to 108 kilometers per hour and up the second tower. The train plummets back and is pulled to initial height again on the first tower. There the cars turn again, so the riders now face the sky. In this new alignment the train shuttles through the U again to be caught by the catch car on the first tower and is brought back into the station at high speed.

Layout of the suspended looping launch coaster

Besides the ride sequence another uncommon feature is the arrangement of the seats. The outer rows of the cars have two and the inner rows four seats each. So with a train of two cars the Big Air coaster offers a total of 24 seats and a capacity of 640 riders per hour. However, this is not a new concept: Five years ago Vekoma has already tried to build a prototype with a similar ride sequence, but technical difficulties caused termination of the project.

Far less thrilling are the two new suspended family coasters with 294 and 381 meters of track, respectively. The large design is planned as a pure park version using up to two trains with eight or ten rows. After the 16 meters high lift and the first drop a horseshoe turns the car before it negotiates a horizontal loop and two curves. The smaller brother has one train with six, eight or ten rows. The 13 meters high lift is followed by a curved drop and a lying eight. After a slalom curve a final helix leads into the brakes. As a remarkable side note, this 70*29 meters large ride is also available with a base frame.

With Splash Party Vekoma expands into the market of interactive coasters with water effects, supported by American slide specialists Whitewater West Industries. The concept study is based on the suspended family coaster with trains upgraded with water tanks that can be emptied by the riders with the push of a button in so-called drop zones. Along the track water cannons, fountains and other effects are installed to anhace interactivity with the park visitors. In the study, the train leaves the station and glides over a water basin in a 180 degrees left turn. Here some fountains suggest that the water tanks are being filled.

Splash Party renderings

After the lift powered by friction wheels a coaster part with a 540 degrees helix and two 270 degrees right curves follow, before a 180 degrees left curve through a tunnel with several effects leads into the final brakes. Inbetween there are three drop zones, where the train is trimmed to a controlled speed by magnetic brakes in the first two ones. Here the riders can practice their skills for the third drop zone taken at higher speed. With a track length of 373 meters and a lift height of 15,5 meters the coaster part doesn´t look that spectactular, but in combination with water and interactivity Splash Party appeals to a large target group and will surely cause some repeat rides.

The variety of rides clearly shows that Vekoma Rides Manufacturing want to further expand. More than 20 rides have been installed during the last 12 months, among them Expedition Everest at Disney´s Animal Kingdom, one of the most elaborate coaster creations in 2006. Together with mother company Huismann-Itrec a production site in Guangzhou in China was opened a year ago. In the first phase this facility was set up for producing supports - but track manufacturing will follow.


Model of the Moto Coaster that is currently standing on the Zamperla factory site in Italy

The two most interesting innovations on the roller coaster sector, the launch and the motorbike seats, have also been seized by Zamperla. Just as it was at the flying coaster, the approach of the Italian manufacturer is to transform the known concept into compact rides. So it is no wonder that the Moto Coaster with a footprint of 48,5x20,3 meters and a track length of 365 meters is such a compact ride. Unlike other manufacturers of modern launch coasters, Zamperla uses no electromagnetic, pneumatic or hydraulic launch, but a flywheel whose rotational energy is transfered to the train by a friction clutch.

Such a mechanical solution has proven costly from a maintenance point of view for the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loops. But the engineers of Zamperla predict a life span of 20 years for their launch, and the clutch discs running in an oil bath are supposed to be easily exchangeable.

The prototype of the Moto Coaster, who mustn´t bear the original name Moto GP anymore due to third party rights to that name, is currently being constructed and fine tuned at the factory site. First test runs are supposed to be held in April before the ride is delivered to a yet unknown customer. Unlike Vekoma´s concept, the floor in the station is folded to the side before the start as it is done at floorless coasters, so loading and unloading is more convenient.

Track of the new Disk´o Coaster which includes an about eight meters high camelback

Water ride study with the new Hydrolift system

The Disk´o Coaster promises to become the new hit

The popular Disk´o swing rides with their round passenger carrier have undergone a re-design towards a roller coaster. For this, an airtime bump has been added to the middle of the arc-shaped track and the concept was named Disk´o Coaster. The track has a total length of 92 meters, and the edge of the disc will reach a maximum height of more than 15 meters at the ends. As already known, the 40 passengers sit facing outwards, and a smaller version with 24 seats is also available. Three large rides have been sold to Paramount´s Great America, Nigloland and a park in China. The world´s first will be Survivor The Ride at the Paramount park which is supposed to debut on April 1st, while the one at Nigloland is scheduled to open one week later. The latter will be given a Grizzly theme, the one for China will get the very promising Brachiosaurus design. A fourth, slightly modified version with a passenger carrier shaped like a skateboard for 36 passengers will head to Paramount´s Kings Island.

The recently founded Zamperla Aqua Division has created Hydro Lift, a mixture of water slide and raft ride. The round boats with six seats will be brought to a height of more than 10 meters by a vertical lift powered by water pressure. To reach a dispatch interval of 25 seconds, two parallel lifts are provided.

At first a 65 meters long plastic trough will be negotiated before the boats enter the 116 meters long rafting canal. Hydro Lift is available with a base frame as well as a version with foundations. The first delivery will go to Spain for the end of 2006.

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