Wednesday, October 26, 2011

S&S Worldwide's new thrill ride

Blooloop recently posted a fantastic interview with a vice president from S&S Worldwide. What really caught my mention was the talk of a new ride described as a thrill version of the Free Fly coaster, which will offer a new sensation to the industry, and be exclusive to S&S. Here are the known facts directly from the article:

  • ...we have a new concept but you will not see it out in the open.
  • It is a thrill version of our Free Fly “family” coaster, capable of a truly unique ride sensation never before experienced and exclusive to S&S...
  • ...we’ve patented the mechanical piece that creates the ride experience. 
  • We vetted the idea with significant people in the industry last year at IAAPA and over the year.
  • ...a new product, especially one of the caliber we are introducing, S&S is making a statement: beyond being creative...
  • ...we have partnered with an engineering firm in Southern California that specializes in aerospace and government contracts, and have additional tools and engineering resources we don’t.  This union has created a feasibility study and product analysis I doubt has ever been done before. 
  • ...decision to bring in the best talent, worldwide, to create, engineer and validate not only the ride, but also the effects the ride experience has on the human body. 
  • ...the ride concept, which has a “4th-dimension type ride experience” but at half the cost of a 4D coaster, is extreme and thrilling beyond previous experience...
What really got my attention from the above information was the fact they have already patented the concept. Knowing this, I scoured the internet to try and find this patent. Well, I didn't find any new patents related to S&S Worldwide or any of their engineers but this didn't exactly surprise me because it sounds like they want to keep this under wraps. 

However, after an extensive search, I believe I found the patent and the type of ride system they could be talking about here. It doesn't have a name that I know of at this point so I am going to dub it "the gyro-coaster."  

The seat assembly is capable of fully rotating about a first axis, second axis, and third axis independent of the track system. The rotation can be free or controlled. Each individual vehcile assembly could have a different degree of motion than the other vehicle assemblies. The launch tower concept looks pretty cool too!

Here's the evidence that leads me to believe this is the ride we are looking for.
  • The patent was filed in 2009. S&S discussed the idea at the IAPPA show in 2010, thus the timeline works out and makes sense.
  • The patent attorney's office is in Salt Lake City, Utah, not far from S&S headquarters.
  • The inventor resides in Southern California (and presumably works for the hired engineering firm). I couldn't find any other information on the inventor, which is odd.
  • When S&S Arrow filed the patent for the 4d coaster they used James Sonntag as their patent attorney, the same person who shows up on this new patent. 

Is this all just coincidence? I have no idea if it actually is but the evidence would lead me to believe we are looking at new ride concepts from S&S Worldwide. You can see why they would bring in another firm to do analysis- some pretty complicated dynamics there! If this is true, I am really excited by this design concept. The possibilities are endless; the human body being the major limiting factor. What are your thoughts?

How to Design a Coaster

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dinosaur Ride Layout

Here's a few overhead pictures of the layout for Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I believe the layout is the exact same as the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sneak Peak at Upcoming Project

I'd like to apologize for not posting anything substantial lately. I have been busy writing an article for Coaster Critic as well as working on a project which I will share the details on in due time. For now, here is a little sneak peek preview.

 Can you guess what it is?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Committee on Amusement Rides and Devices to Meet in Arizona

ASTM Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices to Meet in Scottsdale , Arizona 

Over 150 Global Safety Experts Anticipated

ASTM International Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices, which produces global safety standards for the amusement industry, will be holding three days of meetings from Oct. 13-15, 2011 at the Valley Ho Hotel in Scottsdale , Arizona . Approximately 50 separate meetings will be held, each one focusing on a specific safety element of the amusement industry. Areas that are covered include, but are not limited to, ride design, operations, and maintenance. Meetings are open to both members and non-members of ASTM and registration is available at on the ASTM F24 Committee site at