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.
How to Design a Coaster