Roller Coaster: Safety Guide – Classic Documentary

Roller Coaster: Safety Guide - Classic Documentary

since the early 1900s millions of people of flocked to amusement parks in search of food fun and throw [Applause] chills and spills take the form of wet rides dry rides with mark enthusiasts fondly referred to as spin and barf rides and the king of all [Applause] you've got your entertainment you got your looks and eyes you've got your great foods but roller coasters are ultimately what everybody comes they want that thrill and they need that thrill and rollercoasters give everybody that ultimate experience that they're looking for when they come to amusing photos roller coasters it becomes so popular the amusement industry experts say right now we're experiencing a roller coaster there are more than 2,000 rollercoasters operating around the world and six – you are slated to open this year go away we're seeing more pop up everyday throughout the country my parents and their parents and even their parents have passed along that tradition to the younger set you're not going to find a safer yet more adrenaline filled experience than a roller coaster what is a roller coaster stripping it down to its basics the roller coaster has a car and wheels or coasters that the spinning there are two main types of posters wooden and steel coasters are then sub categorized by vehicle track configuration height and propulsion or launching system there are Kitty coasters cleaner coasters and world-class measure coasters more speed more inversion feeling the excitement the thrill like a maniac or a little kid and what else differentiy the coaster enthusiasts and the ordinary party guests I think this may be a natural predisposition to it I think they're born with that today through disposition they push the envelope to try to see what's on the other side take for example alyssum white I'm a roller coaster enthusiasts and I've been on over 270 different roller coasters elissa frequently his amusement parks in a home state of Florida but she also travels around the country in search of coasters thrills all the ones from just this year everything from pamphlets about different parts to coaster news magazines videos alyssa has asked her college buddy Ian to join her in making a 2,000 mile journey to Southern California to check out some of the latest greatest the first part I'm gonna take you to is Knott's Berry Farm now your first co-star their lead Jaguar it's a nice little warm-up family ride I'm more like your average of amusement park goer I just enjoy going to musical park going on all the rides like maybe just one time then there's Montezuma this one will launch you the 55 miles per hour through a really intense loop when ELISA first invited me to go on this challenger first my first reaction was what kind of roller coasters do I'm gonna ride yeah I mean he's never been on a roller coaster over 200 feet tall he's never been on a roller coaster that goes more than 60 miles an hour it's gonna be a lot of first but he's gonna have a lot of fun I'm really I can deal with some roller coasters but others I just I I won't even go near I haven't quite told Ian just how intense some of the rides are this is a huge wooden roller coaster with plenty of airtime ELISA and Ian have agreed to let us crash their roller coaster road trip now was discover the science and thrills of these rods during their adventure we'll find out what makes roller coaster so popular and what makes them work the pair will also help us conduct some scientific experiments to reveal the biophysical effects these screen machines have on our human bodies welcome to California at the first Park on Melissa & ian's hit list Knott's Berry Farm Buena Park it's home to six roller coasters Knott's Berry Farm is a good place to start the trip they've got Jaguar which is a great family roller doesn't go too fast doesn't go too high it'll be a really good place to start you know when I ride rollercoasters I do wonder as we're going through the course know how do the designers make these cars stay on the track how do they know that when they go down the first hill that this car is gonna stay attached to the track Ian's fear is quite common but if we look under the coaster car we find several sets of T now standard three-wheel configuration one wheel runs along the top of the track the second is a guide wheel running along the side and the third wheel on the bottom keeps the car from flying up off the track this ingenious three wheel design was engineered by American coaster maker John Miller did several coaster safety mechanisms in the 1920s synthetic rollercoasters pibe wooden or steel have followed this three-wheel configuration I mean it wasn't it wasn't that scary or anything it was a really nice way to do the park exciting next up but a Zumba revenge it's a shuttle coaster meaning that riders shuttled back and forth through the station instead of traveling a full circular that was pretty free exciting Montezuma's event is really good you start in the station and you don't go up a big hill but then all of a sudden you just launched three years back soon last riders from 0 to 55 miles per hour in five seconds it employs the same powerful principle the aircraft carriers used to dispatch planes into the air it's flywheel drive mechanism is operated by a bob cable which connects to the cars the clutch of the fly wheel mechanism engages the Bob cable and catapults riders forward into the 360-degree loop and 140-foot tower this is just one way of coaster today walk from the station traditionally when coaster trains are released there's 2,000 pound weight rolls them toward the bottom of the first hill a safety chain dog located underneath the train attaches to the chain so the chain can pull the coaster car up the hill if the changes break an anti rollback device stops the drain and any rollback typically is just like a giant ratchet ladder it's got teeth go all the way from the bottom of the lift to the top and basically a little ratchet paw will basically click up the teeth and that makes that little sound that you hear when you're going up the lift if anything ever goes wrong basically the car will just stop on the lift in the last few decades coaster makers of engineered alternative lift and propulsion systems in 2011 Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio introduced the world's first cable elevator lift system is quick smooth and very quiet that same year hypersonic at Paramount's Kings Dominion in Doswell Virginia opened the first air loss coaster it uses compressed air to rocket riders from 0 to 80 miles per hour in less than two seconds and the parks volcano coaster has a linear induction launch system it uses magnets placed on the drive vehicles and currents of electricity along its track to jettison riders forward and blast them out of the top of the volcano [Applause] boomerang thrills riders by pulling the backwards up 11 stories then it drops them at 50 miles per hour into two corkscrew turns to have a vertical loop riders have been treated to another 11 storey tower where the whole trip begins again rollercoasters have obviously come a long way since their humble origins in 15th century Russia Russian ice slides evolved into elaborate wooden slides that the French then adapted in the 1800s this amusement featured cars with wheels they reached speeds of 30 miles per hour although engineers couldn't figure out how to keep the cars on the track surprisingly the ride injuries and deaths contributed to their popularity by the late 1800s the Fenton tired of this amusement but across the Atlantic the evolution of the roller coaster took a different path and originated from the American railway system in the 1870s people lined up on weekends to take the Mauch Chunk Railway tours in Pennsylvania the scenic ride lasted 18 miles its thrill 17 that ran downhill the popular amusement led to the Switchback gravity pleasure railway developed by LaMarcus Thompson in 1884 people lined up three hours for the five cent ride earning Thompson a $600 per day revenue proven to be an economic success the Switchback heralded the birth of the first true roller coaster built in America the switchback operated at Coney Island in New York the popular Ocean Resort in Brooklyn featured several different parks they attracted coaster designers who built more than 30 coasters there from 1884 through the 1930s its most famous the Coney Island cyclone it opened in 1927 and still thrills riders today at a stroll and what makes wooden coasters so much fun and so scary one wood gives its flexible nature helps absorb the forces of the Train while contributing to its thrill appeal this thrill formula proved so successful that by 1930 nearly 2,000 roller coasters operated across the United States however the Golden Age of coasters collapsed with the Great Depression and the Second World War the struggling economy crippled the amusement park industry the number of coasters dropped to only a couple of hundred so with thousands of coasters in operation today what revitalized their popularity steel costumes she lifted the development of innovative coaster designs that the public never experienced before steel coasters have a smoothness to them and sustain speed very similar to the sensation of flying or soaring as opposed to a wooden coaster where the experience is much more reckless and wild out of control riding wooden coaster is a little rougher wooden coasters regained their appeal thanks to a series of magnificent coasters designed by John Allen the first in his series the racer located a Paramount's Kings Island in Kings Island Ohio it opened in 1972 and its popularity is credited with contributing to the roller coaster boom in 1979 the park introduced the Beast the world's longest wooden rollercoaster spanning 35 acres and measuring 74 hundred feet long that's almost one and a half mile on the west coast Knott's Berry Farms ghost riders construction consumed about as much lumber as the Beast which is enough to build two or three wooden coasters in other parts of the country that's because both Ryder had to meet California's earthquake construction standards ghostrider has a lot of that 0g feeling of weightlessness and i know he doesn't like that but it's a wooden coaster he hasn't been on many and he'll give it a chance Ghost Rider which opened in 1998 lifts riders 118 feet high and drivers encounter 13 more drops button dips and banks turn along its 4533 footlong track when shredder was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be the scary parts were probably the drop at first was kind of sharing with all the wood rushing over your head and there were few of the little hill then you come over where there would look like you're trying to come really closely hit yet coaster enthusiasts calls these elements head choppers their overhead structural beams that appear deceivingly low or close to your head next we go to Six Flags Magic Mountain which really is the extreme part a lot more big roller coasters begin to ride and we're really excited about Six Flags right now we're a little iffy I mean I'm looking forward to some of the roller coasters but Goliath is really just stop there in my mind and I'm not sure about that one yeah our next location on our ultimate guide to roller coasters Six Flags Magic Mountain located in Valencia California this extreme park has 15 rollercoaster enough variety for people of all ages arrived our smaller guests eat things they want to do they might not be tall enough or old enough but they walk into an area like Bugs Bunny world where they see right away is something that's out of their comfort level they get weaned on the experience and then they know when they get older and taller that they can come back and my biggest explosion traction which raises several questions are we born with a need to experience thrills or we acquire this what forces are exerted on our body to stimulate our senses brains and stomachs white approaches a is a terror and some lighters find out let's join Ian and Alyssa as they ride Superman Superman the escaped it flies riders from zero to a hundred miles per hour in seven seconds lifting them straight up a four hundred ten foot tall town [Applause] the weightless feeling experience aboard Superman on the way down lasted six seconds it's pure Seefeld this is also called zero-g time by coaster enthusiasts or pair time other coasters is experience when riders crushed the top of the hill and flowed out of their seats zero g means they are experiencing zero forces of gravity or zero times their body ban are such thrill sensations harmful to our bodies medical doctors believe not the thrill is good for you because if the cell does it become stressed how will ever adapt it's a strong you know things need to be stressed they need to be conditioned that keeps us young and that keeps us still – and that keeps us strong it's it's a form of therapy we like to be scared and we like to have fun and we like to do things that take us to the edge while at the same time we know that we're completely safe and nothing's gonna happen to us and rollercoasters provide a way to go extremely fast extremely high you can do turns you can do flips you can fly you can spin all of these things and you just simply cannot do it in other forms of recreation you can do on a roller coaster I love the six seconds of weightlessness that's that's the part I just I couldn't stomach it just made me feel so easy let's go again no way okay some people just wanna do it once and that's it they no longer need to have the hormonal rush because their body's neural chemicals may say that's enough been there done that check some people have a lower threshold some people need more stimulus to get to that level Batman's a really fast intense bride but I could stay on it all day a steel coaster the twists and turns riders upside down on ski lifts like seats what causes motion sickness motion sickness occurs when your eyes and the balance mechanisms of the inner ear send your brain conflicting signals move too fluid in your inner ear dependent upon gravity and head position for balance when you flip and twist upside down the fluid sloshes around in response to this erratic fluid movement nausea can occur and lead to the unpleasant purging of the stomach we know that as we get older the your hair becomes stiffer the fluid in the middle ear becomes also thicker doesn't flow as well so we could become disoriented quicker and that alone signals that it has to do with the nervous system being the inner ear or the brain itself when I'm running Batman the whole reason I like it so much as all the turns but that's also the reason why I don't think I could ride it a lot because it's so intense that I just started to feel a little sick after riding it next in an ELISA ride Goliath Goliath a top-rated steel coaster reaches 240 feet into the air and drops 255 feet at 85 miles per the anticipation is the key thinking about the roller-coaster thinking about the height causes your heart to palpitating palms are sweaty so the brain is a pretty delicate organ that will be turned on immediately when it senses to discover how coasters affect our heart rates ian and alyssa agree to help us conduct some onboard science experiments three teams of heart monitoring experts apply sensors to their bodies measure changes in heart rate to help us understand what happens to our bodies when we ride roller coasters this is the heart rate the instantaneous heart rate is in this case is around 54 and at this point right now he's not very relaxed physiologic state which he won't be versus here we go by closing your eyes because you do not want to see something is we protective mechanism like we all blink and we all want to keep our eyes closed and thinking that that make the evil go away you know which is sort of illogical you think about it but you know it's an analogical situation because you're in a safe environment because you're only sitting in a chair going down the track a vocalization you think about it as a primitive response because if you yell for your offenders or for your for your tribesmen it can help you I guess though to thrive I'm sure you know the ones about his voice gets more help when someone has a fear the body goes and goes into action it's an all-or-nothing response once you turn on the the alarm system right away the blood circulates and immediately it carries adrenaline that signals the brain to start releasing growth hormone it's all this an insulin is released insulins and release making more sugar available the sympathetic nervous system is turned on causing an you know whiter you know eyes skin taut purpose of every organ system we have in our bodies to get the brain alive to keep our perception you know up to keep us alert let's take a look at the results of the tests I basically decided what we look at I fix circulation I said Ruth we're gonna use what's called the BIOS II it's a NASA technology that non-invasively and non-destructively measures the blood flow to the heart it measures the resistance of blood flow in the body and it's going to give us an image of what's going on as you go through the high g-forces another body tries to keep you awake and alone and and protect you from that stress what we saw was number one blood pressures in both of our riders were markedly elevated from their baseline we probably expect his pressure to be resting to be somewhere around 120 over 70 then what he's got here is 162 over 95 markedly elevated for guys hold on oh I was so nervous but I know all I had to think about was that at some point I'm going up this big hill I gotta come down eventually at the top of the hill here we're gonna see him look at his facial expressions he's getting angry he's he's starting to wonder why is he doing this for his friend anger and other emotions raise the heartrate quite a bit second I said well I need a device to monitor heart rate itself just to look at heart rate we put the monitors on and we were able to see some very interesting himself what we found was resting basically Ian and Melissa both had heart rates around 72 to 80 and then we get to the bottom of the first hill in 11 seconds Ian's heart rate went from 86 up to 150 which is very fast and likewise Alyssa went from 89 up to 140 the peak heart rate at one particular time for Ian was up to 147 I was scared to death at the bottom of the second Hill he had slowed down to 96 he had some somewhat adapted to the ride and by the end of the ride they were back down to about 80 which in her case was fairly close to normal but in his case he still hadn't gotten all the way to his relaxation phase come down from your high especially when you're 255 feet high it didn't hurt or anything I don't know if I do it again anytime soon but I did feel much better about myself after doing it our ultimate guide leads us to the ultimate coaster on ELISA and Dean's List X I think X looks pretty out of this world it's really a lot of fun coming into it I had no idea what to expect you to speak were so weird X is really a glimpse into the future it's a prototype thrill ride where we've taken a seat and place them on outside of the coaster track which allows us to spin riders 360 degrees forwards and backwards all throughout the entire length of the coaster track I really terrified it's so insane honestly looking back I couldn't tell you what Parts I like just because I never do a part I was on I just like whatever you fell it looked like there was nothing underneath you except for just empty space exit so you need an amazing there's nothing else in the world like it you're just throwing around you have no idea where you're going so be unique and crazy I wonder how they came up with it basically the age of 12 after going to the State Fair and writing certain flat rides and things that spin and flip it popped into my head hey how come there's not a coaster that does this as well how come you can't spin on the coast X follows a long time tradition by ride engineers of introducing the next generation coasters that will revolutionize the I think we've reached a point where coasters are not necessarily getting bigger and faster but they're getting more technologically advanced you're seeing different types of coaster track different types of coasters cars ride vehicles have dramatically changed during the last three decades traditional wooden and steel coasters tend to feature trains like these tube cedars made by the Philadelphia toboggan company they commonly feature a flat bar and belt but with the advent of looping coasters over the shoulder restraints were designed to keep riders safely in their seats during inversions the latest generation of non looping steel coasters avoid the shoulder harnesses in favour of leg or lower body restraints to allow more freedom of the upper body arms and traditional coasters have trains running on top of the track but in 1987 Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio introduced one of the world's first suspended coasters featuring cars that hang from an overhead track in 1992 Six Flags Great America in Illinois took that one step further introducing the world's first inverted coaster with ski lifts like seats so riders fecund dangle freely below as they're sent through a series of loops or inversion the inverted coaster was created to simulate aerial maneuvers to 1996 Cedar Point diffused one of the world's tallest and fastest stand up coasters passengers stand while being turned upside down on his 145 foot 60 mile-per-hour speed machine in 1999 Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson New Jersey diffused the world's first floorless coaster which riders feet are free to dangle while they ride seated above the track then in 2002 Six Flags Magic Mountain introduces X coaster unlike anything that preceded it its seats are positioned to the side of the track our innovative coasters like these designed and engineered for instance how the designers power a coaster unlike automobiles what fuels a traditional coaster isn't gasoline or a motor it's kinetic energy comes from the height of that first year at that point at the top of that chain left hill every outside four stops from that point on gravity is the only thing that helps you and it will bring the car through all the dips hills loops and bring it back into the station everything is controlled by gravity [Applause] slowing down the trains are the loops twists turns and Hills ride engineers use computerized calculations to tell them how many elements they can put into the ride and the length of the track they don't want too many or too much because they want to make sure the Train has enough energy to return to the station while these elements are physical in nature they also add thrills that are so important to making a great coaster ride experience going down the drop it's always a good throw the first upland roller coaster would be the best because only we're all the height is that's the only where you're most top speed is I like the speed and how it makes you go upside down I like going upside down I like turning around coaster makers engineer these elements into the rides knowing exactly how much counter force each of these elements exerts on the trains and our bodies typically all coaster design limits are based on the human body the g-forces that you can take if you weigh 100 pounds while going around a 3G turn you will feel 300 pounds of weight typically the highest positive G's would be you know at the bottom of a drop and a pullout so your coasters heading straight towards the ground it's got to come up and so you drink a lot of positive G's into your seat if that coaster to come up when you're cresting over the top of the hill that's when the coasters turning over basically your body still wants to go up and so that's where you would experience either zero G's or even negative G's a little bit certainly that is one of the scariest things on a coaster and one of the most important lateral G's is basically what you feel from side to side the only place you would really experience lateral G's is in a corner almost all post-produced have a lot corners so if you Bank the ride you can basically take the lateral G's away but it's not always necessary and not always advantageous sometimes you want to give people a little thrill by leaving the corner a little flatter and having them kind of feel their body that wants to go right around the corner give it a little more experience that's gonna push through a little more on control how do designers engineers such jeez into their rides our speeds are calculated from the layout profile this talk graph shows the speeds of the ride and the bottom graph shows the g-forces and all of this information that's taken so we know how to properly Bank the ride and we also know that we're not going beyond our limits and g-forces for this ride the end result can vary according to the coasters track configuration tracks can follow any one of a number basic patterns the traditional out-and-back coaster has attracted circles out and comes back it delivers thrills with dips hills the twister has tighter turns and helix as many as embanked with a twisted track configuration two twists in and out of itself the double out and back in which a coaster goes out and back twice before ending the Allen back twister hybrid where the coaster track goes out and back and has elements where it twists over and under and around itself they pout and back with a helix or double helix and meaning it has a traditional out and back configuration but ends with a 360 degree turn or helix or a double helix meaning it has two helixes at the end then there is the Racing coaster which features two competing tracks and trains that are supposed to be timed so that the heavier coaster will win Drax didn't either go out and back or twist hopes the dueling coaster has two competing trains flyby and raced toward each other through a twisted course then there's the dueling racing coaster which has to train start off at the same time and then go into a series of dueling and racing elements until they both reach the finish line once the final design has decided upon a complete coaster designers then turn their designs over to structural engineers who produce specifications for manufacturing and construction an average coaster takes six to nine months complete coaster makers break in the Train by adding weight to the cars and sending it around the course several times then they test the ride to make sure that the final speed and g-forces comply with their designs we see the speed profile right here that it we need to correct that based on the reflectors we've placed it will crunch the numbers and will let you know how fast it's going good ride makers then hand the ride over to the park it's now up to the park to maintain and inspect the ride on a daily basis before the park opens this inspection is greatly responsible for what's called the smoothness of the ride experience so any area of the track that may seem slightly out of alignment or that may impair the ride experience is attended to and corrected during maintenance drains are also inspected and repaired by teens after hours during the winter or offseason months trains are totally torn apart and then rebuilt to ensure the safety of their parts the maintenance crews and ride operators test run the trains every morning to check the system and listen for unusual sounds control tests include an emergency stop mid ride to make sure the safety systems are in operation modern day coasters utilize a central computerized ride control system the brains of the coaster it automatically monitors where the trains are and will shut the ride down if it senses a potential problem classic coasters like the Coney Island cyclone utilize manual operating systems that release and break the Train in the station modern-day coasters rely on pneumatic braking systems to stop the trains underneath the coaster trains are brake fins the braking pads located along the track are automatically triggered by the computerized ride operation system to clamp down on the brake fins and stop the trains at the end of the run trem breakers sometimes placed in some parts of the ride to slow the ride down in case the computer notices there is too much weight in the trench magnetic brakes were devised in the 1990s magnets placed under the trains react negatively to specially fabricated metal at the end of the run to smoothly stop a train from 60 to 0 miles per hour in less than 6 seconds now that you know how posters are designed and operated what are some of the ways to ride a coaster coaster enthusiasts offer these tips usually the best time to ride a coaster most people would say is later in the day once it's had a chance to warm up and break in however personally I love riding at night I like riding rain and a coaster because of you get the effect of sticking your head out the window in the rain you drive very far the view obviously would be the best aspect of riding the front of a roller coaster you know you get to see everything before anybody else I like the back you get the more of the acceleration view a lot of more of g-forces in the back the best way to ride a coaster is often [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] like Alissa and the in search for the latest greatest coaster the story of the rollercoaster is far from over with the tools and technology ride engineers have at their disposal today how tall and fast could a coaster go I really don't think there is a limit on coasters certainly there's always the limit of space and cost other than that you can easily imagine a coaster being as tall as the tallest building we can certainly build coasters as tall as anybody wants and the more they find out that there is no limit the the more they're gonna want this incredible scream machine has been around for more than a century due to its popular appeal as humans continue to seek engineered thrills that simulate the sensations of flight and freedom the roller coaster will continue to develop and evolve and we have now the second golden age of the roller coaster typically over the last ten years I've called it the coaster arms race in terms of height and speed so coming up with the best coaster certainly is about mostly you know competitive aspect of it so you can either go to come on so you can go you know heightened speed or you can do something totally unique either those add experience to the coaster that separate from others experts believe rollercoasters will take even more shocking thrilling and surprising forms in the years to come the future is limitless in at this point for us everything's top secret but you're gonna see a lot of fun stuff how fast something will go how much technology will be developed a matter of imagination and loaded you're seeing designers and engineers and the different manufacturers putting different elements into their rides they're using different launch systems I don't know if you have to go super mega height I think you got to go to the experience give that thrill of how New Jersey speed and fun you

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