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Oblivion - Misleading “Drop” Stats?

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
The iconic Oblivion was the world's first vertical drop rollercoaster. That's a 180 feet drop, straight down!

I’m calling shenanigans on this blurb from Alton Towers, beyond the fact that it’s obviously not entirely “straight down”. I have long peered into that hole when the mist effect is light and thought “…it doesn’t look that tall”, but having thought about it a little more, I’m convinced we have been fed a big fat whopper for several years.

Oblivion’s height about ground (before the hole) is apparently 65ft. Accordingly to official blurb, theres another 115ft of “drop” before the drop ceases. Doing some simple maths and rounding up, that would mean that 64% of the “drop” is underground. Or, 178% of what you see above ground, is underground. Dang!!

BUT.

To anyone that has an eagle eye and viewed oblivion from the side, you can clearly see that the steepest part of the ride is above ground (i.e. before the hole). This is because at the point of going into the hole, you can see the track starting to level out.

Lets’s now look at, say, Sheikra:

PFhdExf.jpg


On every image of this and other dive coasters, the lowest part of the steepest track always seems to be approximately half-way down the drop.

So for Oblivion’s drop, which as far as I can tell from looking at it is no different, this doesn’t make sense. It’s it’s 65ft above ground, the true drop in height (from heights point to lowest point) would only be ~130-140ft.

I have a theory: is the “180 foot drop” on Oblivion the length of the track from the tallest point of the drop to the lowest point? Looking at the image of Sheikra, that seems to make sense - the movement forward would boost the “drop” by an approximate amount that would add up to 180 ft, by my crude calculations.

Thoughts?
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
It is worth remembering, however, that the drop “plaza” is on a whole level below the 65ft height of the lift hill, thus making more of the drop visible above ground than if the plaza was on the same level of ground as the lift hill (as I said before, 65ft). I seem to remember them saying that it was closer to 100ft above the drop “plaza”, which would make more sense.

It’s also worth taking into account that they may have profiled Oblivion’s drop differently. I don’t really know, but maybe Oblivion’s smaller cars allowed for a tighter “levelling out”, if you get what I mean?

Also, I’m not sure the ride would be able to hit 68mph if the drop was only 130-140ft, and based on how fast the drop feels, I don’t debate Oblivion’s top speed for a second…

I’ll admit I too always thought that Oblivion’s drop seemed strangely short for 180ft, but it all adds up if you give it a little thought.

To be honest, seeing the ride under construction in The Magic Factory really made me realise how deep Oblivion’s tunnel actually is; it’s a behemoth of a pit, despite not feeling very big when you’re on it!
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
@Matt N thanks for your considered response but I don’t think your points re: the plaza can explain the “drop”-discrepancy noting that Oblivion’s steepest point clearly being visible above ground.

@Crazycoaster I think Diving Machine G5, of which I was previously unaware, sort of helps my case (particularly if it’s essentially a ‘clone’ of oblivion. The bit where the track levels out is around ~half way through the drop.

Big tunnels, of course

krQLLV6.jpg



N9uHgJl.jpg
 

rob666

Hyper Poster
The Oblivion hole looked a lot bigger than those photos in real life, peering over the edge barriers, there were very few spots where you could actually see the bottom.
 

Ethan

Strata Poster
I believe that it is 180ft tbh. I think it's easy to forget just how huge the dive coaster track is, unless you're stood right next to it.
 

Heth

Mega Poster
My understanding is that the 'height' of 65ft is measured from the top of the land behind the drop and NOT from the plaza / hole area. The plaza / hole itself is significantly lower. I believe it is 180ft as advertised.
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
I believe the 180 feet. I think it is just misleading due to Alton's wacky terrain and that tunnel being stupidly large. That tunnel does feel pretty long on ride, and i also believe the drop plaza is lower. That part of the park is very hilly with tons of elevation so it makes sense. It reminds me of Nemesis's first drop, you would not think that small shallow drop would make you gain speed, but next thing you know you're hauling through a corkscrew. Alton's terrain is strange, it really messes up perception.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
My understanding is that the 'height' of 65ft is measured from the top of the land behind the drop and NOT from the plaza / hole area. The plaza / hole itself is significantly lower. I believe it is 180ft as advertised.
Ah ok, I think this is perhaps what @Matt N was getting at and I had misunderstood his post.

If the height of the track above the hole is actually 90-100ft, rather than 65ft, then that may explain it. It definitely doesn’t appear that ‘more than half’ the drop is underground. I’ll have another assessment when I’m next at the park.

Thanks all for the input and comments.
 

GregBoxall

Roller Poster
While we're picking at things thought I'd be the one to say that it isn't technically a vertical drop either, only 88.5 degrees as B&M had yet to develop their sprung wheels.
 
While we're picking at things thought I'd be the one to say that it isn't technically a vertical drop either, only 88.5 degrees as B&M had yet to develop their sprung wheels.

It has nothing to do with wheel suspension, the drop is the angle it is because that is the path the car would take if there was no track there.
If you look at the running surface of the rails, the road wheels barely touch the track on the way down.

I have a theory: is the “180 foot drop” on Oblivion the length of the track from the tallest point of the drop to the lowest point? Looking at the image of Sheikra, that seems to make sense - the movement forward would boost the “drop” by an approximate amount that would add up to 180 ft, by my crude calculations.

Thoughts?

According to the engineering drawings, Oblivion stands at 54 metres. This measurement is taken from the centre of the running rail i.e. where the guide wheels are, at the top of the lift crest, to the centre of the running rails at the bottom of the drop......
 

CanobieFan

Giga Poster
Tower of Terror at Gold Reef City opened in 2001, around 4 years before Sheikra.
And Hyper Sonic XLC opened months before that


Annddd are we gonna discredit both Mr. Freeze coasters because they're shuttles? Superman the Escape?
 
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