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Will any other types of launches be invented in the future?

EDjanaika

New Member
I was thinking about this the launch coaster has been developed from weight-drop, hydraulic, LSM, LIM, Compressed Air and a few others but i was wondering if there's ever a chance that a manufacturer invents a different type of launch and trials it potentially?!
 

Hixee

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Short answer - who knows! (If I did I'd be filling out a patent application right now not typing this response! :p )

I think it's worth looking at the history of launch technology to see a glimpse of how these things could come about. God, I'm starting to sound like @Hyde.
  • Weight-drop: Starting with the one I know the least about historically, but the basic principles of converting massive amounts of gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy are millennia old. Trebuchets and other such siege weapons are basically this principle.
  • Hydraulic: These are actually a huge bastardisation of very old hydraulic motors. Think about old-timey water wheels, less-old-timey water turbines, and more recently the massive use of hydraulics in machinery. You use a fluid under pressure to spin a thing.
  • Compressed Air: A variant on the above. The coaster technology is extremely close in design to the systems developed by the military for aircraft carriers.
  • LIM/LSM: Electromagnetic propulsion itself has been around for a fair while as well, in the form of electric motors. Sizable R&D effort by the military spreading into public infrastructure, before the technology was in a place we could create the "linear" aspect.
All of that is to say that whilst coaster engineers are a clever bunch, they're mostly re-purposing ideas from other industries. Obviously a lot of work to do to make that work reliably, safely, and there is a creative engineer's mindset to think in that lateral way, but they're rarely starting from scratch.

This question makes me wonder though - with LSMs getting smaller, cheaper, more reliable and more versatile, I wonder if there really would ever be the need to develop something new. You can tune your LSM to give you any launch characteristic you like provided you can supply the juice, and with battery technology developing at the rate it is, I suspect it won't be long until everything is just LSM launches programmed with difference acceleration curves.

With that in mind, I propose either gunpowder or steam. Worth getting them done now before LSMs take over everything.
 

rob666

Member
Technology always advances, there will be new methods of launch, forward ever, backward never.
The big bucket weight drop of Thunderlooper was my personal favourite...such complex technology.
 

EDjanaika

New Member
Short answer - who knows! (If I did I'd be filling out a patent application right now not typing this response! :p )

I think it's worth looking at the history of launch technology to see a glimpse of how these things could come about. God, I'm starting to sound like @Hyde.
  • Weight-drop: Starting with the one I know the least about historically, but the basic principles of converting massive amounts of gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy are millennia old. Trebuchets and other such siege weapons are basically this principle.
  • Hydraulic: These are actually a huge bastardisation of very old hydraulic motors. Think about old-timey water wheels, less-old-timey water turbines, and more recently the massive use of hydraulics in machinery. You use a fluid under pressure to spin a thing.
  • Compressed Air: A variant on the above. The coaster technology is extremely close in design to the systems developed by the military for aircraft carriers.
  • LIM/LSM: Electromagnetic propulsion itself has been around for a fair while as well, in the form of electric motors. Sizable R&D effort by the military spreading into public infrastructure, before the technology was in a place we could create the "linear" aspect.
All of that is to say that whilst coaster engineers are a clever bunch, they're mostly re-purposing ideas from other industries. Obviously a lot of work to do to make that work reliably, safely, and there is a creative engineer's mindset to think in that lateral way, but they're rarely starting from scratch.

This question makes me wonder though - with LSMs getting smaller, cheaper, more reliable and more versatile, I wonder if there really would ever be the need to develop something new. You can tune your LSM to give you any launch characteristic you like provided you can supply the juice, and with battery technology developing at the rate it is, I suspect it won't be long until everything is just LSM launches programmed with difference acceleration curves.

With that in mind, I propose either gunpowder or steam. Worth getting them done now before LSMs take over everything.
That's a fair enough point! I'd say hydraulic coaster will eventually have and their day and park will begin removing them sadly, but maybe RMC could possibly invent a new type of launch or maybe B&M though they seem happy with their LSMs tbh!
 

gavin

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I may be pulling this from the darkest recesses of my arse, but I seem to remember discussions on here about something called a "rail gun" launch, or something like that. I think B&M's name was always attached to it.

Can't be arsed to dig any further, so if anyone else wants to put in the work for me, feel free.

Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk
 

Hixee

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I may be pulling this from the darkest recesses of my arse, but I seem to remember discussions on here about something called a "rail gun" launch, or something like that. I think B&M's name was always attached to it.
A railgun is basically a variant of a LIM. It's namesake is actually a military device intended for non-explosive weaponry, but I think the name was picked up somewhere for B&M's research into magnetic launches.


I think (and this is based on a very foggy memory) that B&M were looking at something with a catch-car type device that was accelerated by the LSM, rather than having the magnets attached to the train itself (similar to the hydraulic launch, I suppose). I suspect the term "railgun" was batted around as generally that's how they're configured in a military use (you use the magnets to launch an armature - catch car - with a projectile sitting on top).

Real railguns are still pretty rare (experimental mostly, I think) as they're massively power hungry and hugely complex.
 

VikingsAf

Member
So the logical next step is nuclear powered coasters (looking at the way energy sources as a whole got developed trough history)... But yeah, that won't be for the next few years ;) People saying 'that's too dangerous', I bet that's what they said about electrical powered coasters 50 years ago aswell.
 

Pokemaniac

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So the logical next step is nuclear powered coasters (looking at the way energy sources as a whole got developed trough history)... But yeah, that won't be for the next few years ;) People saying 'that's too dangerous', I bet that's what they said about electrical powered coasters 50 years ago aswell.
You can't just plonk uranium in a crate and expect it to propel a train. It's basically just a warm piece of metal. You need to convert that heat into kinetic energy somehow, so you'd still have to go the steps via steam or electricity.

By the way, I see that nobody has proposed rubber bands yet. I think that's probably for the best.
 

Howie

Active Member
We've also yet to discuss harnessing the power of animals.
So many possibilities, and the reduction in energy costs alone must surely make it an attractive proposition.
 

VikingsAf

Member
You can't just plonk uranium in a crate and expect it to propel a train. It's basically just a warm piece of metal. You need to convert that heat into kinetic energy somehow, so you'd still have to go the steps via steam or electricity.

By the way, I see that nobody has proposed rubber bands yet. I think that's probably for the best.
Well it is obviously propelled by the pressure wave of controlled nuclear explosions, duuh.
 

Dar

Member
There is that wind launched water slide, mind you that's just an extension on the compressed air launch with you as the piston :p
 

Niles

Member
Cannon Launch

So I’m thinking the coaster train backs up into a cannon, it’s then primed, and then you are shot out and go along the track.

I would be looking at stats comparable to the Gustav gun, see pic below:
1604011177045.jpeg
Stats:

Muzzel velocity/ launch speed:
820m/s so 2952kph
Not to bad speed there, would like to get it past that 3000 mark though.

Rate of fire/ riders per hour
1 train every 30-40 mins
This will need improving as I can see this low throughput putting parks off.

Effective firing range/ track length
39000m or 39km
So at least it’s a long ride.

I see very very little problems with my plan.
 

rob666

Member
One of the oldest woodies had you pretending to be shot out of a cannon.
Think it might be an old Coney ride.
Edit...Cannon Coaster at Coney Island 1901/2
 
We've also yet to discuss harnessing the power of animals.
So many possibilities, and the reduction in energy costs alone must surely make it an attractive proposition.
This. Wonder how many hamsters running on a massive wheel would be needed to launch Kingda Ka?
 
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