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Invisible Roller Coaster

A hanging coaster with a long arm to distance you from the track.
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I imagined this years ago, and was just reminded of it by another HalfBakery article.

Many of you familiar with coasters will know what a "suspended" coaster is. It is one where the cab that you sit in hangs beneath the track, so you can swing back and forth and have effects like your feet hanging with nothing under you. I wondered if you could do this one better.

Imagine if you entended the arm between the coaster rails and the car so that you are far away from the track, say 30 feet, with the arm behind you, out of your vision. You would probably still see the track, right? Well, what if you disguised the track, or tucked it away, since only a single arm needs to come out to hold your car. Imagine your coaster car diving over a cliff. The rails are first on the ground, holding you above the floor, but at an angle, so they are off to the side, and covered, so only a single slot is showing, not the whole track. You dive over a cliff, and the tracks continue within the cliff (hidden), with only a "crack" that blends in with the rock allowing your car to seemingly drop unheld. When you get to the bottom, canopies of trees (some real, some fake) disguise the emerging track, and you swing under, flying like a Star Wars speeder-bike on the forest moon of Endor through the trees (kind of where I got the idea). I bet you could remove/disguise the entire machinery and make one hell of a ride!

trekbody, Apr 13 2005

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       Can the arm go partially limp at times, and then the track scoops underneath, just in time, and straightens the arm before tightening it again? I fear the amount of weightlessness and confusion from all this would be so sweet.   

       +
daseva, Apr 13 2005
  

       I was thinking a rigid arm, but the orientation of the car could be controlled, so if you were looking at the ass end of the car, the arm holding the cab upright could spin around like the hand of a clock. Along with controlling the angle of the arm away from the track, you could have varying effect. In a traditional corkscrew, you follow the track. In a suspended corkscrew, you swing outside the track. In my corkscrew, you could have the car pass through the center without ever seeming to rotate (boring but possible in order to hide the track), or spin on your axis through the middle, or spin on your axis while wobbling back and forth. Basically the swinging arm can be locked or swung, and the cab can be locked or rotated. Seems like playing with two other types of movement during the ride would be a lot of fun.   

       You could also add a spin element, so that your car could "lose control" and the arm could twist or rotate completely.
trekbody, Apr 13 2005
  

       "In my corkscrew, you could have the car pass through the center without ever seeming to rotate", heh, taken to the extreme, this could end up as a roller coaster that goes through the wildest twists and turns, high G's, low G's and extreme speed...all without the passengers sensing any motion whatsoever.
half, Apr 13 2005
  

       Never thought of it thatway. Or - you could double the spin. For every revolution of the corkscrew, you could spin the car a couple extra times. Vomit comet anyone?
trekbody, Apr 13 2005
  

       I'd ride.
half, Apr 13 2005
  

       me too.
daseva, Apr 13 2005
  

       Cool!
Xcubeds, Jun 22 2005
  

       Nicely described, I can really see it.   

       The twisting moment at the coupling where arm meets track might be a bit on the high side but this'd certainly be exciting to ride.
bristolz, Jun 22 2005
  
      
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