Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Roller Coasters - Simple and Complex

As part of 2010’s National Science and Engineering Week the University Library in collaboration with the National Fairground Archive are celebrating the engineering feats of roller coasters and theme park rides. The following abstract is part of a mini-series on the history of going upside-down, compiled by Ian Trowell of the National Fairground Archive.

Roller Coaster - Simple Loop

Roller Coasters - Simple Loop (1979)

Blackpool Pleasure Beach installed the first looping coaster in the UK, using the teardrop shaped elliptical loop developed for parks in the US. The installation of this ride was a landmark in the UK, paving the way for Corkscrew rides the following year, then a whole thrill network of floorless coasters, standing coasters, launched coasters, etc.

Roller Coaster - Complex

Roller Coasters - Complex (post 1990)

The current terrain of roller coasters is hard to quantify - process on a world-wide scale occurs literally monthly, with whatever seemed impossible quickly coming into fruition. Current trends are for 'linear induction motors' which provide a lightning fast acceleration (or braking), minimised restraints, and gruelling, twisting track layouts.

Check back tomorrow for more and remember that the NFA is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 until 16:30 for anyone interested in seeing more of our NSEW activities.

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