This article needs additional citations for verification .(April 2008)
A steel roller coaster is a roller coaster that is defined by having a track made of steel. Steel coasters have earned immense popularity in the past 50 years throughout the world. Incorporating tubular steel track and polyurethane-coated wheels, the steel roller coasters can provide a taller, smoother, and faster ride with more inversions than a traditional wooden roller coaster.
Arrow Dynamics first introduced the steel roller coaster to feature tubular track to the thrill industry with their creations of the Matterhorn Bobsleds (Disneyland) in 1959 and the Runaway Mine Train (Six Flags Over Texas) in 1966.
As of 2006, the oldest operating steel roller coaster in North America is Little Dipper at Memphis Kiddie Park in Brooklyn, Ohio and has been operating since April 1952. The oldest operating steel rollercoaster in the world is Montaña Suiza at Parque de Atracciones Monte Igueldo (Spain). It has been operating since 1928.
There are different types of steel coasters, such as flying, inverted, floorless, and suspended.
A wooden roller coaster is a type of roller coaster classified by its wooden track, which consists of running rails made of flat steel strips mounted on laminated wood. The support structure is also typically made of wood, but may also be made of steel lattice or truss, which has no bearing on a wooden coaster's classification. The type of wood often selected in the construction of wooden coasters worldwide is southern yellow pine, which grows abundantly in the southern United States, due to its density and adherence to different forms of pressure treatment.
A roller coaster inversion is a roller coaster element in which the track turns riders upside-down and then returns them to an upright position. Early forms of inversions were circular in nature and date back to 1848 on the Centrifugal railway in Paris. These vertical loops produced massive g-force that was often dangerous to riders. As a result, the element eventually became non-existent with the last rides to feature the looping inversions being dismantled during the Great Depression. In 1975, designers from Arrow Development created the corkscrew, reviving interest in the inversion during the modern age of steel roller coasters. Elements have since evolved from simple corkscrews and vertical loops to more complex inversions such as Immelmann loops and cobra rolls. The Smiler at Alton Towers holds the world record for the number of inversions on a roller coaster with 14.
Bolliger & Mabillard, officially Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers, Inc. and often abbreviated B&M, is a roller coaster design consultancy based in Monthey, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1988 by Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard, both of whom had worked for Giovanola.
A hypercoaster can mean one of two things:
Superman: Escape from Krypton is a steel shuttle roller coaster located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. When it opened in 1997, it was the tallest roller coaster in the world, and its speed of 100 mph (160 km/h) was tied for the fastest with Tower of Terror II, a similar roller coaster which opened two months earlier at Dreamworld in Australia. These two coasters were the first to utilize Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) technology to propel vehicles to top speed. To date, it is the only reverse freefall coaster left in existence after the dismantling of Tower of Terror II.
Green Lantern, formerly known as Chang, is a stand-up roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey. Green Lantern stands 155 feet (47 m) tall and features a top speed of 63 miles per hour (101 km/h). The 4,155-foot-long (1,266 m) ride features five inversions and a duration of approximately 21⁄2 minutes. This steel coaster was designed and built by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard.
The Riddler's Revenge is a stand-up roller coaster located at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride opened as the park's eleventh roller coaster on April 4, 1998, setting multiple world records among stand-up coasters. Originally located in the Movie District section of the park, which later became Metropolis in 2017, The Riddler's Revenge was also the park's single biggest investment at a cost of $14 million. It features a height of 156 feet (48 m), a maximum speed of 65 mph (105 km/h), six inversions, and a track length of 4,370 feet (1,330 m).
Kumba is a steel roller coaster located at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride opened in 1993. It stands 143 feet (44 m) tall and has a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). Kumba features a total of seven inversions across the 3-minute ride.
A fourth-dimension roller coaster is a type of steel roller coaster whereby riders are rotated independently of the orientation of the track, generally about a horizontal axis that is perpendicular to the track. The cars do not necessarily need to be fixed to an angle.
Tatsu is a flying roller coaster designed by Bolliger & Mabillard at the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park located in Valencia, California, United States. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, it opened as the tallest, fastest, and longest flying coaster in the world on May 13, 2006. It became the park's seventeenth coaster, featuring a height of 170 feet (52 m), a track length of 3,602 feet (1,098 m), and a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h). Tatsu also features the world's tallest pretzel loop and the only zero-gravity roll inversion on a flying coaster model. Nearly a decade later, The Flying Dinosaur opened at Universal Studios Japan in 2016, breaking Tatsu's length record and matching its speed. In its debut season, Tatsu was ranked 40th among steel coasters in the annual Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today, peaking with a rank of 28 in 2012.
Steel Vengeance, formerly known as Mean Streak, is a steel roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. The roller coaster was rebuilt by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) and opened to the public on May 5, 2018. It features RMC's patented I-Box Track technology utilizing a significant portion of Mean Streak's former support structure. Upon completion, Steel Vengeance set 10 world records.
A Giant Inverted Boomerang is a type of steel shuttle roller coaster manufactured by the Dutch firm Vekoma. The ride is a larger, inverted version of Vekoma's popular Boomerang sit down roller coasters. As of October 2022, four installations of the model are operating, with another one under construction.
Volcano: The Blast Coaster, or simply Volcano, was an inverted roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Designed by Werner Stengel, it was the first launched roller coaster manufactured by Intamin and the first of its kind in the world to be inverted. Its launch mechanism was based on linear induction motor (LIM) technology. After a series of delays, Volcano officially opened to the public on August 3, 1998. The ride's soft opening was held two days earlier on August 1. A portion of the ride was enclosed inside a man-made volcano, which previously housed other attractions and was constructed in 1979. Volcano's final year of operation was in 2018, and in the off-season that followed, Kings Dominion made the sudden decision to retire the roller coaster.
Roller coaster elements are the individual parts of roller coaster design and operation, such as a track, hill, loop, or turn. Variations in normal track movement that add thrill or excitement to the ride are often called "thrill elements".
Roller coaster amusement rides have origins back to ice slides constructed in 18th-century Russia. Early technology featured sleds or wheeled carts that were sent down hills of snow reinforced by wooden supports. The technology evolved in the 19th century to feature railroad track using wheeled cars that were securely locked to the track. Newer innovations emerged in the early 20th century with side friction and underfriction technologies to allow for greater speeds and sharper turns. By the mid-to-late 20th century, these elements intensified with the introduction of steel roller coaster designs and the ability to invert riders.
An Impulse roller coaster is a form of a launched inverted roller coaster manufactured by Intamin. The first Impulse roller coaster appeared in Japan, and the ride type has since evolved to include four specific layouts, three of these varieties being built in the United States. It uses LIMs to launch a train out of the station and up a vertical spiral. The train then falls backward, is powered again through the station, and heads up a back tower. The train then falls forward, and continues in this fashion for a total of 2½ cycles per ride. On the final forward launch, with a slightly reduced speed, the train is sent up the front tower, and brakes then deploy on the launch track. The train then slows down and heads back into the station.
Wing Coaster is engineering firm Bolliger & Mabillard’s designation for its winged roller coaster designs. Winged roller coasters are a type of steel roller coaster where pairs of riders sit on either side of a roller coaster track in which nothing is above or below the riders. B&M began development on the first Wing Coaster between 2007 and 2008 leading to the opening of Raptor at Gardaland on 1 April 2011. There are currently sixteen B&M-designed Wing Coasters either under construction or operating worldwide as of December 2020.
Goliath is a wooden roller coaster located at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) and designed by Alan Schilke, the roller coaster features RMC's Topper Track design and opened to the public on June 19, 2014. Goliath initially set three world records among wooden coasters, having the longest drop at 180 feet (55 m), the steepest angle of 85 degrees, and the fastest speed of 72 mph (116 km/h). It still holds the record for the longest drop and fastest wooden roller coaster. In addition, the ride also features two inversions and a maximum descent that reaches 15 feet (4.6 m) below ground level.
The Joker is a steel roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. The ride opened on May 29, 2016, as a rebuild of former wooden roller coaster Roar, adding a new steel track on top of Roar's wooden support structure. This hybrid configuration was implemented by Rocky Mountain Construction and is themed to the Joker, a comic book character villain featured in DC Comics publications. The original Roar roller coaster was constructed by Great Coasters International and opened in 1999.