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leeprice
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Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:02 am

I was as AT in July and while queuing for Sonic Spinball I noticed the whole track was shaking, even the steel supports where swaying back and forth, it even made me think twice about getting on it. I'm sure if this was unsafe it would have been picked up by the AT boffins, but how can a coaster be allowed to sway so vigorously?

Maybe it's just me being over concerned about nothing

just realised I've posted this in the wrong place
 
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roary01
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:25 am

The amount of times guests ask me this question, the simple reason is it has to has the movement in it or else it would simply crack/snap.
The movement in the track has to be there.. every coaster has movement in it, but sonic does seem to have more, however it is safe as it has always moved in this way, to me it seems  to be how the supports have been made/placed to allow the movement. but your not alone by thinking if it should move so much..
 
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leeprice
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:32 am

roary01 wrote:
The amount of times guests ask me this question, the simple reason is it has to has the movement in it or else it would simply crack/snap.
The movement in the track has to be there.. every coaster has movement in it, but sonic does seem to have more, however it is safe as it has always moved in this way, to me it seems  to be how the supports have been made/placed to allow the movement. but your not alone by thinking if it should move so much..


Thanks for clearing that up, I know coasters have movement, but like you've said it's just the amount of movement that concerned me
 
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Vanessa Feltz
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:22 am

If you notice very closely, Nemesis does this too, like roary said, the track needs a certain amount of freedom in the way it moves otherwise it would be too brittle and snap under the G's that the ride produces, It just happens that a Maurer Sohne does it a bit more than others, but that doesn't stop it being safe.
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leeprice
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:02 am

I think it's more noticeable too because of the position of the queue line, you have no option but to stand and look at the swaying coaster
 
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altontowerskid
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:01 am

Mauer's do seem to do this a bit more than other coasters.

Been on a couple of their spinning coasters in Spain and they were exactly the same, swaying was obvious from quite far away too. As long as essential checks are completed on the supports, I can't think why there would be any reason for concern - I'm more worried about the poor design of the chassis on the spinning coasters tbh!
 
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:41 pm

The simple answer to your question is: yes. the more detailed one has been explained ;) .

You could say this about any ride though, have you seen how much Nemesis's track bends after the stall turn?
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leeprice
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:46 pm

GrapeWizard wrote:
The simple answer to your question is: yes. the more detailed one has been explained ;) .

You could say this about any ride though, have you seen how much Nemesis's track bends after the stall turn?


Can't say I've noticed, but then again I wasn't queuing for over an hour for Nemesis
 
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:59 pm

What?

You can only see it after you've been let through the merge of the fasttrack and main queue so even if you were queuing 10 minutes for it you'd be able to see it
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:38 pm

Are these wild mice/ wild mouses?

The relieving thing is they've been in operation for years now and I can't say I remember any accidents?

I also remember J Wardley saying Nemesis does this and its intentional.
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:58 pm

Dragon's Fury and Rattlesnake at Chessington also "wobble" in places which has caused comments from visitors. On occasions I've reassured people that it's nothing serious so at least you're not the only one to have asked about this :)
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:08 pm

Looky here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozk0_ne4Jhg

That's a swaying support when the coaster is travelling at 120mph. It's quite incredible the engineering that goes into coaster design these days, it's a hugely serious and successful part of the steel construction industry now.
Other coasters that flex a huge amount are Wicked Twister and pretty much every wood coaster that pulls positive G, seeing those huge wooden structures flex is incredible :D
 
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Nightfall
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:45 pm

I hate to say it but the answer is borderline.

Maurer Söhne Spinners have by far the worst incident rate of any modern roller coaster by a well known manufacturer. There is a list of accidences, too long for me to quote, and it does involve several fatalities. Just Google it and you’ll see what I mean.

But it’s not for the reason that you've pointed out. Track flexing is fine. In fact it is more than fine, without it the ride would simply snap. But I don’t need to explain the full physics behind this as that’s not the issue.

No the issue tends to be the restraints. I can’t tell you what the exact problem is but the locking process hasn’t been very well design. There have been multiple reporting’s of them coming up a notch or two mid way around the ride. And in most of the more serious incidences it’s been found that the restraint has come completely undone, although normally accredited to negligence by the park.

I've known about this issue for a while but last year it actually happened to me. While at Phantasialand I was riding Winjas and my restraint released after leaving the station. I don’t know if it fully released as I had my arm in the way and on instinct I rammed it straight back down again but it certainly came undone at least most of the way as the train hit a rather abrupt block break.

But before you get too concerned Sonic is probably safe. Roughly a month after the ride opened it and Dragon Fury were closed down to have the restraints re-fitted due to a similar incident on one of the other rides. I therefore predict that of all the spinners these two are the safest. I would still ride it (and Winjas because I loved that ride), although after the incident at Phantasialand I always keep a firm grip on my restraint.
Last edited by Nightfall on Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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altontowerskid
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:10 am

Nightfall, does my memory serve be wrong if I can remember something to do with the chassis of the ride cars also. This being one of the reasons the weight limit was set for each car, due to certain stresses on the ride car chassis and the fact the centre pole the car revolves around, was not safe over a certain weight?

Tbh, Maurer do not have a great track record with their steelwork. They designed and built BMW's headquarters in Munich, and although it is a very impressive building, during construction my father said they had many issues with the quality of the steel and doubts whether the design would work. Quite shocking from a German manufacturer!
 
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:20 am

Wow, that record is worrying because it includes an incident at Chessington.
Thanks for letting us know.
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Chaz
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Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:56 am

MattsDesigns wrote:
Wow, that record is worrying because it includes an incident at Chessington.
Thanks for letting us know.


Yes but changes have now been informed on all MS Spinning coasters to prevent this happening again.
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Tom G
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:23 am

This ride is perfectly safe.
 
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Nightfall
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:21 pm

altontowerskid wrote:
Nightfall, does my memory serve be wrong if I can remember something to do with the chassis of the ride cars also. This being one of the reasons the weight limit was set for each car, due to certain stresses on the ride car chassis and the fact the centre pole the car revolves around, was not safe over a certain weight?

I'm not sure about any chaise problems. I’ve heard rumours like what you are telling me but nothing I could say for certain. I am fairly confident though that if there is a problem it hasn’t been the cause of any accidence.
All rides do have weight limits but they are not normally low enough for any regular guest to be concerned about. The question is why the Spinners weight limit is noticeable? It could be because they designed it as a family ride and so didn’t expect 4 adults to ride together. Foolish I know but understandable.

There’s also the issue that stops them running at full capacity in the rain. Again I don’t know much about this and so don’t want to make any assumptions but any ride that requires perfect weather and relaxed H&S to be able to run at full capacity can hard claim to be a great ride design.

And also you're correct it is quite uncharacteristic for German Engineering  :P
Although I will say that their other rides (not sure about their structural division) are up to ze normal German standard. Not to say they are brilliant rides but at least they are well Engineered  ;)
Last edited by Nightfall on Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:17 pm

Chaz wrote:
MattsDesigns wrote:
Wow, that record is worrying because it includes an incident at Chessington.
Thanks for letting us know.


Yes but changes have now been informed on all MS Spinning coasters to prevent this happening again.


My worry is that, while these changes have been made, that whoever fixxed it (would that be Maurer?) is probably still working in prototype way so only time will tell I guess.
Google shows a fatal accident as late as 21st march 2011? Had that one been updated?
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Re: Is Sonic Spinball safe?

Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:01 pm

This ride is perfectly safe. Everything has been designed for your comfort and enjoyment.

IF THIS RIDE IS SO SAFE? WHY IS IT CALLED SONIC SPINBALL!!

Relax.. Sit back and enjoy the experience.

DON'T LISTEN TO HIM!! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE RIDE GOES UP THE CHAIN HILL!??! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYONE SURVIVE IT!??!



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