Rob Pastor

Published: February 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Excellent article. Informative & professional.
Brian Emery

Published: February 12, 2013 at 2:08 PM

The US Navy has been experimenting with the idea these Linear launch systems, could someday replace the catapult systems on Aircraft carriers.

Instead of using the current catapults to launch jets off of the flight deck, these Linear systems would have much less maintenance and down time.

Russell Meyer

Published: February 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Very true Brian...The technology also is the basis behind the railgun. NASA is also testing similar systems for sub-orbital and super-orbital platforms.
James Rao

Published: February 12, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Great work, Russell. I appreciate the combined technology and history lesson. Also, I concur, Volcano is an outstanding coaster. The only thing that keeps it from being my favorite is the utter lack of special effects or decoration within the "mountain" itself. Sure wish Cedar Fair had the money and imagination to do more than turn off the lights!
Bobbie Butterfield

Published: February 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Very interesting, well-researched article. On the subject of Maverick, this is an example of less than perfect technology. I got stuck on the lift hill for almost 45 minutes because the launch system failed. This resulted in nausea and a horrific sunburn. I was dying to get off and of course there are steps leading from the launch area to the top of the hill, but this would have been pretty tough when I was harnessed in. Cedar Point graciously compensated us for the inconvenience by allowing us to get on Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster without having to wait in line. We were told to go the exits of these rides and the way the guy at Dragster asked me "Are you from Maverick?" led me to believe that rollbacks on Maverick are not uncommon. (I did eventually ride Maverick, calculating the odds of getting stuck on the lift hill twice in one day as pretty slim.)
Bobbie Butterfield

Published: February 13, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I wanted to add this to my previous comment but couldn't manage to edit it. Anyway, just wanted to say that I agree that Volcano The Blast Coaster is exceptional. It's unquestionably one of the best - and most unusual - inverted coasters I've ever ridden and very much underrated.

Published: February 15, 2013 at 6:08 AM

Clearly there were kinks to work out from those early years. I am a coaster junkie, but I hate the Flight of Fear and refused to ride it after about two rides. It was not fun in the least. All it did was painfully bang your head around against the restraints. Having my ears boxed is not an enjoyable experience.
And for the first 5 years (at least), the Volcano was shut down more than it was open. Even on days it would start open, it would usually shut down later in the day. It took years before I was actually able to ride it.
Maverick is awesome. We were there opening weekend. Pouring rain, but it was still a great ride.
Stephen Tuday

Published: February 16, 2013 at 12:13 AM

It's a great technology but not all theme parks can utilize its potential. My home park, Six Flags over Georgia, will likely never have a LIM/ LSM ride due to (I have been told) the local power grid being unable to support it. I absolutely love these type of coasters and always enjoy them while visiting other parks.