Moser did really screw BGW with Mach Tower, but the ride is working really good this year (longer freefall) after nearly 2 years of mechanical issues. It's hard to tell from the sketches, but my guess would be that this will be an Intamin installation that is a modification of Acrophobia. Hopefully, whoever is manufacturing this ride learned a thing or two from the issues that Acrophibia sufferred through.
2014 is going to be quite a year in central Florida. I'm glad I'm waiting to take another big trip there until next year.
I am with the rest of you, 2014 is going to be a great (and expensive) year for theme park travelers to Florida!
Now, who can make a drop tower where you tilt 90 degrees and have your BACK face the ground?
I just went to Sea World Orlando and plan to do again next year. Same with BGT except I didnt go this year.
Russell- This is not an 80+ mph ride. You're making that assumption based on roller coasters. The tower height is 335-feet, but important information is missing like the height the carriage rises to and the elevation at which the brakes begin. The uncontrolled freefall descent will be well less than 300-feet. The stated 335-foot height includes the mechanical crow's nest at the top of the tower. Also, the carriage begins from a complete stop where most roller coasters begin their descent with some momentum from the lift.
Kings Dominion holds the descent record at 272-feet and the carriage reaches a maximum speed of 72 mph.
The freefall descent I suspect will be in the low 200-foot range and the speed will be close to 70 miles-per-hour. The uncontrolled descent is going to be less because of the position of the rider.
Based on the Gyro Drop stats the theoretical capacity of this ride should be approximately 603-780 pph. However, in operation I suspect they'll get about 375-425 pph.
How about we get a hyper or giga coaster at BGT in 2015?
Does Sheikra not do something similar enough to the only element offered really by this Free Fall to make it really worthwhile for them to do something else?
Busch Gardens is better looking and done than most of the thrill parks (Six Flags, Cedar Fair) in the country. But they are starting to miss out on items that families can do together just like those parks.... If you were a family of four.... mom and dad and two kids maybe age 10 and 12 (and maybe the 10 year old is not wanting to ride Sheikra etc. yet.... and even if the 12 year old is a thrill seeker.... maybe the parents are not that hardcore with the thrills)..... what rides do they have that all members of the family can ride together and have a memorable experience that does not separate them at the park? And how many of those are newer rides from the past ten years that would draw re-visits?
I assumed an 80 MPH speed based on King's Dominion's Drop Tower, which as you correctly stated tops out at @72 MPH. If this is an Intamin, as it appears that it is from all accounts, there would be a reasonable expectation that the hardware at the top would be similar to that of KD's tower, meaning that BGT's drop would be @50 feet longer. That would indicate that the top speed would be 80+ MPH if the brakes were placed a proportional distance up the tower compared to KD's tower. That is obviously not the case if the park is indicating a 60 MPH top speed. If I were comparing to a roller coaster (with no brakes at the bottom), the theoretical top speed would probably approach 90-100 MPH. Griffon and Sheikra (@200 foot tall dive machines) both achieve top speeds of 70+ MPH from a standstill drop, which would extrapolate to nearly 100 MPH for a 300 foot straight-down drop, depending on terminal velocity of the equipment and rolling friction.
As far as a capacity, you can see it right in the drawing. There are 6 groups of 4 riders shown (one group is obscured behind the tower structure itself), which is 24 people per cycle. Even the most efficient load/unload cycle wouldn't be able to cycle faster than every 3-5 minutes, which means 288-480 people per hour---pretty pathetic for a park like Busch Gardens Tampa.
I have sought some addition information and was provided the following from an industry friend who is not an employee of Busch Gardens, but in the know.
Apparently, the ride vehicle will rise to a height of approximately 296 feet. The video actually states nearly 300-feet. The cycle time will be about 90 seconds. The top speed will be in the 60 mph range. The theoretical capacity is 550 pph.
Also, and this is speculation merely based on his expertise and my knowledge. He agrees with my thoughts that the brakes will begin earlier because the rider will not be in a seated position. I expect this riding position will also increase friction during descent which may in part explain the slower speed.
I don't think capacity is a big issue. The park is slow most of the year. It's a year-round park and attendance is only a little more than 4 million per year.
When a promotional video lists numbers, those are technical data. Also, when pre-vis sketches are presented in a presser, they typically hold pretty true to the final look of the attraction. When a park flashes 60 MPH on an attraction announcement promotion video, it's 99.99% likely that the top speed of the attraction will be 60 MPH give or take a few MPH.
I'm also not sure why you seem to think that the position of the riders will significantly change the wind resistance, and thus the top speed of the ride. Now, the position of the riders may alter the considerations the manufacturers have for how fast they want to allow the ride to fall, since the speed would proportionally affect the amount of force applied to the riders and restraints. If the restraints are only rated to 1000 psi, then slowing from 60 to zero over 150 feet may be the maximum amount of decelleration that can be applied with an appropriate safety factor (most likely 10 to 50).
My point is that BGT is building a 335-foot drop tower that's probably only going to have a 130-150 foot freefall and an exaggerated decelleration. Now, if that decelleration is gradual and maintains the 60 MPH for at least a 1/3 of the brake run, it may be cool. However, if you fall for 1 second and then hit the brakes and immediately decellerate to a crawl 50 feet or more from the bottom, it kinda eliminates the need to build something so tall.