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Kings Island | Orion | B&M Giga Coaster

bob_3_

Active Member
B&M's giga coaster brake runs are designed to be tall for the same reason that Intamin trains standardized over the shoulder restraints up until recently: rider comfort. Almost every modern ride uses magnetic brakes, and those brakes operate by a principle known as eddy currents. The key factor of eddy currents that drive both Intamin and B&M designs is that the force generated from the induced current is proportional to the input velocity - the faster the train hits the brake run, the harder it will stop. To make these physics relatable, remember your last ride on Top Thrill Dragster or Xcelerator. If your memory serves correctly, you'll remember your torso getting thrown forward fairly violently. To mitigate this, Intamin started putting their over the shoulder restraints on all of their rides as the straps catch your shoulders and torso and keep your body in a more comfortable position. B&M gigas simply solve the same problem in a different way. Instead of slamming into the brakes at 75mph and having your upper body roll over the clamshell restraint, B&M simply adds elevation to remove a ton of kinetic energy before gently slowing the train to a crawl. B&M's solution may cost slightly more in materials (taller supports) and look goofy to every enthusiast, but it allows them to maintain their high quality riding experience and rider comfort with the clamshell restraint, and probably helps with sequencing the trains on that long slope down to the station.
Although this is all true, the flat section on B&M giga's are mostly friction brakes with only a couple magnetic beforehand to clip off abit of speed. These essentially act as a MCBR and the reason for their height is the same reason most MCBRs are high up, the train can comfortably reach a complete stop from that speed. If you watch these brake runs in normal operation, the flat section doesn't actually take off much speed before the decline in the same way a MCBR doesn't always take off speed usually. TECHNICALLY B&M could've designed a small helix or hill after the flat without it affecting the throughput, but with the obscene amount of track needed already to soak up a giga's speed it probably came down to a cost versus experience weigh up. It makes more sense just to bring the ride back down to the station in the least amount of track possible.

As I said though, all of what you said makes perfect sense, but it's less about reducing braking stress on the riders and more about operational needs for a comfortable stop in that block segment to allow 3 trains to run.... I think.

 

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
Although this is all true, the flat section on B&M giga's are mostly friction brakes with only a couple magnetic beforehand to clip off abit of speed. These essentially act as a MCBR and the reason for their height is the same reason most MCBRs are high up, the train can comfortably reach a complete stop from that speed. If you watch these brake runs in normal operation, the flat section doesn't actually take off much speed before the decline in the same way a MCBR doesn't always take off speed usually. TECHNICALLY B&M could've designed a small helix or hill after the flat without it affecting the throughput, but with the obscene amount of track needed already to soak up a giga's speed it probably came down to a cost versus experience weigh up. It makes more sense just to bring the ride back down to the station in the least amount of track possible.

As I said though, all of what you said makes perfect sense, but it's less about reducing braking stress on the riders and more about operational needs for a comfortable stop in that block segment to allow 3 trains to run.... I think.

You are absolutely right - now that you mention it, I do recall Leviathan stacking the third train in the high portion of the brake run. I believe that they also have a redundant block at the bottom of the incline, just before the transfer track. Typically the train carries a fair amount of the speed such that the magnetic brakes on the incline do some work slowing the train down as opposed to just maintaining a controlled descent, but if the operators hit the e-stop, you're going to stop.
 

DelPiero

Well-Known Member
Hyperion's brake run is absolutely fine, and ends the ride with high speed airtime and a water feature.
Orion's is a cost saving exercise as to not extend the layout slightly to give a better rider experience and will end like all the other recent big B&Ms do, high off the ground wishing there was a couple more airtime hills. This one is clearly the worst of the lot.
Why they couldn't extend round that patch of trees with 2 airtime hills and a wave turn I don't know.
 

bernatc22

Member
I'm not quite feeling that shade of blue. Too pastel and doesn't match the color of the track. But I will keep from commenting further since it might not look that bad at all once in the tracks.

Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk
 

bob_3_

Active Member
I think the lighting is throwing off the red abit in pictures. I like how sharp and punchy it looks against the blue. and if it's matches the restraint colours I'll be happy with that. All in all, I like it, it has a slight retro feel about it.
 

Fluorineer

Member
Hyperion's brake run is absolutely fine, and ends the ride with high speed airtime and a water feature.
Orion's is a cost saving exercise as to not extend the layout slightly to give a better rider experience and will end like all the other recent big B&Ms do, high off the ground wishing there was a couple more airtime hills. This one is clearly the worst of the lot.
Why they couldn't extend round that patch of trees with 2 airtime hills and a wave turn I don't know.
You can pretty much go full circle on this, the only reason a break-run this high up is even feasible is clearly because a Giga hasn't blown off enough steam after "just" 5300ft so a couple more elements (and btw, put a proper valley between the last two hills while we're at it, not this weird one 50ft off the ground) would possibly work wonders. People moan about the helix at the end of Fury but it does exactly that, burn some of the remaining speed so the coaster can have a proper finale with some low-to-the-ground hills and a "normal" break run.

It's the same deal with Leviathan, the only reason it ends on the 17th floor is because the layout screams for just a couple more hills. I mean they're called "Giga" for a reason, if done right, they are gigantic investments, and it sucks to leave the impression that you cut corners while still investing an enormous amount of money.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I just had a shower thought... remember the strangely pervasive "Giga Dive" rumour that was thrown around before this coaster was announced? If this same layout was featured on a Dive Machine, with a few modifications accordingly, it would have been seen as one heck of a coaster. Since @Hyde above here helpfully provided a picture with every element numbered, let's go through it in detail and give it a hypothetical design change:


1. Lift hill. Keep the height, keep the lift angle, but make the drop vertical with a holding brake on top. The transition into the next hill would have to be kept, though, for G-force reasons.
2. First hill. This one could be kept as-is (wonder how that would feel with such a wide train) or converted into a zero-G roll of sorts. Not following up the first drop with a turnaround would be a first for a Dive Machine, if I recall correctly.
3. Turnaround. Make it a Dive Loop or Immelmann, which frankly wouldn't require much modification.
4. Speed hill. Keep as-is.
5. Airtime hill. Either have a (second?) zero-G roll here, build an MCBR for capacity shenanigans, or keep as-is.
6. Helix. Convert into second Immelmann/Dive Loop, or even keep as-is unless nothing else is changed from Orion's current layout.
7. Turn into brakes. Could be kept as-is,.
8. Final brakes. At this point, in reality the coaster feels pretty short for a Giga, because we're used to big coasters having lots of elements. But Dive Machines are typically a heck of a lot shorter than this and contain few elements, so DM Orion would feel like a really long ride. It would easily have got away with putting the end brakes here, even in the eyes of picky enthusiasts.

Orion as a Dive Machine would have had a unique layout, but not an outlandish one - after all, it's mostly the one they are building right now. It would be a whole new way to do a coaster type that mostly has stuck to the conventions established by Sheikra back in 2006, while also avoiding comparisons to Fury 325 or Leviathan (if anything, it could be compared to Baron 1898 on horse steroids). Maybe building it as a Dive Machine would put some limitations on the layout (crossing over/under its own track, for instance, because the required clearance is so big), but I think B&M could have made it work.

Strange to see that a layout that feels so minimal and run-of-the-mill for one coaster type, could be so unique and exciting for another. Now I almost want to build it in Planet Coaster or something and see what it could have been like.
 
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