Most roller coasters try to keep regurgitating riders to a minimum. But with this coaster by BRC Imagination Arts, queasy patrons may be inevitable. The design firm has taken a cue from NASA's KC-135A "Vomit Comet" aircraft and drafted plans for a coaster that mimics microgravity for up to nine seconds. The only downside? Such a ride costs a pretty penny.
BRC's plans for this earthbound weightlessness simulator include waterproof interiors (for easy clean up of half-digested cotton candy) and the possibility of including tiny balls and glasses of fluid, so guests can visualize their precious seconds of faux-microgravity. If they just filled this coaster with cats and filmed it, this project would fund itself. Here's how Popular Science broke down BRC's proposal:
To create that illusion, a linear induction motor system would speed coasters up the track with unprecedented precision. As the coaster approached a top speed of more than 100 mph, it would suddenly and ever so slightly decelerate-just enough to throw the passengers up from their seats, like stones from a catapult-and then quickly adjust its speed to fly in formation with and around the passengers. (The ride's calculations would correspond to the unique heft of any particular group.) As the coaster reached the top of the track and began to drop back down, the computer system would continue to match its speed to that of the falling passengers, extending the sensation of weightlessness for several additional seconds, and finally rapidly decelerate to a stop back at the base station.
Given that this is not a roller coaster built to kill park guests, the price tag runs quite high. They are presumably willing to accept donations from all you eccentric billionaires out there.
Via Popular Science and Design Boom. Images via Nick Kaloterakis, BRC, and Greg Maxson.