4th Dimension roller coaster

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4th Dimension roller coaster
X2-firstdrop.jpg
'X²' (formerly 'X') was the first 4th Dimension roller coaster in the world.
Status In Production
First manufactured 2002
No. of installations 8
Manufacturers Arrow Dynamics (Discontinued), S&S Worldwide, and Intamin
Riders per row 4
Restraint Style Over-the-shoulder

A 4th Dimension roller coaster is a type of steel roller coaster whereby riders are rotated independently of the orientation of the track, generally about a horizontal axis that is perpendicular to the track. The cars do not necessarily need to be fixed to an angle.

History[edit]

John F. Mares, a corporate attorney, invented the 4th Dimension roller coaster concept in 1995 and holds six US patents related to the technology of their spinning seat systems: US Patent #'s 5,791,254, 6,098,549, 6,227,121, 6,386,115, 6,477,961 & 6,606,953. The first 4th Dimension roller coaster to be built, X2, which opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain, United States in 2002, was designed and patented by Alan Schilke.[1][2] In 2007, Intamin launched a variation of the 4th Dimension roller coaster under the name ZacSpin.

Incidents[edit]

  • On July 7, 2014, a teenager was killed after his harness sprung open during his ride on Inferno, a ZacSpin coaster at Terra Mítica in Benidorm, Spain.[3] All other ZacSpins across the world ceased operations after the incident but have since reopened.[4][5][6]

Design[edit]

Arrow Dynamics and S&S Worldwide[edit]

A) Rotation of Seats
B) Seat on Axle
C) Rack Gear
D) Four rails

Arrow Dynamics was the first company to produce a 4th dimension roller coaster, lending its name to the ride style. The trains feature seats capable of rotating forward or backward, 360 degrees in a controlled spin. This is achieved by having four rails on the track; two acting as per normal, and two to control the spin of the seats. The two rails that control the spin of the seats, known as "X Rails", vary in height relative to the track, and spin the train using a rack and pinion gear mechanism.[citation needed]

The first installation, ,[1][2] was a prototype and cost Arrow Dynamics and Six Flags itself a lot of money due to technical difficulties and design flaws. In 2002, the park sued Arrow Dynamics, which went into bankruptcy. Since then Arrow was bought out by S&S Worldwide and became the company's steel coaster division, S&S Arrow. In 2006, a second installation opened at Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Japan under the name Eejanaika.[7] A third installation opened in 2012 at China Dinosaurs Park in China under the name Dinoconda.[8]

In late 2012, S&S Worldwide unveiled a new concept which features a similar ride experience without the additional rail. A system of magnets would control the individual seat inversions.[9] The first installation of a 4D Free Spin will be Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2015.[10]

Intamin[edit]

The Intamin ZacSpin was developed in response to the Arrow Dynamics 4th dimension roller coaster. Some of the main differences between the Intamin and Arrow Dynamics/S&S Worldwide versions are the uncontrolled rotation of the seats, which produces a different ride each time, and single cars. Another notable difference is the absence of any lateral movements, causing some enthusiasts to not consider the rides 4th dimension roller coasters due to the fact that all movement is restricted to a 2 dimensional plane.

Kirnu at Linnanmäki in Helsinki, Finland, opened for the 2007 season and was the first of its kind. Later that year Inferno opened at Terra Mitica in Spain with an identical compact layout. In 2009, Insane opened at Gröna Lund with a different track layout. In 2011, the first ZacSpin in the United States opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain as Green Lantern: First Flight, and is themed to the DC Comics superhero of the same name. It features the same layout as Insane.

Inversion ambiguity[edit]

There is considerable debate within the roller coaster community as to whether or not the spinning of these coasters qualifies as an inversion for the purpose of records. Guinness World Records gave Eejanaika the record with 14 inversions. However, other more coaster-specific record bodies such as the Roller Coaster Database do not recognize this claim and instead count only track inversions, which gives the record of 14 to The Smiler.[11]

Installations[edit]

Name Park Opened Model Status Image
Batman: The Ride Six Flags Fiesta Texas 2015 S&S Worldwide 4D Free Spin Under Construction
Dinoconda China Dinosaur Park 2012 S&S Worldwide 4th Dimension Operating [12]
Eejanaika Fuji-Q Highland 2006 S&S Arrow 4th Dimension Operating [7] Eejanaika coaster FujiQ 1024.jpg
Green Lantern: First Flight Six Flags Magic Mountain 2011 Intamin ZacSpin Operating [13] Green Lantern First Flight (Six Flags Magic Mountain).jpg
Inferno Terra Mítica 2007 Intamin ZacSpin Operating [3] Inferno.inversió.jpg
Insane Gröna Lund 2009 Intamin ZacSpin Operating [14] Insane Gröna Lund 2011.jpg
Kirnu Linnanmäki 2007 Intamin ZacSpin Operating [15] Kirnu linnanmäki.jpg
Unnamed Steel Pier 2014 Intamin ZacSpin Planned [16] Planned

Formerly X
Six Flags Magic Mountain 2002 Arrow Dynamics 4th Dimension Operating [2] Six Flags Magic Mountain X (1).jpg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results – 4th Dimension". Database. RCDB. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Marden, Duane. "X2  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Couzens, Gerard (7 July 2014). "Teenager killed after being thrown from roller-coaster called Hell at Benidorm theme park". Mirror.com. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Green Lantern Closed As Precaution After Tragedy In Spain". The Coaster Guy. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Gröna Lund stänger Insane efter dödsfall i Spanien". yle.fi. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Linnanmäki Park closes ride after death in Spain". yle.fi. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Eejanaika  (Fuji-Q Highland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "4D Roller Coaster". Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Alvey, Robb; Rowher, Kevin (13 November 2012). "IAAPA 2012 Trade Show Coverage Part 1 - S&S Silver Dollar City Rocky Mountain Construction". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Media". Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Inversions)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dinoconda  (China Dinosaur Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Marden, Duane. "Green Lantern  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  14. ^ Marden, Duane. "Insane  (Gröna Lund)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  15. ^ Marden, Duane. "Kirnu  (Linnanmäki)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Photos: New rides at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, N.J.". Los Angeles Times. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 

External links[edit]