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Dive Coaster

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Dive Coaster
AltonTowers-Oblivion.JPG
Oblivion's main drop at Alton Towers in the United Kingdom.
StatusIn Production
First manufactured1998
No. of installations14
ManufacturerBolliger & Mabillard
Vehicle typeFloorless or normal seats located above the track
Rows2/3
Riders per row6/8/10
Restraint StyleOver-the-shoulder/Vest restraint
Dive Coaster at RCDB

The Dive Coaster is a steel roller coaster model developed and manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard. The design features one or more near-vertical drops that are approximately 90 degrees, which provide a moment of free-falling for passengers. The experience is enhanced by unique trains that seat up to ten riders per row, spanning only two or three rows total. Unlike traditional train design, this distinguishing aspect gives all passengers virtually the same experience throughout the course of the ride. Another defining characteristic of Dive Coasters is the holding brake at the top of the lift hill that stops the train momentarily right as it enters the first drop, suspending some passengers with a view looking straight down and releasing suddenly moments later.

Development of the Dive Coaster began between 1994 and 1995 with Oblivion at Alton Towers opening on March 14, 1998, making it the world's first Dive Coaster. The trains for this type of coaster are relatively short consisting of two to three cars. B&M also uses floorless trains on this model to enhance the experience. As of July 2018, thirteen Dive Coasters have been built, with the newest being Western Regions Heaven at Happy Valley Chengdu and a new one is currently being constructed for the 2019 season: Yukon Striker at Canada's Wonderland.

Krake going through a "splashdown" at Heide Park in Germany

History[edit]

According to Walter Bolliger, development of the Dive Coaster began between 1994 and 1995.[1] On March 14, 1998, the world's first Dive Coaster, Oblivion, opened at Alton Towers. Though Oblivion is classified as a Dive Coaster, it does not have a true vertical drop as the drop angle is 87-degrees.[2] Two years later, the second Dive Coaster built, Diving Machine G5, opened at Janfusun Fancyworld and also does not have a vertical drop.[3] In 2005, SheiKra opened at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and was the first Dive Coaster to feature a 90-degree drop and a splashdown element.[4][5] In 2007, Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced that Griffon would be the first ever Dive Coaster to feature floorless trains[6] and SheiKra would have its trains replaced with floorless ones.[7][8] In 2011, the first 'mini' Dive Coaster opened at Heide Park Resort, named Krake. Unlike other Dive Coasters, Krake has smaller trains consisting of three rows of six riders.[9] In 2019, Yukon Striker in Canada's Wonderland will be the first Dive Coaster with a vertical loop, allowing it to have the most inversions on a Dive Coaster with four in total.[10]

Design[edit]

An example of a floorless Dive Coaster train on SheiKra.

The design of a Dive Coaster can vary slightly from one to another. Depending on the amusement park's request, one row on the train can seat anywhere from 6 to 10 riders. Stadium seating is also used to give every rider a clear view. Next, compared to standard Bolliger & Mabillard 4 abreast cars, because of the extra weight of each car on a Dive Coaster, the size of the track must be larger than other B&M models (such as the Hyper Coaster) to support the weight.[11] At the top of the primary vertical drop, a braking system holds the train for 3 to 5 seconds, giving riders a view of the drop ahead before being released into the drop.[12][13]

In the station, Dive Coasters that use non-floorless trains simply use a standard station. With Dive Coasters that use floorless trains, in order to allow riders to load and unload the train, a movable floor is necessary. Because the front row has nothing in front of it to stop riders from walking over the edge of the station, a gate is placed in front of the train to prevent this from happening. Once all the over-the-shoulder restraints are locked, the gate opens and the floor separates into several pieces and moves underneath the station.[12] When the next train enters the station, the gate is closed and the floors are brought back up where the next riders board.[12]

Installations[edit]

Bolliger & Mabillard has built thirteen Dive Coasters with one to be opened in 2019. The roller coasters are listed in order of opening dates.

Name Park Country Opened Status
Oblivion Alton Towers United Kingdom United Kingdom March 14, 1998 Operating [2]
Diving Machine G5 Janfusun Fancyworld Taiwan Taiwan March 29, 2000 Operating [3]
SheiKra Busch Gardens Tampa Bay United States United States May 21, 2005 Operating [4]
Griffon Busch Gardens Williamsburg United States United States May 18, 2007 Operating [14]
Dive Coaster Chimelong Paradise China China January 21, 2008 Operating [15]
Diving Coaster Happy Valley Shanghai China China August 16, 2009 Operating [16]
Krake Heide Park Germany Germany April 16, 2011 Operating [9]
Oblivion: The Black Hole Gardaland Italy Italy March 28, 2015 Operating [17]
Baron 1898 Efteling Netherlands Netherlands June 30, 2015 Operating [18]
Valravn Cedar Point United StatesUnited States May 13, 2016 Operating [19]
Draken Gyeongju World South Korea South Korea May 1, 2018 Operating [20]
Valkyria Liseberg Sweden Sweden August 10, 2018 Operating [21]
Western Regions Heaven Happy Valley Chengdu China China February 2, 2018 Operating [22]
Yukon Striker Canada's Wonderland Canada Canada 2019 Under Construction [23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IAAPA 2011 Trade Show Part 4 Theme Park Review Fishpipe Water Ride B&M Zamperla". Theme Park Review. YouTube. November 16, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Oblivion  (Alton Towers)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Diving Machine G5  (Janfusun Fancyworld)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "SheiKra  (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "Splashdown Bolliger & Mabillard". Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Roller Coaster Review". About.com. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  7. ^ "SheiKra to have new floorless trains installed". Coaster-net. February 2, 2007. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  8. ^ "Bolliger & Mabillard Dive Machine". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Krake  (Heide Park Resort)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Levine, Arthur (August 15, 2018). "Canada's Wonderland: Record-breaking Yukon Striker coaster announced". USA Today. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Scott & Carol Present: Getting On Track With B&M". NewsPlusNotes. December 11, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c "Griffon (HD)". SeanFlaharty. August 16, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "Coaster opens May 25". Daily Press. March 21, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  14. ^ Marden, Duane. "Griffon  (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  15. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dive Coaster  (Chimelong Paradise)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  16. ^ Marden, Duane. "Diving Coaster  (Happy Valley Shanghai)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  17. ^ Marden, Duane. "unknown  (Gardaland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "Baron 1898  (Efteling)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  19. ^ Ellen Creager (September 4, 2015). "Cedar Point's ride would be area's only dive coaster". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  20. ^ Marden, Duane. "Draken  (Gyeongju World)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  21. ^ Marden, Duane. "Valkyria  (Liseberg)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  22. ^ Marden, Duane. "Flying over the Western Region / 西域飞天  (Happy Valley Chengdu)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  23. ^ Marden, Duane. "Yukon Striker  (Canada's Wonderland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 15, 2018.

External links[edit]