Mindbender (Galaxyland)

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Mindbender
WEM Galaxyland MindBender Galaxy Orbitter.JPG
The Mindbender with the Galaxy Orbiter roller coaster in the foreground.
Galaxyland
Coordinates 53°31′25″N 113°37′13″W / 53.52361°N 113.62028°W / 53.52361; -113.62028Coordinates: 53°31′25″N 113°37′13″W / 53.52361°N 113.62028°W / 53.52361; -113.62028
Status Operating
Opening date March 16, 1986 (1986-03-16)
General statistics
Type Steel – Twister
Manufacturer Anton Schwarzkopf
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Sitting Coaster
Track layout Indoor Twister
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 44.1 m (145 ft)
Drop 38.7 m (127 ft)
Length 1,279.5 m (4,198 ft)
Speed 96.5 km/h (60.0 mph)
Inversions 3
Duration 1:13
Capacity 120 riders per hour
G-force 5.2
Height restriction 59–77 in (150–196 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 3 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 12 riders per train.
Website Official website
Mindbender at RCDB
Pictures of Mindbender at RCDB

The Mindbender is the world's largest indoor triple-loop roller coaster. It is located in Galaxyland Amusement Park, a major attraction inside West Edmonton Mall, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Layout[edit]

Mindbender was designed by Germany's Werner Stengel and built by Anton Schwarzkopf. It was inspired by this team's previous design, Dreier Looping, a portable coaster that travelled the German funfair circuit, before being sold to a succession of amusement parks in Malaysia, Great Britain, and most recently, Mexico. Mindbender is a pseudo mirror-image of Dreier Looping, and is slightly taller, with additional helices at the end of the ride. Mindbender features shorter trains, with three pilot cars, whereas Dreier Looping usually ran with five trailer cars and one pilot car, occasionally rising to seven-car trains at busy funfairs.

The ride's layout features many twisting drops, three vertical loops and a double upward helix finale. The ride twists underneath, in between and around its supports. It also goes underneath the former UFO Maze attraction, which has been removed to make way for another roller coaster; Gerstlauer's Galaxy Orbiter, during the helix.

Often in high season, the last car on one of the trains is reversed, allowing guests to ride the roller coaster without being able to see where they are going.

Ride experience[edit]

After boarding the Mindbender, riders put on their seatbelt and lap restraints. Also, the ride operator lowers large shoulder restraints over the riders. All of the restraints keep the riders firmly secured in the seat.

After ascending the curving wheel driven lift hill, the train descends a sharp, twisting left-hand drop (sometimes referred to as a Traver drop) that climbs up to the first of four stacked block brakes. The train negotiates a second left-hand drop that is immediately followed by two vertical loops. The aforementioned process happens yet again, but the height of the coaster is decreased and the next loop is a single one.

Upon completing the final loop, the coaster train shoots along a two-layered upward before running behind the Galaxy Quest 7D theater and into the exit/entry area.

The ride length from the initial drop should normally range from one minute five seconds to one minute twenty-five seconds. Circuits times as little as 59 seconds are possible through extensive waxing of the track, and reduction in tension on the bogey wheels. This increase in speed is not permitted during public rides, as the forces on the riders becomes severe. During testing of the renovated trains in 1987, the maximum g-force of a normal run was measured on equipment bolted into the train at 5.5 G's, which occurs in the second loop.

1986 accident[edit]

On the evening of June 14, 1986, the fourth car of the yellow train derailed before encountering the third and final loop. The train failed to clear the loop and slid backwards fishtailing wildly and crashing into a concrete pillar. Damage from the derailment caused the lap bars to disengage at some point during the ride, throwing its four passengers at least 25 feet (7.6 m) to the floor below. Three passengers died in the incident, while a fourth was critically injured. About 19 others were treated for less severe injuries at the nearby Misericordia Community Hospital. An investigation determined that bolts on the left wheel assembly worked loose causing the accident, and that design flaws by Schwarzkopf along with a lack of maintenance by the mall were likely to blame.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

When Mindbender reopened in January 1987, the trains were redesigned. Existing four-car trains were converted to three-car trains (reducing seating capacity from 16 to 12), and anti-roll back features were installed. The lap bar restraint was retained, but seat belts and shoulder headrests were added.[1]

Awards[edit]

{{GTA table | type = Steel | accessdate = July 19, 2014 | 1998 = 13 | 1999 = 17 | 2000 = 22 | 2001 = 17 | 2002 = 30 | 2003 = 37 | 2004 = 45 | 2005 = 40 | 2006 = 44 | 2007 = 48 | 2008 = 43 (tie) | 2009 = 48 | 2010 = 48 (tie)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Franklin, Jasmine (June 14, 2011). "Mindbender tragedy, 25 years later". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kent, Gordon (October 22, 1986). "'Coaster crash tied to errors in design". The Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alberta. p. B1. 
  3. ^ "Geoffrey Kulak: An Inquiring Mind". University of Alberta Alumni Association. University of Alberta. Summer 1988. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Tragedy on the Mindbender - The 1986 Fatal Crash at West Edmonton Mall". Best Edmonton Mall's YouTube Channel. February 11, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017. 
  5. ^ "June 14, 1986: Fatal Accident". Best Edmonton Mall website. 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2017. 
  6. ^ "June 14, 1986: Roller-coaster derailment kills 3 in Edmonton". CBC News Edmonton. June 16, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2017. 

External links[edit]