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Physics (Thorpe Park Trip) Report:
On Monday 8th October our physics class went on a physics trip to Thorpe Park to look at the different ways in which a roller coast works. This report will be looking at the G forces acting on rides, the launching systems and breaking systems. The particular rollercoaster which I have picked to look into more detail in is “Stealth” which is located in Thorpe Park.
Stealth: Stealth was originally designed by Werner Stengel. Stealth reaches a height of 205 feet and is 1312 feet long. The ride lasts duration of 12 seconds and accelerates 0-80mph in 2.3 seconds. It uses a hydraulic launching system and a magnetic breaking system and the maximum G force felt by the rider is 4.5. (1)
Launching System: Stealth’s launch system operates on the same basic principle as a Water gun but on a much larger scale. The coaster 's power source is several hydraulic pumps, each capable of producing 500 horsepower (370 kW). These pumps push hydraulic fluid into several accumulators. These accumulators are divided into two compartments by a movable piston, one side filled with hydraulic fluid and the other with nitrogen gas. The nitrogen is held in large tanks directly beneath the actual accumulator. As the hydraulic fluid fills the accumulators, it pushes on the pistons, compressing the nitrogen. It takes approximately 45 seconds to pressurize the accumulators with all pumps operating. (2) All of this pressure is released during each launch, which typically lasts between 2 and 4 seconds.
If the train rolls back, it will be brought to a near stop (magnetic brakes cannot completely stop a train) well before the beginning of the launch track. Regardless of the position of the catch-car when the train passes it going backwards, there will be no interference as the train 's launch dog will be retracted. After the train slows to a near stop, the brakes will be cycled up and down to control the train 's speed until it is back in launch position.



References: (1) http://www.totalthorpepark.co.uk/guide/stealth.shtml (2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerator_Coaster

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