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Extreme Engineering Goes to New Extremes and Zamperla Develops a New Compact Thrill Ride
Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
With a new suspended coaster, the Cloud Coaster Storm, Extreme Engineering is offering a roller coaster that, according to the company, “provides twice the speed, thrills and capacity.” Featuring a new track and a side-by-side riding vehicle, the coaster promises big speeds and mega fun. Guests can now sit side by side rather than having to ride solo. The ride's new Poseidon roller coaster track should provide more “aggressive configurations, allowing for higher speeds, sharper turns and steeper drops,” according to the company's promotional literature.

Extreme Engineering's executive vice-president Phil Wilson stresses the fact that solo riding is out, and shared fun is in. “Family experiences are meant to be shared. Our Cloud Coaster Storm allows for guests to ride together on the new side-by-side ride vehicle.” 

The ride's award-winning design doesn't just allow for side-by-side riding and more extreme thrills, the track layout can also be configured so as to improve rider capacities as well. The company says that the Cloud Coaster Storm can accommodate up to 700 guests per hour.

The cars allow lots of customization – with ease. Lighting and sound packages can be added and incorporated into the ride vehicle design to add to the theming. Wilson says “The Cloud Coaster Storm is incredibly versatile.  It can be configured as a suspended dark ride, people mover or interactive coaster. We are already working with industry partners, scaling the coaster for their specific needs.” Easy customization themes include ski patrol, rain forest and tribal themes for the vehicles.

The ride's tech makes it lightweight and fast, as well as economical – it is low on power consumption. Maintenance and operational costs are also kept low, in part due to a simple to maintain, patented passive braking system.

The system was designed with both efficiency and economy in mind. Wilson says that the system has “been over a year in the design phase, including gathering great feedback from our customers.”

The Cloud Coaster Storm braking uses magnetic force and is reported to have a 300-year lifetime. The wheels feature fast, durable Bravo Bearings designed to make carts move freely and smoothly. And the single rail Poseidon track is designed exclusively for the ride to support fast speed and sharp coaster bends.

Anchoring the car to the ride mechanism, the bar is ASTM rated steel with aerospace aesthetics. It includes a swivel with sway control both for comfort and to create a sensation of flight. An ergonomic seat design that's easy to clean and sanitize is coupled with a hydraulic locking lap bar that exceeds international safety standards. In short, the ride is innovative, sturdy, exciting – and long lasting.

Zamperla Rides

Zamperla is also offering new products for its coaster market. A new compact thriller coaster, Double Heart Lightning, is a multi-launch coaster with two available sizes: 164 feet and 230 feet in height. Track length for the 164-foot version is 1,062 feet. Riders will traverse sections of the ride on multiple occasions over the course of their ride on this triple launch concept. The company's roller coaster sales and marketing director Adam Sandy describes it as “a lot of fun.” The ride can be operated at 68 or 80 miles per hour.

Sandy explains that “We…looked at the marketplace and saw a demand in two areas.” The smaller version of the ride, he notes, has been matched in size by other manufacturers; however, Zamperla's differs. “We worked to make a model with more track and to be taller for this type of attraction. We think there is a big demand for coasters in that size and price range. We also know clients are out there who want record breakers.” As to the larger size ride, “It is technically a hyper coaster because you've surpassed 200 feet. That's a different dimension of marketability and scale.”

That said, both sizes offer a smaller footprint and smaller budget outlay in comparison to a traditional chain lift coaster.

Where traditional coasters would require a long space in a park, the industry is now seeking large attractions that can be positioned in smaller locations. Even large, extremely established parks are running out of space, making configuring a new coaster into an existing site, no matter how large a footprint the park itself had when it first opened, a challenge. Zamperla's Double Heart Lightning could be a solution.

The ride features several unique capabilities, such as an airtime hill that can twist and reverse direction at the top heading into a vertical drop, and trains that can do lifts and launches. Sandy explains “We really said we need to create a great vehicle that we can adapt to many different thrills…Another selling point is the spacing. We have a lot of space between each row.” With four rows per vehicle, each row can seat four riders.

That space results in good capacity numbers – the taller and longer version of the ride can accommodate up to 955 passengers per hour. The smoothness of the ride experience, and the seat shape and lap restraint are also compelling features which allow riders to feel “more free – less enclosures, less fiberglass” something which Sandy says has been requested by many park guests.  

And theming ease is something else that Sandy believes makes the ride stand out. “With the Lightning vehicle and Zamperla's background with fiberglass, I think we can come up with some cool concepts on the train itself and tell stories that way.” Optional light and sound elements add to the ease of custom configuration; adding tunnels and storytelling elements on lower portions of the ride provide additional options.

With strong new options for the amusement industry, both Extreme Engineering and Zamperla are ready to serve the amusement industry as it enters a busy post-pandemic period.
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