Roller coasters – Informative Speech Essay Example
Roller coasters – Informative Speech Essay Example

Roller coasters – Informative Speech Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1259 words)
  • Published: January 4, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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You wait in line for what seems like forever and finally you take your seat. You pull the paddle bars so they fit snug against your shoulders. You reach the top and then comes the big drop. You start screaming or if you're daring you put your hands up and enjoy the ride. I'm of course speaking of roller coasters. Today I'm going to go over the history, the different types of roller coasters, the mechanics, and the most important part, safety of roller coasters. History The oldest roller coaster is believed to have originated from the so-called "Russian Mountains", which were specially constructed hills of ice, located around Saint Petersburg.

Built in the 15th century, the slides were built to a height between 70 and 80 feet consisting of a 50 degree drop, and


were secured by wooden supports. In 1827, a mining company in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania constructed the Mauch Chunk gravity railroad, an 8. 7 mile downhill track used to deliver coal to Mauch Chunk (now known as Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania, this railroad sold rides for fifty cents apiece. Using this idea as a foundation, LaMarcus Adna Thompson began working on gravity Switchback Railway that opened at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York in 1884.

Passengers climbed to the top of a platform and rode a bench-like car down the 600 ft. track up to the top of another tower where the vehicle was switched to a return track and the passengers took the return trip. This track design was soon replaced with an oval complete circuit. In 1885, Phillip Hinkle introduced the first full-circuit coaster with a

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lift hill. This coaster was called the Gravity Pleasure Road, which was soon the most popular attraction at Coney Island. Not to be outdone, in 1886 LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented his design of roller coaster sthat included dark tunnels with painted scenery.

Scenic Railways" were to be found in amusement parks across the county, with Frederick Ingersoll's construction company building many of them in the first two decades of the 20th century. By 1919, the first under friction roller coaster had been developed by John Miller Soon, roller coasters spread to amusement parks all around the world. Perhaps the best known historical roller coaster, The Cyclone, was opened at Coney Island in 1927. The Great Depression marked the end of the first golden age of roller coasters, and amusement parks in general went into deterioration.

In 1959 the Disneyland theme park introduced a new design breakthrough with the Matterhorn Bobsleds. This was the first roller coaster to use a tubular steel track. Unlike conventional rails set on wooden railroad ties, tubular steel can be bent in any direction, which allows designers to incorporate loops, corkscrews, and many other maneuvers into their designs. Most modern roller coasters are made of steel, although wooden coasters are still being built. New designs and technologies are pushing the limits of what can be experienced on the newest coasters. Mechanics: The cars on a typical roller coaster are not self-powered.

A standard full circuit coaster is pulled up with a chain or cable along the lift hill to the first peak of the coaster track. The potential energy accumulated by the rise in height is transferred to

kinetic energy as the cars race down the first downward slope. Kinetic energy is then converted back into potential energy as the train moves up again to the second peak. This hill is necessarily lower, as some mechanical energy is lost to friction. Not all rides feature a lift hill, however. The train may be set into motion by a launch mechanism such as a flywheel launch, linear induction motors, and hydraulic launchers.

Such launched coasters are capable of reaching higher speeds in a shorter length of track than those featuring a conventional lift hill. Some roller coasters move back and forth along the same section of track; these are known as shuttles and usually run the circuit once with riders moving forwards and then backwards through the same course. Safety: Many safety systems are applied in roller coasters. One of these is the block system. Most large roller coasters have the ability to run two or more trains at once, and the block system prevents these trains from colliding.

In this system, the track is divided into several sections, or blocks. Only one train at a time is permitted in each block. At the end of each block, there is a section of track where a train can be stopped if necessary. Sensors at the end of each block detect when a train passes so that the computer running the ride is aware of which blocks are occupied. When the computer detects a train about to travel into an already occupied block, it uses whatever method is available to keep it from entering. Another key to safety is the control of the

roller coaster's operating computers: programmable logic controllers (often called PLCs).

A PLC detects faults associated with the mechanism and makes decisions to operate roller coaster elements (for e. g. lift, track-switches and brakes) based on configured state and operator actions. Periodic maintenance and inspection are required to verify structures and materials are within expected wear tolerances and are in sound working order. Sound operating procedures are also a key to safety. Despite safety measures, accidents can, and do, occur. Ride accidents can also be caused by riders themselves, ride operators not following safety directions properly, and in rare cases, riders can be injured by mechanical failures.

One report in 2005 linked roller coasters and other thrill rides with potentially triggering abnormal heart conditions that could lead to death. Autopsies have shown that recent deaths at various Disney parks, and Six Flags parks were due to previously undetected heart ailments. Types: Steel coasters are known for their smooth ride and shapes that frequently turn riders upside down. Wooden coasters are typically known for their rougher ride and "air time" produced by negative G-forces when the train reaches the top of hills along the ride.

There are also hybrid roller coasters that combine a steel structure with wooden tracks, or a wooden structure with steel tracks. Modern roller coasters take on many different forms. Some designs take their cue from how the rider is positioned to experience the ride. Traditionally, riders sit facing forward in the coaster car, while newer coaster designs have changed it. Variations such as the stand-up roller coaster and the flying roller coaster position the rider in different ways to

provide different experiences.

Stand-up coasters involve cars that have the riders in a standing position. Flying coasters have the riders hanging below the track face-down with their chests and feet strapped in. "Flying Dutchman" coasters have the riders starting out sitting above the track, then they fully recline so that the riders are looking at the sky. Eventually, they twist into the "flying" position. In addition to changing rider viewpoint, some roller coaster designs also focus on track styles to make the ride fresh and different from other coasters.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the history of the rollercoaster dates clears back to the 1700’s. We learned the various types of roller coasters. Many precautions and various tests are taken daily in order to ensure riders safety. Another major important part of roller coasters is the mechanics. Without the overall mechanics of a roller coaster, it could not run properly, or even run multiple cars at a time. I hope I was able to teach you about rollercoasters, and gave you a better understanding of how they have evolved through the years.

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