Who can forget those enjoyable times spent at the local amusement park, carnival or State fair blasting along on the roller coasters. The endless loops and curves and heart stopping drops that brings the screamer out in everyone. Today’s coasters are higher, faster and longer than ever before. Building rollers on today’s scales requires consummate skill in engineering, physics and a lot of imagination. Below are instructions for building a roller coaster that is much simpler to the behemoths in the parks but still a lot of fun.
Understand how roller coasters work. The only actual power needed can be easily obtained from a simple electric motor and that only to pull it up the first hill. The length of the track is up to you. The longest in the U.S. is about a quarter of a mile, but yours will be significantly shorter. Determining the height of the first hill is crucial so do that first. This is the height that determines the speed that the coaster will have to have to travel around the track. The best height for the first hill is 262 feet.
The next step is figuring out your slopes. The coaster relies on the force generated by the first slope, of the first hill, to travel the entire path. The best slope is one with a curve at the bottom of with a flat path. Now determine the second slope, or exit path. This is the slope that the coaster will maintain its speed after travelling down the first hill. The exit path needs a low slope to maintain a safe exit out of hill number one.
Now follow the same procedure with the calculations of the second hill. This one is just as important as the first hill because the second hill maintains the speed of the coaster, and gives the riders the feeling of weightlessness. This hill is ideally about 230 feet.
Adding a loop is your last step. This will give the riders a more exciting ride in terms of speed and feeling the yank and tug of gravity. You can use either a perfect circle loop or an elliptical loop, but whichever you chose, it must be 115 feet high.
Now all you need to do is fasten your tracks and cars to the frame, hook up the power and you’re ready to start screaming.