Composites that will hurdle, splash and glide you through summer.
The temperatures are rising across the U.S. and as they do, people are itching to enjoy the outdoors. What many people don’t know is regardless of whether they’re screaming (in delight or terror) at an amusement park, making waves in the water or carving their own path of adventure, composites often help facilitate the fun. As you head out this summer, don’t forget to add these composite fun-in-the-sun nods to your to-do list:
GateKeeper Roller Coaster
Selling Point: Speed and inversion
The GateKeeper roller coaster made its debut on May 11, 2013, just in time for Memorial Day park goers. This new ride – one of five wing coasters in the world – is located at one of the oldest amusement parks in the U.S., Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. The coaster takes riders on a 2-minute-and-40-second adrenalin rush thrill-ride across 4,164 feet of tracks. Designed and built by the Swiss engineering firm Bollinger & Mabillard Consulting Engineering, who are known for pioneering new technologies such as the inverted roller coaster, the GateKeeper touts a speed of 67 miles per hour, making it the fastest roller coaster in the world.
If you’re making your way across the amusement park, perhaps to more grounded rides, it’s likely you’ll see one of the three golden colored 32-passenger trains, which are made of eight fiberglass and steel coaches containing four seats per coach, hurtling past you. Taking more than two years to plan and build, the GateKeeper not only holds the record as the fastest coaster in the world, but also the longest with the longest drop (164 feet) and the most inversions (six) on a wing coaster. It’s advisable to fasten your seatbelt, hold on tight and try to smile for the camera.
Selling Point: View the ocean through the eyes of a fish
Dubbed by local media as the “21st Century Carousel,” the SeaGlass is an aquatic-themed carousel designed for adults and children alike. It is located in New York’s Battery Park, and according to the designers, is an apt home and theme for the ride since it is where the New York Aquarium stood from 1896 to 1941. The new ride, listed as one of Interior Design magazine’s 100 Big Ideas, will simulate fish-swimming patterns and feature fish, dolphins and angelfish instead of the usual fanfare of horses or other land-loving mammals. The merry-go-round will also place riders inside one of 30 fiberglass fish, designed by Broadway set designer George Tsypin, instead of on top of them. The animals are programmed to dart in several different directions based on four rotating tracks within the carousel and are equipped with LED light fixtures and audio systems programmed to impress all sea-goers.