Imagine a roller coaster that did all the normal things, but then,
halfway through the ride, disappeared down into the ground, only to
appear a moment later, erupting out of the ground into open space!
After arcing across a 30-foot distance, it then landed in a funnel-like
collector back into the ground. A moment later, it comes back up
and finishes the ride!|
Sounds pretty dangerous, huh? It actually isn't! I can PROVE that this JUMPING ROLLER COASTER is absolutely as safe as any that are permanently attached to a track!
From a business perspective, imagine how popular (and profitable) that ride would be! So, why hasn't anyone built such a thing? Because no one has figured out a way to make it absolutely safe!
I actually invented this in 1990, and immediately tried to get an audience with Disney World, Six Flags over Great America, and others. No one even wanted to waste his or her time to listen to a presentation. As I was told by Disney and Great America representatives, they had PLENTY of the SMARTEST designers already working for them, and if it was a good idea, THEY would think of how to do it! (Seems pretty arrogant to me!)
I considered explaining just how it works and why it is so safe. I decided not to. For two reasons. One, if one is eventually built some day, the riders would prefer the added mystery of apparently life-threatening danger. After all, every rider would experience more than a full second of Space-Shuttle-like weightlessness during his or her flight. They WOULD be subject to being jostled a little on landing into the "catcher chute", because varying wind conditions and weight loads will slightly affect the flight path.
The other reason why I am not going to disclose all the secrets of how it would work here is related to the way I was treated when I went to the trouble of offering those amusement park operators a new and unique attraction that would CERTAINLY have made them huge amounts of money. If they, or anyone else, has interest in building one, THEY can now come to ME! Seems fair!
If they choose not to, let THEM try to figure out how to do it safely. I don't think they can! But that would be their choice!
For you roller coaster riders who would crave a new and unique experience, I guess you'll have to wait for now!
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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago