Coasters-101: Launch Systems

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18 Responses

  1. This is a great article. There was a recent discussion on my site about whether Full Throttle uses LIM or LSM technology. I thought it was LIM, but now I’m not sure. What’s the easiest way to tell them apart?

  2. Nick says:

    Thanks for the comment. RCDB lists Full Throttle as LSM and that would have been my guess. Most new coasters seem to be using LSMs over LIM. I’m not sure if there is an easy way to tell a difference just by looking at them.

  3. Dave says:

    I think this post great too.
    And the rollercoaster, which become a speed of 171km/h in 1.8sec. It’s amazing!

  4. Kathy says:

    My son is doing a research paper on the Maverick roller coaster and would like to cite your work regarding LSM launch systems. It is due next week.

  5. Nick says:

    No problem Kathy! Good luck on the paper.

  6. brooke says:

    love sciencce!! it is me life couldnt liv without #perf

  7. kev says:

    I am “making?” a childs type swing but with a 120′ to 130′ cable. I hope to get about 40′ above horizontal with gas struts reeling in the cable slack during weightlessness to eliminate “chain snap”. This height above horizontal would be neccessary to acheive that terrifying feeling that I and everyone that I know who has sat on the end of the tame appearing “Viking Ship” amusement ride. This is no joke, I have 50 steep acres of up to 200′ redwoods and douglass fir and have settled on the two trees. I plan on using a catapult with a big log as the weight. That would be just one shot though. Since I could easily get power to the “seat” I could inexpensivly (70cents per pound for resistance wire) have donuts on the ground and in the seat. It seems like it would be simple to direct the power to the appropriate donuts with brushes as the seat speeds by. Any Ideas? Because of the hillside, one will be looking straight down 20 stories during weightlessness. My only worry will be neighbors (1/2 mile away) complaining about the screams.

  8. Wayne says:

    Okay, I am slightly confused.

    If hydraulic and compressed air are faster launch systems, and more consistent power systems, why would the US Navy be moving towards electromagnetic launch systems? I understand they might prefer the lower maintenance costs. Is that the only reason?

    Wayne, Luvsiesous

  9. Mackenzie says:

    Hi I’m writing a research paper on the physics of roller coasters and would like to cite you, would you be able to give me a last name?

  10. James says:

    Well done Mackenzie, You have done a great job here. Excellent research work.

  11. Mason says:

    I have a few questions, do they use a coding program to switch the magnetic polarity in the LSM launch, and if so, might you know a website I could use to learn more about that. Also, in the LIM launching system, what is the magnetic polarity of the magnets and the fins. If you know a website on that, please share. Thank you in advance.

  12. The_Boy21 says:

    Hello, do any of you guys like to play hypixel skyblock? if so then we should play together someting, my name is The_Boy21

  13. The_Boy21 says:


  14. The_Boy21 says:

    how do i delete my posts?

  15. Kody says:

    What is dangerous about using electromagnets in a roller coaster?

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