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SkyRider Analysis –

Part A: Gathering Background Information

Length of one car: 1.72 m

Length of one train (6 cars): 10.32 m

Maximum g force: 2.5 g’s Location: Top of loop

Minimum g force: 0.75 g’s Location: During first big fall (after first hill)

Distance to base of first hill: 50 m, Angle of inclination of the first hill: 20
degrees

Height of First Hill: 20.0 m

Distance to top of first loop: 28 m, Angle of inclination of the first loop: 32
degrees

Height of First Loop: 19.3 m

Time for length of train to pass a point on top of the first hill: 2.14 s

Time for length of train to pass a point on top of the first hill: 2.54 s

Part B: Exploration Questions

1. Did you feel more force going into or out of the loop? Explain.

I felt more force going out of the loop than going in, since while going in I had
just come out of a very steep fall, and it felt like there was almost no force acting
on me. I felt nearly weightless and seemed to be moving forward only due to the
car moving forward itself. While coming out of the loop, it felt more like the ride
was being pushed along, as though all the force that seemed nowhere to be
found on the coaster was suddenly pushing me forward. This seems to have
been caused by the change in speed of the ride as it went through the loop.

2. Why is the first loop at a smaller height than the first hill?

Starting at a height equal to the height of the loop will not be enough to
completely make it through the loop. This will give the car just enough energy to
reach the top of the loop. In order not to fall once the car has reached the top of
the loop, the first hill must be higher than the first loop so that it contains
enough gravitational potential energy to convert to kinetic energy while moving
through the loop, and then some more so it doesn’t stop at any point during the
loop.

3. Describe the sensations of weight at the following points. Use the
vertical accelerometer and compare the readings with your
sensations.
a) Going down the first hill.

Felt almost weightless, and the reading on the accelerometer was at
minimum, corresponding with feeling.

b) At the bottom of the first hill.

Felt weight rushing back to lower body. Accelerometer value rapidly
changed (spring bounced up and down several times), felt like it had been
shaken up and down rapidly (similar to what I felt).

c) Climbing the first loop.

Normal weight seemed to return back, but felt it increasing as I slowly
entered the loop. Accelerometer also slowly increased in value till it
reached the maximum value measured through the ride.

d) At the bottom of the first loop.

Felt heavy throughout the loop, but slowly decreased back to normal
sensation of weight as the loop ended. Accelerometer also returned to
reading of 1g.

4. Sketch free-body diagrams of the forces acting on you at:

a) Bottom of first loop.

b) Top of first loop.

Part C: Procedural Calculations

1. Find the speed of the train at a point on top of the first hill:

2. Find the speed of the train at the top of the first loop:
3. Use conservation of energy to determine the speed of the train at
the top of the first loop:

4. Account for any differences in your answers for questions 2 and 3:

In our calculations for question 3, the friction and air resistance were disregarded
as forces that act upon the train while it is moving. Also, the transformation of
energy to other forms such as being released as sound energy and heat energy
is also disregarded. Only potential and kinetic energies are taken into account,
even though in reality there are more types of energy involved in the movement.

5. Calculate the centripetal acceleration at the top of the first loop:

(Uniform motion assumed)

6. Find the centripetal force at the top of the first loop:
[Towards Center of Loop]

7. Find the speed of the train at the bottom of the loop:

Find the normal force acting on yourself at the bottom of the loop:

Ride Proposal:

The design of a functional Standing Roller Coaster, such as SkyRider,
there is few fundamental elements that must be correctly taken into account in
order to provide the best combination of functionality, safety, and excitement. As
in almost all roller coasters, the first loop must be at a slightly lower height than
the first hill. This ensures that the roller coasters will, under all circumstances,
pass through the loop regardless of its mass, speed, friction or wind, since the
amount of Kinetic Energy that would be required to cause the loop would be
more than available in the form of Gravitational Potential Energy. Most roller
coasters should also not exert more than 4 g’s on a human body to ensure
safety, and at most we could make the first hill and loop only slightly taller
before the acceleration becomes too much for the human body to handle and
give more of a thrill ride to the customer.

My proposal for an improvement to the current roller coaster track involves the
raising of the first hill by several meters, from a height of around 20 m to 25-28
m, and also increasing the height of the first loop by the same amount. This
increase would take the feeling of the ride entering and during the loop to an
entirely different level, while still remaining safe for the riders. The increased
height of the first hill would also let us make the fall slightly steeper, adding an
even larger sense of freefall and airtime. These small improvements could
definitely help the earlier sections of the coaster, while the increase in overall
speed can also help later sections of the ride where we could also add another
helix making the large double helix into a triple helix. Another big improvement
would be to include a horizontal look that allows a left hand passenger to
experience a view of the ground which only right hand passenger does. The ride
should give an equal extreme experience top all passengers. The distance in
between the cabins should be increased to give a better and wider view to the
people who are not in the front seat. This specific had a weird bicycle shaped
seat which I found pretty uncomfortable. These improvements could help us not
only make the ride more exciting, but also help cement its place as one of the
top rides in Canada’s Wonderland.