Ride expert discusses physics behind the thrill

August 04, 2017 06:26 PM

Over 400 roller coasters at 150 parks under your belt makes you an expert on thrill rides. NewsChannel 13 sat down with Pete Trabucco to talk about his new book and to get an insight to some of the physics behind the rides.

You wouldn't think the author of "A Personal Guide to the Best Thrill Rides and Amusement/Water Parks" would be scared of roller coasters, but that's how this all started for Trabucco. He wrote his first book to teach people how to get over their fears. This second book takes you through his favorites, like Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Ohio.

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"Ninety miles an hour, never loses its speed, great ride and I can fit in it, so that's great," he described.

They've certainly come a long way since the original wood coasters that don't go much faster than 50 miles per hour.

"The technology is advanced at this point and believe it or not, the military, as well as the NASA space program is using the technology and vice-versa and it makes it a much better ride," noted Trabucco.

WEB EXTRA: Suggestion for parents who aren't sure about letting kids on roller coasters

When you talk about a ride like Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi that reaches speeds of 150 miles per hour, that’s a different story.

"The big problem that the manufacturers have is you’ve got to make sure your riders are fully conscious at the end of the ride," he pointed out. "It is put through rigorous, I guess, research to see how many G-forces a person is going to take, how long they're going to take it."

Then there are rides like The Joker,  that NewsChannel 13 showed you a month ago at Six Flags New England.

"This one, your seat will change directions. You might be going upside down, backwards, forwards, your chair is going in a different direction than the actual ride itself, so there is no way that you can figure out what's going to happen next," described Trabucco.

What's next for rides? It's hard to tell. Virtual reality is the latest craze. We'll have to wait and see what comes next -- and maybe scream too.

More information:
"A Personal Guide to the Best Thrill Rides and Amusement/Water Parks"


WNYT Staff

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