Industry Spotlight: Theme Parks - Compressed Air and Roller Coasters

August 8, 2016

rollercoasterWe love amusement parks. Who doesn't like fast rides, cotton candy, and the thrill of flipping upside down? We at Bi-State love theme parks not just because of the fun rides, but because we know what makes them work. Compressed air is essential to ensuring the power, safety, and performance of roller coasters. So how does this work?

A Few Ways Roller Coasters Use Compressed Air

  • Airgates control the opening and closing of line gates with a pressurized cylinder. They keep people safe by preventing them from running towards the ride when it isn’t ready. When the operators say not to lean on these gates, it’s because they need to stay in tip-top shape.
  • Air brakes use compressed air to create friction between the plates on which the roller coaster runs. Since a coaster can sometimes move past its stopping point, air brakes are used for added safety.
  • Pneumatics keep riders safe once things are in motion by ensuring that everyone remains fastened to their seats during the ride.
The Experience:
  • In many rides, air is used to make the experience more fun and realistic. The well-known Spiderman attraction uses a technique where wind is blown as the stages drop to make you feel like you are launching into the air.
  • Pneumatics also make rides more comfortable. By controlling the opening and closing of valves, air smooths out the accelerations and decelerations of the ride, making it less jerky. Remember those rickety old wooden roller coasters? Those didn't have this feature.
  • Air actuators are sometimes used on dark rides to animate props. This is what the Transformers ride uses, where air-controlled movements are induced to give riders a sense of floating on air.

From creating realistic environments to ensuring visitors’ safety, air is a very powerful tool for theme parks. Without compressed air, some of the best rides and greatest innovations would not exist.

Theme parks are not the only industry that requires compressed air. Any industry or trade that involves assembly, construction, or repair can benefit from a compressed air system. If you’re in the market for an air compressor system and a company that can maintain and install your system, contact us at Bi-State Compressor Inc.

Bi-State Compressor, Inc.
1571 Fenpark Drive
Fenton, Missouri 63026

Phone: (636) 349-8333
Fax: (636) 349-1411

Should the need ever arise, we offer 24 hour emergency service.

Rental units are also in stock, available for immediate hook-up.