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Roller Coasters: Let’s Get Air


As summer winds down many families are planning their last summer activities before school starts. For many that includes a trip to the local amusement park with the parks top attractions being the roller coasters. But, before you to be able to enjoy that exciting coaster experience, there is a lot of work that goes into creating a ride that is extremely exhilarating yet also safe.

Air compressors are a big part of not only roller coasters but the entire amusement park and keeping people safe. According to Air & Hydraulic Equipment Inc around 80 percent of amusement devices use hydraulics and pneumatics. If it is physically moving at an amusement park, it’s probably using these systems.

On rollercoasters compressed air keeps you safe from the time you are standing on the platform until the brakes bring you smoothly back to the deck.

It starts when you are waiting in line. There are pneumatic powered gates that open and close letting the next passengers onto the coaster. These gates keep riders a safe distance from the coaster as it leaves and comes back in.

Making sure riders are safely fastened in their seats is another big safety component controlled by pneumatic power. Seat restraints are controlled pneumatically with compressed air to keep the rider safe while navigating the many loops, turns and twists to keep the passenger in place.

Compressed air also controls the coasters launch. By using hydraulic or pneumatic launch riders at a higher velocity from start to finish.

While riding a coaster is a thrilling experience, it eventually needs to come to a stop. Compressed air is also used as a control in certain brake systems. When you hear the hissing sound while the coaster is breaking, you can rest assured the pneumatic powered breaks are doing their job.

While compressed air can’t make summer last longer, it can play a role in the fun you and your family experience.

Here in the United States, Atlas Copco powers rollercoasters on just about every coast with dozens of applications and we have been proud to work with many of the best companies in this entertainment space. So next time you feel the rush of your heartbeat as you get to the top… listen for that small hiss of air as you are about to be released and remember – compressed air is exhilarating!

If you want more information on compressed air systems that are the right fit for your amusement park, please reach out to one of our compressed air specialists.

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