Tortuous Alinement Patents (Class 104/63)
  • Patent number: 9751022
    Abstract: An amusement park ride having a car with seating options above a track, below the track or adjacent to the track such that a rider may experience different thrill levels depending on the position of the car in relation to the track. The car may have a swiveling arm to position the car above, lateral to, or below the track. Alternatively, ride may have multiple cars arranged above, lateral to, or below the track for the rider to choose which position to ride in. In lieu of or in addition to the car seating options, the may have adjustable shoulder restraints that allow the rider to use the shoulder restraints or not. The shoulder restraints may be flexible or rigid, but rotatable from an upright configuration to a sideways configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Inventor: Eric Fram
  • Patent number: 9603450
    Abstract: A supplemental restraint system that is mountable to the frame of a stationary structure, such as a police station or other building, to secure a prisoner in a seated position. The supplemental restraint system includes a restraint bar that is pivotally supported on the mounting plate for movement between a raised inoperative position and a lowered operative position. A locking mechanism secures the restraint bar in any selected lowered position and includes an actuation lever for selectively releasing the locking mechanism to permit the restraint bar to be raised for release of the prisoner. A spring mechanism biases the restraint bar toward a raised position so that the restraint bar can be moved upwardly while the police officer is outside of the police vehicle. Mounting plates can be utilized to secure the supplemental restraint system to the floor structure and an adjacent wall structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Inventor: Matthew J. Planer
  • Patent number: 9586159
    Abstract: A portable inflatable race track comprising a base, at least one wall, and a race surface, wherein the base is at least partially inflatable from a collapsed position to an inflated position, the race surface is inclined relative to horizontal and includes at least one lane configured to accept a vehicle comprising wheels, wherein at least gravity causes the vehicle to travel down the race surface. The race track may include a starting section, a sloped section, a finish section, and a stopping section. The race track may be configured to allow two or more vehicles to simultaneously race down the race surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Inventor: Russell Coleman
  • Patent number: 8943975
    Abstract: A roller coaster ride system comprising a first track section which is adapted to guide a passenger car and a second track section which extends in a first plane. The roller coaster ride system is characterized in that the second track section is attached to a platform which is moveably guided on a frame in a second plane that is inclined in relation to the first plane, in particular perpendicular thereto, and that the second track section can be coupled in a first position to the first track section in order to transfer a passenger car from the first track section to the second track section, and can be in a second position is spatially offset along the second plane relative to the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Zierer Karussell-und Spezialmaschinenbau GmbH
    Inventors: Roland Gmeinwieser, Walter Steininger, Rupert Koeckeis
  • Publication number: 20130305953
    Abstract: A tower ride is disclosed with suspended cars mounted on rails that that forms track that is a complete double helix path for the car without having to turn the car or switch tracks. The car is suspended from a four truss track, riding on the two bottom rails for stability. Another embodiment is a roller coaster track mounted on a tower.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Inventor: William J Kitchen
  • Patent number: 8490550
    Abstract: A roller coaster with seats articulated between vertical and reclined positions. The roller coaster includes a track with a load/unload portion and a ride portion. The coaster includes a vehicle with a body supported on the track and a passenger seat positioned in the body mounted for articulation between a first position and a second position. The roller coaster includes a seat positioning mechanism coupled to the passenger seat operating while the vehicle is in the load/unload portion to articulate the seat into the first position and operating, prior to the vehicle traveling into the ride portion of the ride path, to articulate the seat into the second position. The passenger seat includes a seat back that is substantially vertical in the first position and is at an obtuse angle in the second position or horizontal position, such that a passenger has an upward point of view during the ride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: David W. Crawford, Thomas Fitzgerald, Derek Howard, David A. Durham, James H. Shull
  • Patent number: 8453576
    Abstract: A roller coaster amusement device adapted to provide for the passengers a ride wherein the passengers experience at least a portion of the ride in a racing position, the amusement device wherein an endless guide structure at least including multiple curves, one or more carriages displaceable along the guide structure, a passenger assembly associated with a carriage, said passenger assembly being adapted to accommodate at least one passenger such that said passenger experiences at least a portion of the ride in a racing position, a station along said guide structure allowing the passenger to board the passenger assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Vekoma Rides Engineering B.V.
    Inventors: Joop Roodenburg, Petrus Joseph Hubertus Clerx
  • Patent number: 8453578
    Abstract: A coaster according to the invention includes a track (10) and a vehicle (20). The track (10) includes a first support rail (11) and a second support rail (12). The first support rail (11) and the second support rail (12) are disposed vertically below the passenger receiver of the vehicle (20). Each of the bogies (23) and (24) includes a plurality of first rollers (25) and second rollers (26), wherein the second rollers (26) contact the second support rail (12) and prevent a lateral tilting of the vehicle relative to the plane (E) defined by the first support rail (11) and the second support rail (12). The first support element (11) and the second support element (12) are configured tubular.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventor: Jörg Beutler
  • Patent number: 8393275
    Abstract: A roller coaster or amusement ride providing a unique free-floating sensation by extending the passenger vehicles out on either side of the central frame structure. The passenger vehicles (48, 50) are supported between two cushioned cantilevered vehicle support arms {34, 36) that pivot while being supported between air bags (30, 32} or springs. The air pressure in the air bags or the tension in the springs can be adjusted to provide a soft, free-floating sensation to the ride. Additional passenger vehicle motions are achieved by the omni-directional ball-swivel joints (38, 40) on the ends of the support arms. The off-center location of the passenger vehicles (48, 50) and the weight of the passengers enable the passenger vehicles to remain in the up right position even when the central frame structure rotates around the track system. No additional drive systems or passenger controls are required on this unique roller coaster ride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: S & S Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Jacobi, Stanley J. Checketts
  • Patent number: 8371227
    Abstract: A ride system with crossing ride paths. A first omnimover assembly is provided that includes a continuous vehicle chain movable along a first ride path and includes vehicles vertically supported above the track at a first height. A second omnimover assembly is provided with a continuous vehicle chain movable along a second ride path that differs from the first ride path and crosses over the first ride path when viewed in plan view. The second omnimover assembly includes vehicles vertically supported below the upper vehicle track at a second height, which may be the same as the first height such that passengers perceive a risk of a collision at the path intersections. The upper track is at a higher elevation than the lower track such that cross overs occur without interference. A synchronization mechanism is provided that synchronizes the movement of the upper and lower vehicle chains.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Nemeth, David W. Crawford
  • Publication number: 20130025492
    Abstract: A roller coaster with seats articulated between vertical and reclined positions. The roller coaster includes a track with a load/unload portion and a ride portion. The coaster includes a vehicle with a body supported on the track and a passenger seat positioned in the body mounted for articulation between a first position and a second position. The roller coaster includes a seat positioning mechanism coupled to the passenger seat operating while the vehicle is in the load/unload portion to articulate the seat into the first position and operating, prior to the vehicle traveling into the ride portion of the ride path, to articulate the seat into the second position. The passenger seat includes a seat back that is substantially vertical in the first position and is at an obtuse angle in the second position or horizontal position, such that a passenger has an upward point of view during the ride.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2011
    Publication date: January 31, 2013
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventors: DAVID W. CRAWFORD, THOMAS FITZGERALD, DEREK HOWARD, DAVID A. DURHAM, JAMES H. SHULL
  • Patent number: 8241133
    Abstract: Systems, devices, apparatus and methods of using a simulator cabin module with an interior space which replicates a space ship, where the simulator module is mounted in a real aircraft, as a real airborne simulator. The aircraft lifts off to provide airborne maneuvers such as parabolic flight paths to cause G force and zero gravity effects to passengers in the cabin module. The cabin module includes rows of seats where passengers experience realistic sounds, lights, different temperatures, and physical effects (vibrations) of space ship liftoffs and space travel by having realistic simulation effects distributed over the seated passengers. Passengers can be seated in special reclinable seats with 5 point harnesses and pilot helmets with operable wireless communications and uniforms to add to the realistic simulation effects. Simulator modules can also be mounted in other moving vehicles, such as but not limited to submersibles, ships, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Communications Concepts, Inc.
    Inventors: James C. Lewis, Nick A. Mascia
  • Patent number: 8132513
    Abstract: An amusement park ride with one or more evacuation zones. The ride includes a track with a rail defining a ride path. The ride path includes at least one evacuation zone along a first length of the track at a first height and a non-evacuation zone along a second length of the track with one or more portions at a second height greater than the first height. The track is sloped in the non-evacuation zone toward the evacuation zone. The ride includes a vehicle supported on the rail via roller elements such as load bearing wheels. The ride includes a drive assembly that provides a driving force to selectively move the vehicle along the ride path. The drive assembly is adapted to automatically disengage from the vehicle upon loss of power. The vehicle is free rolling upon loss of power to travel to the evacuation zone based on gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: David W. Crawford, Edward A. Nemeth, Derek Lee Howard
  • Patent number: 7980181
    Abstract: A drag racing roller coaster amusement ride has at least two sets running rails, each set having at least one running rail and an embark point. At least two carriers (109) are arranged to carry at least one rider on a respective set of running rails with the rider(s) in a substantially prone position. Each carrier is arranged to slidingly engage with the respective set of running rails to enable the carriers to traverse the ride. The ride has an indicator (109) to provide a ride commencement indication. A launch system is configured to provide a powered initial motion to each carrier. Each carrier has a ride activator controllable by a rider of the carrier to trigger the launch system to commence the ride for the carrier following the ride commencement indication. Launch systems are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Manchester Securities Limited
    Inventors: Christopher James Heaslip, Robert Cummins
  • Patent number: 7914384
    Abstract: An amusement device has an elongated track along which one or more amusement device seat assemblies adapted to carry the one or more passengers are moveable. Each seat assembly has a seat with a seating surface and a back support with a back support surface. The seat assembly further includes a bar construction attached to a pivot mechanism. This bar construction has a hip bar and one or more pivot arms integral with the hip bar, which bar construction is pivotable about the pivot axis from a raised position in which the hip bar is raised from the seating surface to allow a passenger to sit down in the amusement device seat assembly, to a lowered position. No part of the bar construction takes away the view of the person and limits the movements of the arms of the person, allowing the passenger to experience a great sense of freedom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2011
    Assignee: Vekoma Rides Engineering B.V.
    Inventors: Joop Roodenburg, Johan Willem Philippen
  • Patent number: 7610859
    Abstract: An improved roller coaster system having one or more tracks that may exist in differing orientations on one support spine or equivalent supporting structure. Passengers may be rotated independently of the orientation of the tracks an essentially unlimited amount of times in either direction about predetermined axes utilizing inertia as the motive force. If multiple tracks are used, each may run separately from the others in portions of the circuit to provide unique track elements for each set of riders. Furthermore, each track may have its orientation and position relative to the support system exchanged with other tracks in the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Inventor: Jordan Reder Dietrich
  • Patent number: 7594473
    Abstract: A rail assembly is built from three parallel cylindrical members, wherein a first rail provides support for a large wheel. The large wheel has an axle protruding from each side, wherein the outbound side has a frame attached to the axle and a seat attached to the frame. The rail side of the axle connects to a second rail acting as a pilot/guide for the travel of the large wheel. A third rail and interconnections provide structural rigidity for the rail assembly. The riders fly through a roller coaster layout sitting only in a seat, facing the passing environment head on at high speeds, thereby experiencing a free flight sensation. A people mover embodiment adds a motor to the wheel to move the wheel along a relatively flat layout. An optional flip means functions to selectively engage the axle with the rotating large wheel (nominally via a reduction gear) to flip the riders 360°. Optionally a group of large wheels can be coupled together to form a train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2009
    Inventors: William J. Kitchen, John H. Chance
  • Publication number: 20090031913
    Abstract: A drag racing roller coaster amusement ride has at least two sets running rails, each set having at least one running rail and an embark point. At least two carriers (109) are arranged to carry at least one rider on a respective set of running rails with the rider(s) in a substantially prone position. Each carrier is arranged to slidingly engage with the respective set of running rails to enable the carriers to traverse the ride. The ride has an indicator (109) to provide a ride commencement indication. A launch system is configured to provide a powered initial motion to each carrier. Each carrier has a ride activator controllable by a rider of the carrier to trigger the launch system to commence the ride for the carrier following the ride commencement indication. Launch systems are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2006
    Publication date: February 5, 2009
    Inventors: Christopher James Heaslip, Robert Cummins
  • Patent number: 7430966
    Abstract: A roller coaster installation comprising a stretch of water, along which runs a train of vehicles (104) provided laterally with hydrodynamic brakes comprising a fin (102) or a nozzle, becoming immersed in the mass of water (A) and discharging this in the form of rising sprays (B).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: Bolliger & Mabillard Ingenieurs Conseils S.A.
    Inventors: Claude Mabillard, Walter Bolliger
  • Publication number: 20080143158
    Abstract: An amusement device, in particular a roller coaster, for providing a sense of excitement to one or more passengers using the amusement device. The amusement device has an elongated track along which one or more amusement device seat assemblies adapted to carry the one or more passengers are moveable. Each seat assembly has a seat with a seating surface and a back support with a back support surface. The seat assembly further includes a bar construction attached to a pivot mechanism. This bar construction has a hip bar and one or more pivot arms integral with the hip bar, which bar construction is pivotable about the pivot axis from a raised position in which the hip bar is raised from the seating surface to allow a passenger to sit down in the amusement device seat assembly, to a lowered position. The bar construction is such that no part of the bar construction takes away the view of the person and limits the movements of the arms of the person, allowing the passenger to experience a great sense of freedom.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2007
    Publication date: June 19, 2008
    Applicant: VEKOMA RIDES ENGINEERING B.V.
    Inventors: Joop Roodenburg, Willem Johan Philippen
  • Patent number: 7357727
    Abstract: A racetrack designed to accommodate various types of auto racing class including Indy, CART, Formula 1 etc. is disclosed. The race track of the present invention is a continuous closed circuit track with at least two loops which loop about a common center area and with track passing over itself at least once by a nonlevel crossing such as an overpass so that the track does not have a level crossover and thereby allowing a vehicle making an entire circuit of the track the option of only making turns in one direction and not passing over any portion of the track more than once is a single circuit of the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Inventor: Brian Back
  • Patent number: 7351154
    Abstract: A fun-ride more particularly for amusement parks, fairs and the like comprises at least one rail vehicle 1 and a guide lap for the vehicle 1. In a lateral projection a lap section 2 of the guide lap essentially constitutes a loop, the lap section 2 comprising a first uphill section 3 and a second downhill section 4 and the top ends of the sections are connected together. At least in the uphill section 3 the means 5 for engagement with the vehicle 1 is arranged. This means may for example be a holding brake or a coupling device. It is preferably operated when the vehicle 1 comes to a halt after a downward movement owing to the action of gravity on the vehicle 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Assignee: Maurer Sohne GmbH & Co., KG
    Inventors: Alfred Müller, Jörg Beutler
  • Patent number: 7192010
    Abstract: A winch system, typically used in a roller coaster system, includes a hydraulic pump, a variable speed motor connected to the hydraulic pump, a first pipe connected to the hydraulic pump; a second pipe connected to the hydraulic pump comprising a second pressurized fluid; an accumulator system connected the pipes; a motor connected to the accumulator system; and a winch drum connected to the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Vekoma Rides Engineering B.V.
    Inventors: Joop Roodenburg, Peter De Vin
  • Patent number: 7159520
    Abstract: An amusement ride vehicle includes a first vehicle section, a second vehicle section, and an articulation joint connecting, and providing rotational movement between, the first and second vehicle sections. The articulation joint comprises a first shaft for bearing loads during normal operation of the joint, and a second shaft within the first shaft for bearing loads when the first shaft is inoperable. A test element, such as a lever, is attached to the second shaft. The second shaft is rotatable via the test element during normal operation of the joint. When the first shaft is inoperable, the second shaft handles loads acting on the articulation joint, and is not rotatable via the test element, thus indicating a failure of the first shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: Universal City Studios LLP
    Inventors: Joseph Casey, Cindy Emerick, Ben Lovelace, Frank Weigand, Bill Whitcomb, Jim Seay, Glen Hartung
  • Patent number: 6758144
    Abstract: An amusement vehicle for a bob or toboggan run. A basic vehicle frame has arranged thereon rollers and/or slide members for movement of the vehicle, as well as a second frame for accommodation of one or several persons. The second frame is movable essentially perpendicular to the driving direction of the basic vehicle frame. The invention also includes a bob, toboggan or roller coaster run for such an amusement vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Inventor: Peter Raidt
  • Patent number: 6679182
    Abstract: An amusement device (1) has one or several vehicles (2). The drive device (13) of the vehicles is configured as a high-performance catapult drive (22) which is provided with one or more hydromotors (24) and a traction mechanism (20) that has to be detachably connected to the vehicle (2) by means of a carrying device (14). The catapult drive is designed as a rotary drive or winding drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Inventors: Patrick Spieldiener, Reinhold Spieldiener, Robert Spieldiener
  • Patent number: 6606953
    Abstract: A roller coaster ride comprising a carriage adapted for travel along a track in a predetermined direction and a plurality of seats interconnected to and positioned exteriorly from the carriage. The seats are capable of 360 degree rotation about a longitudinal axis which extends perpendicular to the direction of travel. The seats may further be spaced apart from the carriage in a downward direction by a central arm and perpendicular to said direction of travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Assignee: Meteoro Amusement Corporation
    Inventor: John F. Mares
  • Patent number: 6523479
    Abstract: Amusement rides and methods are described. The amusement rides of the present invention include roller coaster vehicles that have a controlled spin or controlled rotation in a direction or dimension independent from the track of the roller coaster. The controlled rotation or spin is provided by using displacement of the track configuration to power a proportional rotation of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: S&S-Arrow, LLC
    Inventors: Alan Schilke, Fred W. Bolingbroke, Joseph Trillo, Alan Camomile, Jan Bruening, Peter Hines, Gary Bird, Gary Iser
  • Patent number: 6513441
    Abstract: An amusement device comprising a guide structure forming an endless track, along which a vehicle capable of accommodating at least one person can travel, whereby a person present in the vehicle extends substantially parallel to the track during operation. The person present in the vehicle lies with his back towards the track and with his face directed away from the track. The person's view is not impeded by other vehicles and he can only see the track itself when the turns his head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Vekoma Technology B.V.
    Inventors: Petrus Joseph Hubertus Clerx, Christiaan Wilhelmus Peeters
  • Patent number: 6439129
    Abstract: The object of this invention is a launching system for cars running on a track in equipments for amusement parks, such as roller-coasters or the like, including a mechanical launching device where a falling counterweight moves a rope to pull a train of cars with the needed force, and wherein the counterweight is slowly lifted back up at the end of the launch, while the cars complete their track, thus only requiring some low-powered equipment. The system according to the invention is far cheaper to be produced than the known systems, and offers far lower operating costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Inventor: Marco Begotti
  • Patent number: 6405655
    Abstract: An amusement device comprising a guide construction forming a track, along which a vehicle, in which at least one person can be seated, is movable in a direction of transport. A holder of the vehicle, which accommodates said person, can be tilted about a tilting axis from a first position, in which the person present in the vehicle includes an angle with the track, to a second position, in which the person who is present in the vehicle in use extends substantially parallel to the track, and vice versa. The holder is positioned above the track in said first position, whereby the tilting axis is located on a side remote from said person's head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Vekoma Technology B.V.
    Inventors: Petrus Joseph Hubertus Clerx, Christiaan Wilhelmus Preters
  • Patent number: 6402624
    Abstract: An amusement ride (100) is disclosed which includes first and second vehicles (128, 130) which are supported in a cantilevered manner off cantilever beams (124, 126) from the stationary supporting track (102) to provide the occupants with the impression of being unsupported. The vehicles (128, 130) are floorless to enhance the effect for the passengers. A coaster style floorless amusement ride (150) is provided. A second embodiment of the amusement ride (200) has a floor style vehicle (202, 204). It can also be a coaster style amusement ride (220). A hubless and spokeless Ferris wheel (10) is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Versa Corporation
    Inventors: Walter F. Larson, Jeffrey P. Novotny
  • Patent number: 6397755
    Abstract: An amusement ride comprises a hollow launch tube having an inner surface and first and second ends, the first end being open; a passenger vehicle having an outer peripheral surface which forms a substantial seal with the inner surface of the launch tube so as to form a substantially sealed space inside said launch tube from said passenger vehicle to the second end of the launch tube; guidance means for guiding said passenger vehicle along a pre-determined path to exit the launch tube, said guidance means being self-rigid and extending through said open first end along said pre-determined path; and a pressurized gas source for introducing pressurized gas into the substantially sealed space inside said launch tube sufficient to launch the passenger vehicle along said guidance means and out of the launch tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Ride Factory Incorporated
    Inventor: Frank Kamler
  • Patent number: 6397756
    Abstract: To move a rail-borne vehicle (2) over a preferably ascending partial section, a finite chain section (8) is pulled in a stationary guide (13) in parallel to the rail (23) using a cable (9). The vehicle (2) engages the chain section (8) via a chain hook (19). The two ends (35), (36) of the cable (9) are connected to the leading end (34) of the chain section (8). The vehicles (2) can be moved rapidly with this cost-saving arrangement. It is also possible to overcome steeper uphill sections than in the state of the art (pull-up devices of roller-coasters).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Inventors: Alfons Saiko, Reinhold Spieldiener, Robert Spieldiener, Patrick Spieldiener
  • Patent number: 6328500
    Abstract: A kit is provided for assembling a closed-loop toy simulation of a roadway comprising at least four curved road segments and at least two straight road segments, each road segment having an upper non-skid surface and at least one marking on such surface that simulates roadway lane markings. A method is provided for constructing a closed-loop toy roadway of a desired shape and length. The method comprises positioning two road segments so they are in substantial longitudinal alignment, connecting the adjacent road segments together by engaging a plurality of loops on one segment with a plurality of hooks on an adjacent segment, and repeating such steps until the desired closed-loop play roadway has been configured. Also provided is a segment for constructing a closed-loop play roadway having a desired shape and length and having on its non-skid upper surface at least one marking that simulates a roadway marking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Inventor: Tamara L. Rubio
  • Publication number: 20010023649
    Abstract: The object of this invention is a launching system for cars running on a track in equipments for amusement parks, such as roller-coasters or the like, including a mechanical launching device where a falling counterweight moves a rope to pull a train of cars with the needed force, and wherein the counterweight is slowly lifted back up at the end of the launch, while the cars complete their track, thus only requiring some low-powered equipment. The system according to the invention is far cheaper to be produced than the known systems, and offers far lower operating costs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Publication date: September 27, 2001
    Inventor: Marco Begotti
  • Patent number: 6269749
    Abstract: An amusement ride includes a lower track structure operably connected with and variably spaced from an upper track structure to define a path of travel for a ride vehicle supported remote from the track structure. A motion translation arrangement is located between the track structure and the ride vehicle for separately or simultaneously varying the distance and angular position of the ride vehicle relative to the track structure in response to at least one of the changing track roll angle and changing gauge of the track structure over a travel path. A drive mechanism is provided for moving the motion translation arrangement and the ride vehicle relative to the track structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Inventor: John J Hogg
  • Patent number: 6269750
    Abstract: A novel truss track assembly for use in transporting passenger vehicles provides two sets of tracks for supporting two passenger vehicles concurrently. The truss track assembly includes four running rails for mounting passenger vehicles and a central support rail. A series of frame elements are periodically secured to the running rails and the central support rail to support and maintain the parallel relationship of the running rails and the central support rail. The truss track assembly may be “split” into two individual truss track assemblies wherein the individual truss track assemblies each accommodate a passenger vehicle or a train of passenger vehicles. The present invention further provides a novel side-mount vehicle suitable for mounting of the present invention on the truss track assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: Setpoint Engineered Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph M. Cornwell, Joseph E. VanDenBerghe, Steven E. Nuetzman, Carl G. Wood, Benjamin H. Womack, Reid H. Leland, Bret Crandall
  • Patent number: 6220171
    Abstract: A roller coaster includes a plurality of ride vehicles that ride along a track. Each vehicle provides seating for at least one passenger. The track is elevated off the ground and includes a variety of hills, curves, loops, rolls, drops, inversions and the like. The vehicles are totally enclosed and preferably designed to represent a space capsule. Sight line controls and a yaw mechanism are used at the load platform to prevent passengers from seeing the other ride vehicles. In addition, the track at the load platform is angled upwards to allow for easy access to the ride vehicles. Portals in the cabin are designed to control sight lines to focus the passengers' attention on show elements that are placed along the track. An on-board audio system enhances the realism of the ride experience. Adjustable restraint systems are provided in each vehicle to keep the passengers in their seats and inside the vehicle during the ride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: Universal City Studios
    Inventors: Philip D. Hettema, Cecil D. Magpuri, Aidan J. Bradley, Kevin T. Parent, Edward S. Newquist
  • Patent number: 6158354
    Abstract: A roller coaster device which can operate a seat together with a car to perform a perpendicular running motion such as vertical descent, vertical ascent, vertical spiral motion and the like, or in such a manner as to run backwards. The device significantly increases thrill and interest levels by creating the sensation that the endless running rail suddenly disappears from the view of the occupants in the roller coaster device. The device can be configured in a small space and in a compact manner. A car (4) is mounted on the endless running rail (1) having a desired length that is provided in a rolling and bending manner through rollers (6) so as to run freely while being held thereto, and seats (11a, 11b) are suspended on the car 4 by mounting members (12a, 12b) so as to rotate freely.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Assignee: Hoei Sangyo Co, Ltd.
    Inventor: Masahide Eiraku
  • Patent number: 5979333
    Abstract: An amusement device includes a guide structure forming an endless track, along which a vehicle capable of accommodating at least one person can travel, and where a person present in the vehicle extends substantially parallel to the track during operation. The person present in the vehicle lies with his back towards the track and with his face directed away from the track. The person's view is not impeded by other vehicles and he can only see the track itself when he turns his head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Verkoma Technology, B.V.
    Inventors: Jacob H. M. Houben, Petrus J. H. Clerx
  • Patent number: 5433153
    Abstract: An amusement track ride system comprises a pair of rails forming a track including a spinning section. A car traveling along the rails includes a chassis, a passenger seat on the chassis, and a plurality of wheel portions situated close to the feet of a passenger in a passenger seat. In the spinning section, the rails extend in a helix along an inner surface of an imaginary cylinder having a central axis, the diameter of the imaginary cylinder being set so that the axis of helical rotation of the car traveling in a spin along the rails passes through the car and is substantially in alignment with the central axis of the imaginary cylinder. The holding device has a shoulder retainer provided at the back rest for holding down the shoulders of the passenger in the passenger seat from above. The retainer is guided by a guide mechanism to be movable in the extending direction of the seat back rest, and locked by a locking mechanism in a position where the retainer abuts against the passenger's shoulders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: Togo Japan Inc.
    Inventor: Kazuo Yamada
  • Patent number: 5371937
    Abstract: A method of making a composite material in which a porous preform is produced by spray casting. An appropriate metal or alloy is caused to infiltrate the interconnected pores. This may be accomplished by infiltrating the porous preform with a liquid metal of a melting point lower than the melting point of the porous preform and thereafter solidifying the infiltrated material or the material can be infiltrated by the use of a slurry containing the desired particles and the liquid carrier driven off by baking the infiltrated preform. Alternatively, infiltration may be accomplished by plating of a desired metal or alloy from an appropriate infiltrate electroplating or electro-less plating solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Olin Corporation
    Inventors: William G. Watson, Ronald N. Caron
  • Patent number: 5272984
    Abstract: The amusement ride comprises at least one seat suspended on a bogie moving along at least one rail. The seat is provided with a harness for the restraint of at least one passenger in the seat. The seat-harness unit is shaped so as to form a restraint imprisoning the passenger's body when the harness is in the closed position, each of the passenger's four limbs emerging from said restraint through a separate opening, so that the passenger is suspended with his legs in mid-air without a wall or a floor around him.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Assignee: Bolliger & Mabillard Ingenieurs Conseils S.A.
    Inventors: Walter Bolliger, Claude Mabillard
  • Patent number: 5218910
    Abstract: A roller coaster has cars with passenger supports to hold the passengers in a substantially horizontal position within the car during the ride in seats which can be rigidly molded for each new individual passenger to conform to the unique body contours of the passenger, wherein the cars have multiple vertically-tiered levels of passenger support and are supported from above and below on the track, to provide an increased speed and thrill capability for the ride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1993
    Inventors: Ethan J. Mesmer, Matthew S. Gray, Milton E. Parrish
  • Patent number: 5193462
    Abstract: The invention relates to a roller coaster system having a tubular track which includes linear and spiral guide track sections. The track sections are formed of circular cross-sectional members. The system includes at least a passenger vehicle for travelling in the tubular track. The vehicle includes a plurality of wheels at both ends of the vehicle for engaging the interior surface of the tubular track. The system includes a chain conveyor provided at an end of the tubular track for introducing the vehicle into the tubular track and a pneumatic propulsion unit, arranging adjacent to the chain conveyor, for propelling the vehicle after the vehicle has been introduced into the tubular track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1993
    Inventor: Mihail I. Marcu
  • Patent number: 5119734
    Abstract: A chassis for rail-bound amusement vehicles including a vehicle frame with a bearing block connected to the frame and a bearing bracket elastically mounted on the bearing block via a ball-and-socket joint. Wheel shoes are provided for hinges with supporting pairs wheels such that the wheels may be adjusted against a rail in a hinged manner from the top and bottom as well as from the side. The bearing bracket is also connected to the vehicle frame by a ball-and-socket joint, connecting the bearing bracket to the connecting rod which extends at right angles to the direction of travel and which is connected to the vehicle frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1992
    Inventor: Anton Schwarzkopf
  • Patent number: 4794865
    Abstract: An amusement ride vehicle for travel along a trackway defined by a pair of track rails. The vehicle includes a pair of transverse frames pivotally carried by an elongated main frame, with drive wheels carried by the transverse frames in driving engagement with upper surfaces of the track rails. Up-stop or pinch wheels below the drive wheels engage under sides of the track rails. The pinch wheels are pivotally mounted to the transverse frames by strut assemblies which hold the pinch wheels in constant forcible rolling engagement with the track rails at all times. This improves the driving traction of the drive wheels and provides constant up-stop protection against separation of the vehicle from the track rails. The strut assemblies are disconnectable to enable the pinch wheels to be pivoted out of interfering relation with the track rails so that the vehicle can be lifted from the track rails for maintenance, storage or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1989
    Assignee: The Walt Disney Company
    Inventor: Arnold Lindberg
  • Patent number: 4700632
    Abstract: To enable a passenger to ride a "roller coaster" in a standing position, the inventive device includes a seat placed between the legs of the passenger, a back member with a headrest incorporated in it, and two harnesses which provide retention of the passenger from above as well as lateral retention of his head and good front and lateral retention of his body. One of the harnesses is movable and can be swung upwardly to enable easy access to the subject device by the passenger and to enable a ventral bar to be brought into tight contact with the passenger's abdomen before being locked shut in that position. Because the sliding carriage which bears the two harnesses, the back member and the seat are displaceable and lockable along the columns which have their base fixed to the chassis of the train, the present invention can accommodate passengers of different heights and sizes and reliably retain such passengers regardless of their orientation in space during the operation of the associated roller coaster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1986
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1987
    Assignees: Giovanola Freres SA, Intamin AG
    Inventor: Bernard P. Schmutz
  • Patent number: 4693183
    Abstract: A track system for a passenger-accommodating vehicle as a part of a rollercoaster comprising tracks which form an acceleration stretch, a rollover stretch consisting of several sections in which the vehicle is rotated around its lateral axis, two helical stretches in which the vehicle is rotated around its longitudinal axis, and a coasting stretch. The individual sections of the rollover stretches and the two helical stretches are arranged such that the form of the digit "Eight" results in a vertical projection of the track system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1985
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1987
    Inventor: Georg Potzsch