While the hallmark of technological advancement today might be shrinking things down, in the world of roller-coaster technology, bigger is definitely better. The name of the game in this business is higher drops, faster speeds and longer tracks.
Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, announced Wednesday that it'll launch a brand new "dive coaster" in the spring of 2016 that will garner the park 10 world records. A dive coaster is a roller coaster that has at least one 90-degree dive -- these give passengers the sensation of free-falling -- as well as wide cars (this one allows passengers to sit eight across in a floorless car).
While there won't be any heart-eating on the ride, there might be a lot of hearts-in-mouths -- especially at the first drop, which starts at 223 feet (about 68 meters) in the air, where the coaster car is suspended for about 4 seconds before being released. It then soars down a completely vertical track, reaching a top speed of 75 mph (about 120 kph). That height and speed earns Valravn the distinction of being the world's tallest and fastest dive coaster.
"Valravn then flips its passengers upside-down through a 165-foot-tall (about 50-meter) Immelmann, a fighter jet-like maneuver that takes the train into a half loop, then a half roll before traveling in the opposite direction," a release about the attraction says. "The train then approaches another drop zone -- but there's no stopping this time as riders plunge 125 feet down (about 38 meters) at a near 90-degree angle once again, twisting and turning upside-down two more times, once through a dive loop and then through a 270-degree roll before completing its epic journey over 3,415 feet (about 1,041 meters) of tarnished copper and silver steel track."
Cedar Point is already known as the "roller coaster capital of the world," and this ride will certainly help bolster that reputation. In addition to being the highest and fastest dive coaster, Cedar Point says Valravn will also earn the park the distinction of having the most roller coasters taller than 200 feet (61 meters) at one park (there are five of them), and the most steel roller coaster track at one amusement park, at 9.9 miles (about 16 kilometers).
The amusement park says the ride itself will also hold the record for the most inversions on a dive coaster (three); the longest drop on a dive coaster (214 feet/65 meters); and the highest inversion on a dive coaster (165 feet/50 meters).
There's a good chance that it will also hold the record for most lunches lost.