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[[File:Alpina Bahn friction wheels.jpg|right|300px|thumb|Friction Wheels on a lift-hill]]
__NOTOC__[[File:Alpina Bahn friction wheels.jpg|right|300px|thumb|Friction wheels on a lift hill]]
A '''friction wheel''' (also called a '''drive tire''' or '''kicker wheel''') is a motorized wheel that alters or sustains the speed of a [[train]] by contacting it and creating friction.
[[File:Olympia Looping lift hill closeup.jpg|thumb|[[Olympia Looping]]'s curved friction wheel lift]]
A '''friction wheel''' (also called a '''drive tire''' or '''kicker wheel''') is a motorized wheel that alters or sustains the speed of a [[train]] through friction between the surface of the wheel and the ride vehicle.
==Types==
==Types==
Friction wheels can be orientated just vetically. When orientated horizontally, friction wheels are used in pairs and typically grip a fin on the underside of the train. However, some roller coasters use horizontal friction wheels that contact either side of the train. When orientated vertically, friction wheels contact the underside of the train.
Friction wheels can be orientated horizontally or vertically. When orientated horizontally, friction wheels are used in pairs and typically grip a fin on the underside of the train. However, some roller coasters use horizontal friction wheels that contact either side of the train. When orientated vertically, friction wheels contact the underside of the train.
==Uses==
==Uses==
[[File:Green Dragon (GreenWood) drive tire.jpg|thumb|left|Vertical friction wheel]]
[[File:Green Dragon (GreenWood) drive tire.jpg|thumb|left|Vertical friction wheel]]
Friction wheels are often used to move a train at low speeds. They are often used in [[station]]s and [[brakes|brake runs]] to push the train. [[Bolliger & Mabillard]] roller coasters feature horizontal friction wheels before the [[lift hill]] to synchronise the speed of the train with that of the chain, allowing it to enter the lift hill smoothly.
Friction wheels are often used to move a stationary train at low speed. Within [[station]]s and [[brakes|brake runs]], friction wheels are used to push the train. [[Bolliger & Mabillard]] roller coasters feature horizontal friction wheels before the [[lift hill]] to synchronise the speed of the train with that of the chain, allowing it to enter the lift hill smoothly.
 
In wet conditions friction between the wheels and the train is reduced which could cause the train to slip.
===Lift hills===
===Lift hills===
Friction wheels are used in lift hills. Unlike chains, friction wheels can be used on curved lift hills, which in turn allows for more compact layouts. However, in wet conditions the wheels create less friction and the train may slip.
[[File:Air Grover lift hill motors.jpg|thumb|The underside of a friction wheel lift]]
Friction wheels are often used on smaller roller coasters to power the [[lift hill]]. [[Chain lift|Chain lift hill]]s are almost always straight whereas friction wheels allow the lift hill to be curved easily.
 
Typically each wheel or each pair of wheels is powered by its own motor. However, [[Schwarzkopf]] roller coasters used a single motor which transferred motive power to each wheel via cardan shafts.<ref>[http://schwarzkopf-coaster.net/achterbahnen-detail-antriebe-GF.htm Drive types - Schwarzkopf Coaster Net]</ref>
===Launches===
===Launches===
Friction wheels can be used to [[launched|launch]] a train. The wheels can be powered by either hydraulic or electric motors. [[Schwarzkopf]]'s [[Bullet (Selva Mágica)|Bullet]] roller coaster introduced in the early 1980s is thought to be the first to use friction wheels to launch a train. The technology was used again on the [[Incredible Hulk]] at [[Universal's Islands of Adventure]], which opened in 1999. Both take advantage of the technology, with Bullet launching the train in two directions and round a curve, and Incredible Hulk launching the train up a steep incline.
[[Intamin]] first used friction wheels to launch a train on [[Galaxy Express 999]] which opened in 2005 and subsequently used the technology to power its [[Family Launch Coaster]] line.
===Brakes===
===Brakes===
Japanese roller coaster manufacturer [[Meisho Amusement Machines]] has used horizontal friction wheels to grip the sides of the train and slow it down.
Japanese roller coaster manufacturer [[Meisho Amusement Machines]] has used horizontal friction wheels to grip the sides of the train and slow it down. Friction wheels were used on Bullet to slow down as well as launch the train.
 
==References==
<references />
{{Roller Coaster Descriptions}}
{{Roller Coaster Descriptions}}
[[Category:Descriptions]]
[[Category:Descriptions]]

Latest revision as of 18:36, 9 October 2019

Friction wheels on a lift hill
Olympia Looping's curved friction wheel lift

A friction wheel (also called a drive tire or kicker wheel) is a motorized wheel that alters or sustains the speed of a train through friction between the surface of the wheel and the ride vehicle.

Types

Friction wheels can be orientated horizontally or vertically. When orientated horizontally, friction wheels are used in pairs and typically grip a fin on the underside of the train. However, some roller coasters use horizontal friction wheels that contact either side of the train. When orientated vertically, friction wheels contact the underside of the train.

Uses

Vertical friction wheel

Friction wheels are often used to move a stationary train at low speed. Within stations and brake runs, friction wheels are used to push the train. Bolliger & Mabillard roller coasters feature horizontal friction wheels before the lift hill to synchronise the speed of the train with that of the chain, allowing it to enter the lift hill smoothly.

In wet conditions friction between the wheels and the train is reduced which could cause the train to slip.

Lift hills

The underside of a friction wheel lift

Friction wheels are often used on smaller roller coasters to power the lift hill. Chain lift hills are almost always straight whereas friction wheels allow the lift hill to be curved easily.

Typically each wheel or each pair of wheels is powered by its own motor. However, Schwarzkopf roller coasters used a single motor which transferred motive power to each wheel via cardan shafts.[1]

Launches

Friction wheels can be used to launch a train. The wheels can be powered by either hydraulic or electric motors. Schwarzkopf's Bullet roller coaster introduced in the early 1980s is thought to be the first to use friction wheels to launch a train. The technology was used again on the Incredible Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure, which opened in 1999. Both take advantage of the technology, with Bullet launching the train in two directions and round a curve, and Incredible Hulk launching the train up a steep incline.

Intamin first used friction wheels to launch a train on Galaxy Express 999 which opened in 2005 and subsequently used the technology to power its Family Launch Coaster line.

Brakes

Japanese roller coaster manufacturer Meisho Amusement Machines has used horizontal friction wheels to grip the sides of the train and slow it down. Friction wheels were used on Bullet to slow down as well as launch the train.

References

Roller coaster descriptions