|The very first Dive Coaster, Oblivion at Alton Towers.|
|First built||Oblivion (1998)|
|Latest built||Emperor (2022)|
|Manufacturer||Bolliger & Mabillard, Switzerland|
The Dive Coaster (previously called Diving Machine) is a steel roller coaster product built by Bolliger & Mabillard. It can be distinguished by its wide trains, seating six, eight or ten risers in one row.
Since the opening of Oblivion other companies have built rides with drops steeper than 90 degrees but Bolliger & Mabillard remain the only company to build roller coasters with such wide trains.
The first Dive Coaster to be built was Oblivion at Alton Towers, England, in 1998. However it didn't have a "true" vertical drop, but a maximum angle of 88.8 degrees to make sure that the wheels could stay in contact with the track. Despite this, it is still considered and accepted as the first vertical drop. Later Dive Coasters had spring-loaded wheels, keeping the wheels firm against the track and thus allowing "true" vertical drops.
Since then, eight more Dive Coaster installations have opened. SheiKra, opened in 2005 at Busch Gardens Tampa, is the first Dive Coaster to feature inversions. Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg introduced floorless trains in 2007. The same year, SheiKra's trains were modified to be floorless. All Dive Coasters built since have inversions and floorless trains.
All Dive Coaster installations hold the train at the top of the first drop for approximately three seconds. A small section of chain is used, which holds the train while pushing it very slowly over the edge.
Dive Coaster trains are unique in that they seat six to ten riders per row. The trains employ stadium seating, with each row raised higher than the one in front to maximise the view.
- SheiKra ups shriek factor - St Petersburg Times (Wayback archive)
|Bolliger & Mabillard|