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Hydraulic launch

Hydraulic launch

A roller coaster with a hydraulic launch propels trains to high speeds using fluids under a high pressure.

History[edit | edit source]

The first installation with a hydraulic launch was Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm, built by Intamin. Subsequently, Vekoma introduced their motorbike roller coaster, which was powered by a hydraulic pump.

The tallest and fastest roller coasters (Kingda Ka and Formula Rossa, respectively) both use a hydraulic system. Top speeds of hydraulically launched roller coasters range from 45 mph to 150 mph.

Hydraulically launched roller coasters have suffered from extended downtime due to maintenance issues with the launch system. As a result, the technology has fallen out of fashion, with Intamin favoring LSM powered roller coasters instead.

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