Assembling Back to introduction

Test setup

"Nowadays it is not common to set up a roller coaster on the construction site", Erwin Haider tells us an looks through his window onto the ample site of the Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH. "With Typhoon this was only possible because it is based on a sole and doesn't need a foundation." For the electrical engineer Haider this has only advantages: "That way we can optimize the control unit on the spot and correct any problems - mechanical and electrical ones - much faster."

Between October and November of 2003 Typhoon was assembled bit by bit; sub-units were installed and wires laid. This was a rather unusual sight for the residents of the small village of Münsterhausen, located between Ulm and Augsburg in Bavaria: Even from the town boundary the 25 meters high lift tower could be seen, and only the church steeple outshone the steel structure. 20 years ago, when Anton Schwarzkopf bent the track bit by bit and fitted it directly in the coaster on the outside area of the very same site, roller coasters were part of the neighbours´ everyday life.

Today this is rather rare, and at the end of 2003 the visual spectacle was even intensified by the simultaneously erected Eurostar: The Inverted Coaster of Oscar Bruch was assembled directly aside to carry out measurement and repair works.


Cutting the track with a flame cutter

The coloration of Typhoon doesn´t yet reflect the final image. Track and supports won´t remain mouse-grey, this rather is an undercoat. "We will paint ´just in time´ on the way to Belgium", Erwin Haider adds. Slowly but steadily the track took shape: At first the sole was laid and underpinned using wooden blocks. Then the supports were placed on the even steel strucure, transverse joints installed and finally the track segments attached.

The 640 meters of Typhoon's track are divided into 81 sections which are assembled bit by bit. This makes the elements transportable, in addition the used steel tubes are only available in a length of 10 to 15 meters. Centering devices at the ends help with the construction, four bolts are used to fix each transition. That way the roller coaster can be dismantled without any problems to be transported to Bobbejaanland. If a track joint is finished, the transition is sanded to make it smooth.

Some mechanical components like brakes and drive propulsion units have already been assembled to independent modules at the factory and are now attached to the "system" roller coaster using a couple of bolts. Especially at the construction site at Bobbejaanland this is going to save time and to optimize the installation process.

Documentation of Tyhphoon's test erection

Fahrzeug in der Endmontage
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But after all manual work is still in demand, at least at the site in Münsterhausen: Right now the piece of track on the rotary plate connecting the holding track has to be cropped. Not far from there guiding rails are being attached to the vertical lift. The wiring for the electrical equipment and the pneumatic system has to be laid, too. Then the software for the control unit can be optimized, tests run and the mechanical components adjusted.

Up to eight employees of the Gerstlauer company have been involved in preparing the ride for the TÜV approval that took place at the beginning of December. Read more about the test runs, the adjustment of the software and first ride impressions in the next issue of this exclusive series.

Many thanks to Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH. The copyright for the pictures belongs to the photographers and the Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH, respectively. Publishing, distribution and copying without written permission is strictly forbidden.

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