27 Jun, 16
 S&S Worldwide

S&S Worldwide are more of a thrill ride manufacturer than a coaster manufacturer. That's not to say they don't make coasters, it's just that they are more well known for their innovative flat rides. S&S was founded by Stan Checketts in 1989, and started to manufacture reliable bungee jump towers under the name of Sports Tower Inc. In 1993 came another division of S&S, S&S Sports Inc., who made trampoline equipment.

In 1994 S&S started to manufacture thrill rides for amusement parks, the "Space Shot" tower ride being their first creation. S&S World are renowed for their innovative use of compressed air to control their rides.

Sports Tower Inc. and S&S Sports Inc. were sold in 1995 and 1996 respectively, allowing the newly labeled S&S Power to concentrate on pneumatically powered rides. S&S Power changed their name to S&S Worldwide in 2010.

 S&S Worldwide's product range 

EL LOCO

The S&S Worldwide El Loco model is a compact coaster, characterised by a beyond-vertical drop (between 111°-121°), tight corners and abnormal banking. The design of the beyond-vertical first drop took the "Steepest Drop" record from Gertslauer's Eurofighter model and continues to hold the world record. The first El Loco opened in July 2008 as Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach, USA.

Operating examples
Mumbo Jumbo at Flamingoland, UK.
Green Lantern Coaster at Warner Bros. Movie World, Australia.

See also: Gertslauer, Coaster records.


SCREAMING SQUIRREL

S&S Worldwide no longer produce the Screaming Squirrel model - thankfully! This model was known for it's uncomfortable ride experience as riders spent half the ride held upside down. The coaster layout is made up of vertically stacked 180° hairpin turns (known as a "saxophone" inversion", where riders head forward, flip upside down and then travel upside-down underneath their previous section of track several times. Only three were ever made, the first to open was Sequoia Adventure at Gardaland in 2005.

Operating examples
Afterburner at Wonder Island, Russia.
Screamin Squirrel at Mysterious Island, China.


4D / FOURTH DIMENSION

The Fourth Dimension roller coaster model was originally invented by the now defunct manufacturers Arrow Dynamics. Arrow went bust in 2002 and S&S acquired the rights to Arrow's portfolio of coasters; the 4D being one of them. The 4D coaster has winged seats that rotate 360° as the trains move along the track. The one and only 4D coaster opened in 2002 at Magic Mountain, USA. S&S Worldwide have not built a Forth Dimension coaster since acquiring the rights.

Operating examples
X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, USA.

See also: Forth Dimension coasters, Arrow Dynamics.


WOODEN COASTER

S&S Power/Worldwide only made four wooden rollercoasters before they withdrew the ride type from their range in 2004. The first S&S Wooden Coaster was Timberhawk: Ride of Prey at Wild Waves Theme Park, USA, which opened in 2003.

Operating examples
Hell Cat at Clementon Park, USA.
HellCat at Timber Falls Adventure Park, USA.

See also: Wooden coasters.


 

AIR THRUST LAUNCH COASTER

Although generally considered inferior to the Hydraulic Launch system perfected by Intamin, the Thrust Air's pneumatic system is capable of much quicker, intense launches. The most recognised Air Thrust Launch Coaster is Dodonpa at Fuji-Q Highland in Japan. The coaster often features in "most scariest rides" polls due to it's amazing launch acceleration of 0 - 107 mph (172 kph) in 1.8 seconds. The Air Thrust coaster is taking the S&S Tower Ride (see below) technology and laying it horizontal.

 

See also: Launch Coasters, Intamin


FREE FLY COASTER

S&S Worldwide's Free Fly Coaster is a variation of the Wing Coaster type. Instead of sitting above or below the track, riders sit either side of the track. On the Free Fly model, the row of seats are suspended below each wing and can freely rotate 360° as the coaster travels along the track. The first Free Fly opened in 2009.

Operating examples
Tranan at Skara Sommarland, Sweden.

See also: Wing Coasters.


SCREAMIN' SWING

The Screamin' Swing is one of S&S Worldwide's most popular thrill rides with over 15 installations world wide. Compressed air is used to propel riders in a pendulum motion similar to a regular playground swing but on a massive scale. To intensify the experience, riders are only secured by a lap bar during the (up to) 62 mph (100 kph), 122° swing. The first Screamin' Swing to open was Rush at Thorpe Park, UK, in 2005. Some parks place the rides in clever locations such as above valleys to increase the ride experience.

Operating examples
Skyhawk at Cedar Point, USA.
Giant Swing at Silver Dollar City, USA.


SKY SWAT

Only two S&S Sky Swat Rides were ever made; Sky Swat at Six Flags AstroWorld in 2003 and Slammer at Thorpe Park, UK, in 2005. The Sky Swat at AstroWorld was relocated to Six Flags New England, USA, in 2005 and renamed Catapult. Due to repetitive mechanical problems, S&S withdrew the ride from their product range in 2012. Two seating platforms are attached to each end of an arm which is raised to the top of a 105 ft (32 mtrs) tower using compressed air. The arm is locked in place and the platforms rotate around 360° in an action similar to a person using a fly swatter. The platforms change direction halfway through the ride.

Operating examples
Slammer at Thorpe Park, UK.


TOWER RIDES

The Tower Rides are what established S&S as a major thrill ride manufacturer. There are four type of S&S Tower rides, all use compressed air to operate. The Space Shot model rapidly propel riders up the tower before gently lowering them with a series of air-cushioned bounces. The Turbo Drop hoists riders slowly to the top of the tower before being dropped back to Earth. A Combo Tower is made up of a Space Shot and Turbo Drop. The Double Shot tower is effectively two Space Shots in one ride cycle. S&S founder Stan Checketts developed this ride concept whilst playfully throwing his child up in the air. The first S&S tower ride opened in 1996.

Operating examples
Power Tower at Cedar Point, USA.
Ice Blast at Pleasure Beach Blackpool, UK.


FROG HOPPER

The Frog Hopper is a young child friendly bounce tower. Using compressed air, riders are pulled up to a maximum of height of 18 ft 7 in (5.7 mtrs) and gently dropped back down again. This process repeats several times. For a small ride there is loads of airtime to be had! There are over 240 Frog Hoppers operating worldwide.

Operating examples
Shark Bite at Twinlakes, UK.

S&S Frog Hopper ride type at Alton Towers, UK. ©CoasterForce

 Other information

In 2002, S&S Power (as it was known then) acquired bankrupted coaster manufacturers Arrow Dynamics entire portfolio, which is now known as "S&S Arrow". S&S Arrow exclusively maintain and produce the Forth Dimension coasters. With the addition of the entire collection of Arrow coasters, S&S Worldwide have more rollercoasters than any other manufacturer.


 S&S Worldwide Contact Details

S&S Worldwide, Inc.
350 West 2500 North
Logan,
UT 84341

Phone: 435.752.1987

http://www.engineeringexcitement.com


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