Calling all thrill seekers!…..Since summer is finally here, most of you may already have your vacation planned. Your destinations may vary, but a popular place for many Americans is a trip to one of the many theme parks across the US. My home state of Florida is home to one of the premier parks in the country; Busch Gardens! Located in Tampa Bay Florida, Busch Gardens is hard at work preparing one of the most extreme attractions anywhere in the world. Upon its completion, this ride will break records and provide its riders with a one of a kind experience.
The new ride is called Falcons Fury inspired by the legendary bird of prey. At over three hundred feet tall (335 ft to be exact) this ride is the first of its kind to reach these unprecedented heights. Manufactured by Swiss based Intamin amusment rides (famous for several other record breaking rides), this ride took several phases of construction to complete.
Six separate tower sections were shipped from Europe to Florida and assembled in a little over 6 months. Due to its height, each section had to be manufactured to withstand high winds and sun exposure. In severe weather conditions, the tower is able to bend to a certain degree in order to maintain structural integrity. Construction was completed the first week of February 2014 and ride testing began shortly thereafter. Manikins are used throughout the testing phases to simulate the weight of actual people.
The unique ride experience of Falcons Fury is what Busch Gardens hopes will attract even more guest from around the world. According to park reports, riders will be hoisted to a height of approximately 310 feet in one minute. From this point, your seat will tilt to a 90 degree angle facing the ground. Once released, riders will hurl towards the earth at nearly 60 mph reaching forces of up to 3.5 times the weight of gravity! The free fall experience lasts around 6 seconds and ends only a couple of feet from the ground when the braking system brings the ride to a complete stop. For more information, please be sure to visit the Busch Gardens Tampa website (http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa/).
The engineers responsible applied many of the basic principles of gravity first proposed by Galelio and Sir Issac Newton. Their experiments on mass and gravitational force set the precedent for modern physics and engineering. Since it is Summer, I will spare you with the details of their work, but I do challenge you to explore Discovery Education to find out more!
I may be a thrill seeker myself, but even a ride of this magnitude would give me second thoughts. While you enjoy your summer break, be sure to take some time to learn while still having fun!