Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) may be planning to revive its stand-up coaster model. Last week, the Swiss coaster manufacturer filed a patent for a new “passenger restraint system for roller coasters” that is designed to keep riders in a standing posture. And the design may be headed to SeaWorld Orlando for a custom launch coaster — more on that later in the post.
To date, B&M has built only seven stand-up coasters, with the most recent being Georgia Scorcher at Six Flags Over Georgia, which opened in 1999. The company’s first coaster was a stand-up — Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America, which opened in 1990. That coaster now operates with floorless trains as Firebird at Six Flags America.
A summary of the patent describes the invention as a “passenger restraint” to “maintain a passenger in an essentially upright posture (standing) during a roller coaster ride.”
The document explicitly references one of the company’s existing stand-up coasters, Ridder’s Revenge at Six Flags Magic Mountain as featuring a similar “upright posture” riding position.
The new restraint design includes a “fixed column and a seat column.” The seat column is able to move vertically via sliders to be height-adjustable to fit passengers, as shown in the graphic below.
But more noteworthy is a hydraulic system that would allow the seat column to move up and down slightly during the course of a ride, which would significantly increase rider comfort compared to previous stand-up coasters.
For the more mechanically-savvy, the summary further details the design:
The seat column is coupled to the fixed column by an articulated linkage, and the passenger restraint system further includes a device for balancing the seat column, which balancing device includes a cylinder fixed, at a first articulated end, to the fixed column and, at a second articulated end, to the seat column.
Like the company’s original stand-up coaster trains, the restraint locks in place once the rider is in a standing position. A saddle would protrude from the seat column between the rider’s legs.
The actual over-the-shoulder design should look familiar to B&M fans.
The restraint is very similar to the vest restraint found on B&M’s newer models such as wing coasters as well as select inverted and dive coasters.
The newer vest-style restraints are designed to provide a more comfortable ride with less “head-banging” that sometimes plagues B&M’s traditional restraints.
The design would be a noticeable departure from the traditional restraints found on existing B&M stand-up coasters.
The patent states that the invention is designed to provide “suitable holding of the passenger while ensuring better comfort for the passenger during roller coaster rides.”