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Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers (more commonly known as B&M) is a roller coaster design consultancy based in Montheymarker, Switzerlandmarker. The company was founded in 1988 by Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard, with Bolliger acting as president and Mabillard as vice-president. Since 1990, B&M has built over 70 roller coasters around the world and have pioneered several new ride technologies, most notably the inverted roller coaster. The company started with four employees and has since grown, now employing more than 30 people, mostly engineers and draftsmen.

History

Superman la Atracción de Acero at Movie World, Madrid, a B&M-built Floorless coaster


Both Bolliger and Mabillard worked for Swissmarker amusement ride manufacturer Intamin AG before branching off on their own. During their time at Intamin AG they helped the company design its first stand-up roller coaster, Shockwave at Six Flags Magic Mountainmarker. The pair also contributed to other Intamin AG projects, such as Z-Force at Six Flags Great Americamarker.

The company first made a name for itself in 1990 with their own stand-up roller coaster, Iron Wolf, located at Six Flags Great America, and rose to prominence two years later with the development of another project for Six Flags Great America, Batman: The Ride, the world's first inverted roller coaster. Since then, Bolliger & Mabillard have continued to design new roller coaster variants—such as the floorless roller coaster and the Diving Machine—and make their own mark with existing concepts, like the hypercoaster and flying roller coaster.

The company has made other contributions to the roller coaster community. For example, the firm also built the trains for Psyclone, a now-demolished wooden roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountainmarker. The trains are currently used on the park's Colossusmarker wooden roller coaster during the month of October. The trains face backwards and are generally raced with the other track, which runs forwards.

As of 2009, Bolliger & Mabillard has over 70 operating roller coasters worldwide. Twenty of their creations are listed among the Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards Top 50 Steel Coasters List for 2007, including four in the top 10. They have more roller coasters than any other manufacturer on the list.

Features



Bolliger & Mabillard currently have seven different ride styles to choose from: "stand-up", "inverted", "floorless", "flying", "mega coaster", "Diving Machine"/"dive-coaster" and "sit-down" roller coasters. The company has been involved in developing new technologies and concepts in roller coasters almost since its very inception, often working closely with engineer Werner Stengel, as well as with designers and management from the theme parks that retain their services. Reportedly, when Nemesismarker ride engineer John Wardley, about to test the roller coaster for the first time, asked Walter Bolliger, "What if the coaster stalls? How will we get the trains back to the station?". Bolliger replied, "Our coasters never stall. They always work perfectly the first time." True to his word, the roller coaster executed its first lap of the track exactly as planned.

Diagram comparing a standard lift hill and the B&M "pre-drop" lift hill.
One feature of Bolliger and Mabillard coasters that is common throughout their product line is an element known as a "pre-drop" (which is known in the industry as a "Kicker"). This is a short drop after the top of the lift hill and before the start of the first drop, designed to reduce tension on the lift chain. The flat section between the pre-drop and the first drop serves as a shelf to carry the weight of the train, reducing related stresses on the chain. By comparison, on most coasters without a pre-drop, the weight of the train as it begins its descent tends to pull on the lift chain, as the latter half of the train is still being lifted by the chain at this point. More recently, the pre-drop is only used on coasters with curved drops, whereas coaster with straight drops, such as Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgiamarker and The Time Machine at Freestyle Music Parkmarker do not have pre-drops.

Bolliger & Mabillard was one of the first roller coaster manufacturers to use four-abreast seating on their trains. Each car has a single row of four seats, and a train normally consists of seven to nine cars. All of their roller coaster models except the diving machine use this configuration. Instead, the diving machine uses eight-across seating with two or three rows of seats, while Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburgmarker uses ten seats in three rows, a record for a full-circuit roller coaster. On recent hypercoaster projects, notably Behemoth at Canada's Wonderlandmarker and Diamondbackmarker at King's Island, B&M has unveiled a new car design with two rows of two seats, with the two in the rear of the car pushed out from the centerline, such that the four seats resemble a V formation.

CAD model of B&M box-section track
Another notable feature of Bolliger and Mabillard roller coasters is that they make use of box-section track. The running rails for the roller coaster are connected to a box-section spine, as opposed to a circular spine used by many other manufacturers. Because of this, when a train travels around the track it creates a distinctive "roar", which is unique to this style of track. However, some B&M roller coasters, such as Talonmarker at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdommarker and Krakenmarker at SeaWorld Orlandomarker, have their track filled with sand to reduce this noise, resulting in an unusually quiet sound.

The company generally does not use powered launches on their coasters due to perceived problems with reliability; they prefer gravity-powered roller coasters. The only B&M launched roller coaster in existence is The Incredible Hulkmarker coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure, which has a pinch-wheel-propelled launch designed by another company that specialized in powered roller coasters.

List of B&M rides

See :Category:Bolliger & Mabillard roller coasters
The Time Machine at Freestyle Music Park, a sitdown model
Vortex at Carowinds, a stand-up model
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great Adventure, an inverted model
Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, a hypercoaster model
Hydra at Dorney Park, a floorless model
Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Over Georgia, a flying model
Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, a diving model


The roller coasters are listed in order of installation.
Name Model Park Country Opened
Iron Wolf Stand-Up Coaster Six Flags Great Americamarker United Statesmarker 1990
Vortex Stand-Up Coaster California's Great Americamarker United Statesmarker 1991
Batman: The Ride Inverted Coaster Six Flags Great Americamarker United Statesmarker 1992
Vortex Stand-Up Coaster Carowindsmarker United Statesmarker 1992
Flight Deck

Formerly Top Gun
Inverted Coaster California's Great Americamarker United Statesmarker 1993
Batman: The Ride Inverted Coaster Six Flags Great Adventuremarker United Statesmarker 1993
Kumbamarker Sitting Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa Baymarker United Statesmarker 1993
Batman: The Ride Inverted Coaster Six Flags Magic Mountainmarker United Statesmarker 1994
Nemesismarker Inverted Coaster Alton Towersmarker United Kingdommarker 1994
Raptormarker Inverted Coaster Cedar Pointmarker United Statesmarker 1994
Diavlomarker Inverted Coaster Himeji Central Parkmarker Japanmarker 1994
Dragon Khanmarker Sitting Coaster Port Aventuramarker Spainmarker 1995
Batman: The Ride Inverted Coaster Six Flags St. Louismarker United Statesmarker 1995
Mantismarker Stand-Up Coaster Cedar Pointmarker United Statesmarker 1996
Montumarker Inverted Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa Baymarker United Statesmarker 1996
Alpengeist Inverted Coaster Busch Gardens Williamsburgmarker United Statesmarker 1997
Batman: The Ride Inverted Coaster Six Flags Over Georgiamarker United Statesmarker 1997
Chang Stand-Up Coaster Six Flags Kentucky Kingdommarker United Statesmarker 1997
Pyreneesmarker Inverted Coaster Parque España Japanmarker 1997
Oblivionmarker Diving Machine Alton Towersmarker United Kingdommarker 1998
Great Bear Inverted Coaster Hersheyparkmarker United Statesmarker 1998
The Great White Inverted Coaster SeaWorld San Antoniomarker United Statesmarker 1998
The Riddler's Revengemarker Stand-Up Coaster Six Flags Magic Mountainmarker United Statesmarker 1998
Afterburnmarker

Formerly Top Gun: The Jet Coaster
Inverted Coaster Carowindsmarker United Statesmarker 1999
Bizarromarker

Formerly Medusa
Floorless Coaster Six Flags Great Adventuremarker United Statesmarker 1999
Incredible Hulk Coastermarker Sitting Coaster Islands of Adventuremarker United Statesmarker 1999
Dueling Dragonsmarker Inverted Coaster Islands of Adventuremarker United Statesmarker 1999
Batman: The Ride Inverted Coaster Six Flags Over Texasmarker United Statesmarker 1999
Raging Bullmarker Mega Coaster Six Flags Great Americamarker United Statesmarker 1999
Georgia Scorcher Stand-Up Coaster Six Flags Over Georgiamarker United Statesmarker 1999
Wildfire Sit-Down Coaster Silver Dollar Citymarker United Statesmarker 1999
Apollo's Chariot Mega Coaster Busch Gardens Williamsburgmarker United Statesmarker 1999
Krakenmarker Floorless Coaster Sea World Orlandomarker United Statesmarker 2000
Medusa Floorless Coaster Six Flags Discovery Kingdommarker United Statesmarker 2000
Katun Inverted Coaster Mirabilandiamarker Italymarker 2000
Superman: Krypton Coaster Floorless Coaster Six Flags Fiesta Texasmarker United Statesmarker 2000
Diving Machine G5 Diving Machine Janfusun Fancyworld Taiwanmarker 2000
Insane Speed Floorless Coaster Janfusun Fancyworld Taiwanmarker 2001
Nitromarker Mega Coaster Six Flags Great Adventuremarker United Statesmarker 2001
Talonmarker Inverted Coaster Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdommarker United Statesmarker 2001
Vampire Inverted Coaster La Ronde Canadamarker 2001
Wildfire Sitting Coaster Silver Dollar Citymarker United Statesmarker 2001
Batman: The Ride Floorless Coaster Six Flags New Englandmarker United Statesmarker 2002
Superman: La Atracción de Acero Floorless Coaster Parque Warner Madridmarker Spainmarker 2002
Batman: La Fuga Inverted Coaster Parque Warner Madridmarker Spainmarker 2002
Airmarker Flying Coaster Alton Towersmarker United Kingdommarker 2002
Silver Star Mega Coaster Europa Parkmarker Germanymarker 2002
Superman: Ultimate Flight Flying Coaster Six Flags Over Georgiamarker United Statesmarker 2002
Superman: Ultimate Flight Flying Coaster Six Flags Great Americamarker United Statesmarker 2003
Superman: Ultimate Flight Flying Coaster Six Flags Great Adventuremarker United Statesmarker 2003
Nemesis Infernomarker Inverted Coaster Thorpe Parkmarker United Kingdommarker 2003
Scream!marker Floorless Coaster Six Flags Magic Mountainmarker United Statesmarker 2003
Dæmonenmarker Floorless Coaster Tivoli Gardensmarker Denmarkmarker 2004
Lightning Inverted Coaster Entertainment City Kuwaitmarker 2004
Silver Bullet Inverted Coaster Knott's Berry Farmmarker United Statesmarker 2004
SheiKramarker Diving Machine Busch Gardens Tampa Baymarker United Statesmarker 2005
Hydra the Revengemarker Floorless Coaster Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdommarker United Statesmarker 2005
Tatsumarker Flying Coaster Six Flags Magic Mountainmarker United Statesmarker 2006
Goliath Mega Coaster La Ronde Canadamarker 2006
Goliath Mega Coaster Six Flags Over Georgiamarker United Statesmarker 2006
Patriot Inverted Coaster Worlds of Funmarker United Statesmarker 2006
Black Mambamarker Inverted Coaster Phantasialandmarker Germanymarker 2006
Crystal Wings Flying Coaster Happy Valley Chinamarker 2006
Hollywood Dream: The Ridemarker Mega Coaster Universal Studios Japanmarker Japanmarker 2007
Griffon Diving Machine Busch Gardens Williamsburgmarker United Statesmarker 2007
Phaethon Inverted Coaster Gyeongju World South Koreamarker 2007
Behemoth Mega Coaster Canada's Wonderlandmarker Canadamarker 2008
Goliathmarker

Formerly Batman: The Ride

Formerly Gambit
Inverted Coaster Six Flags Fiesta Texasmarker

Six Flags New Orleansmarker

Thrill Valley
United Statesmarker 2008
2003 to 2005

1995 to 2002

The Time Machine Sitting Coaster Freestyle Music Parkmarker United Statesmarker 2008
Vertical Coaster Diving Machine Chimelong Paradisemarker Chinamarker 2008
Dominator

Formerly Dominator

Formerly Batman: Knight Flight
Floorless Coaster Kings Dominionmarker

Geauga Lakemarker
United Statesmarker 2008
2000 to 2007
Manta Flying Coaster SeaWorld Orlandomarker United Statesmarker 2009
Diamondbackmarker Mega Coaster Kings Islandmarker United Statesmarker 2009
Dive Coaster Diving Machine Happy Valley Shanghai Chinamarker 2009
The Monster

Formerly Orochi
Inverted Coaster Walygator Parc

Expolandmarker
Francemarker 2010
1996 to 2007
Intimidator Mega Coaster Carowindsmarker United Statesmarker 2010


Gallery

Image:Top Gun (Immellman -1).JPG|Afterburn at CarowindsmarkerImage:Alpengeist (Zero-G Roll).JPG|Alpengeist at Busch Gardens WilliamsburgmarkerImage:900behe.jpg|Behemoth at Canada's WonderlandmarkerImage:Raptor (Zero-G).JPG|Raptor at Cedar PointmarkerImage:Scream%21_queue_view2.jpg|Scream! at Six Flags Magic MountainmarkerImage:Talon (Final Turn).JPG|Talon at Dorney Parkmarker

References



External links




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