The Xcelerator roller coaster is located in Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. It was Intamin’s first hydraulically launched coaster, as well as the company’s fourth installation at Knott’s, following Sky Cabin, Calico River Rapids, and Perilous Plunge (removed in 2012).
The strong hydraulic catapult motor on Xcelerator propels the train from 0 to 82 mph (132 km/h) in 2.3 seconds.
The train is launched using only 157 feet (48 meters) of track. While accelerating the train, the dual hydraulic catapult motors each produce a maximum of 10,500 horsepower (7,800 kW). The hydraulic motor system on the Xcelerator is capable of accelerating vehicles to speeds of 117 miles per hour (188 km/h) or higher, though the train only has to hit 82 mph (132 km/h) to crest the hill. A train must “drift” back to “hook” on to a catch vehicle before it can launch. A pin underneath the third vehicle is demagnetized with 24 volts, causing it to fall. Two bellows actuators fill with air at the same time.
Meanwhile, two drive tires near the back of the railway that are holding the train in place begin to retract. The brakes will be released as the train returns to connect up with the catch car, which is nearly 7 feet (2.1 m) long. The train will be launched after the motor is attached. To slow down, the catch car drives over its own set of magnetic brakes. If the train is not fully loaded, the motor must work harder to reach launch speed. The catch car may overshoot its end position on occasion if it is unable to achieve the required speed within established constraints, causing it to stall near the end of the launch track. In addition, the train must clear the launch track in three seconds. If it does not, the ride will be terminated. The train has 8.25 seconds from the start of the launch to pass over a proximity switch (Hall effect sensor) near the bottom of the first drop, which clears the starting block. If the train does not travel through the switch in the allotted time, the ride will be terminated.
Following the launch, the train crests a vertical 205 ft (62 m) top hat element, soars through 110 feet (34 m) and 95 ft (29 m) over banked curves, and glides to a smooth halt through brake run before returning to the station house. Magnetic clippers mounted on the trains and copper alloy fins mounted on the track comprise the magnetic braking system. To avoid interfering with the train, the alloy fins on the launch section retract during the launch procedure. In the event of a rollback, the magnetic brakes slow the train. After the train has passed over them, they are raised piece by section. The brake fins on the brake run are fixed and cannot be raised. When the train enters the braking run, it is going at around 67 miles per hour (108 kilometers per hour).
Next Point of Interest: Silver Bullet