Full-Speed Ahead: Racing fans tried out
Full Racing's racecar simulator with a multi-axis, all-electric platform
at the IAAPA show.
Orlando, FL—Visitors to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' (IAAPA) annual trade show in November saw plenty of high-thrill rides, increasingly life-like animatronics, and arcade gimcracks. But what they didn't see much of this year was the use of hydraulics to power the motion systems.
"That was awesome," said Jerry, a racing enthusiast who was clearly revved up after completing several high-speed laps on Full Racing's (www.fullracing.com) new racecar simulator. The Dutch company has combined the simulation expertise of Mainax (www.mainax.com) with a multi-axis, all-electric motion platform from FCS Company (www.fcs-cs.com) so that people like Jerry can experience many of the adrenaline-producing effects of driving a race car—including roll, pitch, and yaw.
Maarten van Donselaar, an engineer from Mainax, merely pointed to an electric cord when asked why the company opted for servomotors instead of hydraulics. "You simply plug it in and it works," he shrugged.
"The market prefers electric now," agreed Bart Dohmen, Sales Manager Entertainment Technology for Rexroth Hydraudyne B.V. (www.rexroth-hydraudyne.com), pointing to the 2,500-kg payload electric motion system on display at his booth. This Netherlands-based division of Rexroth Bosch Group, specializes in drive and control systems for the entertainment industry.
The company offers hydraulic, electric, and pneumatic solutions, and Dohmen said that engineers identify the best technology for the application based on mass, velocity, and safety requirements. So it is not like they are biased toward any particular solution.
Yet clearly a market once dominated by hydraulic technology is changing, and motion systems are mainly electric now, said Dohmen. That's because they can handle a wide range of payloads (up to 11,000 kg), provide the desired motion with low noise output, and are cost competitive.
Plus, there is no leakage issue (real or perceived)—which is one reason that Maxflight (www.maxflight.com) made the switch from hydraulics to electrics in its latest motion-based, interactive ride. "We expect maintenance to be minimal on these machines," said Gary Arvedon, director of marketing, pointing to the company's new Bobsled Simulator.