Since the 2020 summer season, the new Cobra in Lipperswil, Switzerland, has not only been thrilling visitors to Conny-Land, but also park boss Roby Gasser.
Conny-Land in Lipperswil, Switzerland, is not only the largest amusement park in Switzerland, but for the past 10 years has also been the park with the largest linear roller coaster in Europe. With a length of around 215 meters, the 42-meter high, slightly overhanging drop tower, a loop, two camelbacks and the Scorpion Tail, the Cobra is a true one-off and unique in this form worldwide. Originally built by PAX, the roller coaster with a track width of 900 millimeters received a completely newly developed train on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. From the initial consultation to the final TÜV approval, the train, which originated from Sunkid Heege, was developed and handed over to the customer in just 2 years, entirely according to the wishes of Conny-Land. The new Cobra impresses with a whole series of innovations and improvements, which once again clearly emphasizes the special position of this roller coaster.
Face 2 Face
Probably the most striking change is the new arrangement of the rows of seats. Except for the first and last cars of the train, the cars in between consist of two rows of seats facing each other. This means that guests not only sit opposite each other during the ride, but can also experience it from two different perspectives. "An innovation that goes down enormously well with visitors, especially on a shuttle loop coaster like the Cobra in Conny-Land," says a delighted Roby Gasser about this special feature for Europe's largest linear roller coaster.
The opposing rows of seats are clearly visible, which not only enable two completely different ride experiences, but also the sharing of emotions with the other person.
The fully adjustable and damped chassis provides a more comfortable ride and reduces the forces acting on the mechanics, resulting in a longer service life. "Targeted improvements have also been introduced in the areas of operation and maintenance," says Sunkid Heege CEO Michael Kalsch. Lubricated-for-life bearings as well as optimized dimensioning of the components reduce the necessary maintenance and testing effort. In daily operation, the new stirrup position monitoring of each individual safety stirrup in combination with the touch display in the command station ensures optimized processes. Not only is information on the system status and the stirrup position of each seat displayed to the operator, but he can also unlock them simultaneously or optionally individually. Special coatings with an anti-slip effect ensure a high level of functional safety in the foot area of the carriages and on the friction surfaces of the drives.
The touch display ensures optimized processes, so all seats can be unlocked simultaneously or optionally only individual seats.
Revolutionary new restraint system
Embrace 5: Typified for category 3 and category 5 according to EN 13814 / TÜV NORD
The seat units with the revolutionary new restraint system Embrace 5 are an innovation that, at first glance, is probably only obvious to roller coaster enthusiasts and operators. Instead of the traditional solid shoulder restraints, the first thing that catches the eye of the observer is the protruding safety bar and the associated belt system. The C-bar (safety bar) primarily serves to guide the closed belt system and only secondarily as an additional redundancy and hand rest. The central element of the Embrace 5, however, is the padded harness system.
Instead of massive and constricting shoulder restraints, only the padded special belts and the likewise textile chest support enclose the passenger. What already sounds comfortable at this point becomes a potential game changer in the field of restraint systems due to another feature of the system. Embrace 5 adapts to the physique and size of its passengers, enabling an arguably unprecedented level of comfort and adaptability. At the same time, it also increases the thrill factor of a ride, as the subjective feeling of safety is far less pronounced compared to massive and constricting restraint systems.
Regardless of body type and size, Embrace 5 automatically adapts to its passengers and provides a feeling of freedom that is probably unprecedented.
The restraint system has multiple redundancies and features a mechanical ratchet and pawl system, a hydraulic safety cylinder, and the aforementioned C-frame with hand rest and handle.
In addition, a shackle position monitoring system and the electrical control for opening the safety shackle ensure optimized operating processes.
With a total weight of just under 80kg, the seat unit including restraint system is a true flyweight for category 5 rides. Children from 130cm or 8 years of age can thus use a category 5 ride without an accompanying person. For a category 3 ride, the minimum body height drops again to 110cm.
Tip: Embrace 5 has also been certified individually and is therefore suitable for a wide range of rides and roller coasters, regardless of whether they are new builds or retrofits.