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Stealth Behind The Scenes

Thorpe Park

Going behind the scenes of Stealth used to be as simple as booking on a behind the scenes tour costing £50 per person. During the tour, you would get to look inside the bunker, stand under the top hat of the ride, go inside the control box and look in the maintenance shed.

The bunker has two areas, the viewing gallery and the winch room which contains 2 accumulators feeding the motors for the winch. All of these rooms are air-conditioned. To gain access into the winch room, you use a key on the other side of the room which upon taken out will instantly shut the ride down. The Stealth winch room has a triple locking system which upon being tampered with will shut the ride down as well. 

Stealth has 24 motors which spins the winch drum which has the launch cable attached to it. One side of the winch drum has a feed going back to the station and the other side for the cable coming back into the bunker. These sides are separated by a strip of metal. The launch cable is good for 25,000 launches but once used 25,000 times, it will need to be changed. The cable is changed two times every season. To put this into perspective, it is going to be changed on the week commencing 28th July 2014. 

The magnetic breaks in the launch area are all different. The ones closest to the station are the strongest and the ones closest to the bunker are the weakest. There are 72 pairs of magnets, 144 in total which are magnetically inducted. In the bunker, there is a computer that monitors the oil measure and the filters. This computer is running Windows 7 but was running Windows XP until recently, the systems for the ride run on fibre optic cables running from the bunker to the control room. 

After spending around half an hour in the bunker we were shown the control room where the operator controls the ride. The computer in the op cabin shows where each train is by block. There are 4 blocks: the launch track, loading - station, unloading and holding block. 

In the maintenance bay, the park checks both of the cars every morning before they are used for guests, checks start at 6 am every morning. The track for Stealth is checked every morning visually for each section they can see and the top hat is checked using strong high vision goggles. Trains are stripped down and checked once every year, when the wheels are beyond use they are cleaned up and sent back to Intamin where they get recoated. To test Stealth in the morning the engineers have to send 6 trains then the system will work out the average launch speed needed, during the day the system does not weigh every car but takes an average from the past 6 trains. This is done via the tension in the launch cable and timing how long it takes to pass certain points in the track.