Rollercoaster zip line
The inspiration for EcoZip came from the people who enjoy the zip lines I have built in Australia. People always ask for more zip lines that are longer or faster so I thought why not create one with corners. I believed it would be great to bring something new into the arena and have people slaloming around trees whilst suspended in the air and make this accessible to wheelchair users. I wanted to create an adventure that utilised the forest space with no negative impact on the trees and gave people a thrilling, safe ride
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
EcoZip is a tree or pole based rollercoaster zip line. It can be installed within a forest or woodland with no negative impact on the ecosystem. Most zip lines travel in a straight line but the EcoZip can be as long as a straight zip line but with twists and loops around the trees. The design is unique in the use of the double pipe with a large pipe used to guide the rider and a smaller pipe used to attach the large pipe in the air. This also defined the specific design of the pulley with 3 sets of 4 wheels allowing them to control the path of the pulley on both pipes and different angles.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The participant is strapped into a purpose built harness, attached to our designed pulley. Once ready the gate is released and the adventure starts. Gathering momentum, the track twists around trees, making a sudden drop or tight curve before turning back on itself and doing a 720-degree loop. The layout is adapted to the site and takes advantage of the features of land and trees. The end comes with a purpose built braking system on the pipe allowing the participant to be released. This is an improvement to the straight line design because of the combined sensations of flying and the suspense of the rollercoaster that suits any age and ability.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project began in Australia in 2012. The first step was the research on the pipes, decision on the combination of pipes including size and thickness. The second step was the testing of the prototype and the development of tools to suspend, bent and drill through the pipe duo. The third step was the development and testing of a pulley adapted to the pipe. The fourth step was the construction and testing of 3 full prototypes, including one with a 360degree turn around a tree. These steps took around 5,000 hours to complete.
The first attraction using the EcoZip opened to the public in November 2014 on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The track comprises two circular steel pipe tubes - important to use steel pipe as small as possible but capable of providing the strength required. Another consideration was that it needed to be of a size so that two pipes joined together could still be bent by hand on site . The pipe track is suspended using wire rope catenary cables anchored to suitable trees. It was challenging to source the wheels used within the passenger pulley. The wheels used are custom made to fit the required diameter and the materials of the track design. The wheels can be altered in response to the conditions of the site.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Custom made to suit specific site, steel pipe track can be more than one kilometre in length.
Rollercoaster zip line, tree-based adventure, WOW adventure, eco-friendly fun
The abstract was to create a zipline that had corners. Research showed there was a demand for this type of product and I wanted to build something in a forest combining the thrill of the zip line with the suspense of a rollercoaster with limited impact on the environment. Initially we built a 70m prototype then a 360 degree loop which was 45m long using the best combination of pipe we could find to suit the purpose. We tested how different types of pulleys travelled along these, which was safest, more comfortable, easiest to use. Then we built a 120m long prototype and refined pipe attachments, the pulley design but maintained our non invasive method for attachment to the trees. When we had secured a commercial site we began the work that would bring about the final version of the EcoZip.
The greatest challenge was working with so many variables to create the completed product. The tracks have to be created on site and are impacted by the geographical fall of the land, flex of trees, density of trees. When we started construction we had a great deal of trial and error to learn what was possible. The velocity and associated g-forces experienced are controlled through the slope of the track, placement of curves and the type of wheels used in the pulley. There were many instances where the track had to be removed to adjust a depth of curve or slope over that distance. This experience helped define the best method for future installation. Another challenge has been to create a pulley that sits well within the track throughout all the twists and turns and the subsequent g-forces. It had to be safe, strong and comfortable . Each component of the product had to be custom made to suit.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Frederic Galimard, 2015.
Country Patent Office document "date of registration/
#/ref" Design Design # term of patent expiry date Certificate
Australia IP Australia registration of design 18-Feb-15 362081 track section with connectors on right 10871/2015 5 years 18-Feb-20 1 certificate
Australia IP Australia registration of design 18-Feb-15 362079 track section shifted 10869/2015 5 years 18-Feb-20 1 certificate
Australia IP Australia registration of design 18-Feb-15 362077 track section 10867/2015 5 years 18-Feb-20 1 certificate
Australia IP Australia registration of design 18-Feb-15 362078 track section with attachment 108681/2015 5 years 18-Feb-20 1 certificate
Australia IP Australia registration of design 18-Feb-15 362080 track section with connectors on left 10870/2015 5 years 18-Feb-20 1 certificate
Australia IP Australia receipt 5-Feb-15 2015/10866 pulley pendi
ng pending pending pending
Canada Canadian Intellectual Property Office filing certificate 5-Feb-15 160851 pulley carriage and track sections pending pending pending pending
Europe Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) registration of design 5-Feb-15 002627224-0001/002627224-0006 pull
ey carriage and track sections 002627224-0001/002627224-0006 - - 6 certificates
US US Patent & Trademark Office receipt 5-Feb-15 29516676 carriage and track sections pending pending pending pending