The latest report on the delayed opening of the new Mach Tower ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg suggests that a fault with the ride's brakes is not the cause.
BGWFans.com reports that the failure to properly install shock absorbers at the base of the ride's tower may have led to the delay. The shock absorbers are designed to reduce the impact on the ride's vehicle of dropping down the 246-feet-tall tower, and their absence is claimed to have to led to damage to the vehicle's undercarriage.
Mach Tower, a 246-feet-tall drop tower ride, was originally scheduled to open by May 28, 2011. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is believed to be waiting for a replacement vehicle from Italian manufacturer Moser Rides before testing can recommence, with the ride unlikely to open until July 4 at the earliest.
Mach Tower's seats will rotate as the guests ascend the tower, providing panoramic views of the entire park before they plummet at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour back down to the ground below. Busch Gardens Williamsburg has promised that riders will experience some "surprises" when they reach the top of the tower, although the nature of these has not yet been confirmed.
Reports had previously suggested that the magnetic brakes which slow down Mach Tower's vehicle at the end of the ride may have malfunctioned, resulting in the damage. However, this seems unlikely to have been the case with similar braking mechanisms performing reliably in other drop tower attractions around the world.
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