Apocalypse Drayton Manor

Travel to dizzying heights of 53m then free fall in a floorless gondola


Drayton Manor’s Apocalypse is the tallest free fall tower in the UK at the present time. It is also the only current free fall stand-up tower with outward tilt in the UK and has been voted as The UK’s Scariest Ride by Channel 5’s The Gadget Show.

ASP conducted a complete design review, initial test and assessment of conformity design, applying our full process as described above. ASP was able to use our experience with all previous Amusement Devices as a firm basis for this review although notable differences included the passive Magnetic Braking system, which required analysis of Electromagnetic Flux variations resulting from Electrical storms and the possible effects on braking.

The analysis of the complex slender steel track structure and the provisions for maintenance and evacuation presented a challenge, which was successfully met by our engineering team.

The manufacturer’s recommendations for ongoing inspection and maintenance were checked in detail against both the design loadings and loadings derived from measured test data from the vehicle. This check is undertaken using 3 dimensional FE modelling. These results are combined using a 3D analysis with the predicted or measured acceleration data to produce a stress time history for a given location of interest. Once done, this is cycle counted and checked for design life using either BS 7608 or EN 1991.

Our lifetime predictions often differed from the assumptions made by the German DIN standards, and in some locations led to the need for detailed fracture mechanics calculations to justify the manufacturer’s recommended inspection regime. We undertook the calculations to appropriate British Standards and provided recommendations to the Controller on inspection frequency.

We undertook a detailed electrical and control system assessment that was fully integrated into our review methodology. This made it easy for the for controls on hazards identified to be followed through the drawings and schematics and to ensure that they were suitably followed up on conformity assessment and tests witnessed to ensure that the final system implementation was protected as the design intended.