The concept

The Daredevil is a thrill ride boat designed to take the plunge over Niagara Falls with eight people on board. It would be equipped with a drag anchor chute to slow it down and shock-absorbing bumpers and seats for safety.

The background

This idea came from my friend Olivier Peraldi. He provides a lot of feedback on my concepts, and he suggested revising the ‘barrel jump down Niagara Falls’ concept by creating a craft that could safely take the plunge down Niagara Falls with people in it. I was hesitant to take this idea on, but I finally decided to take a swing at it. This is Olivier’s idea, so most of the design comes from him, along with Boris Schwarzer, who drew the rendering. We tried our best to come up with a cool, safe design, but there is still some work to be done, so your feedback is most welcome.

How it works

The Daredevil would be built out of a strong material, probably with Kevlar fibre. It would have seating for eight people including the pilot. A highly-resistant transparent canopy on the top of the vehicle would allow every passenger to see clearly throughout the ride. It would open up for boarding. A backup hatch would be located under the Daredevil’s hull.

The vehicle could be powered by an electric motor that could recharge on its way up and during boarding. (It could also be equipped with a conventional engine if necessary.) A bow thruster would help keep the craft properly aligned right up to the edge of the fall.

The shape of the craft will probably need to be studied and revised. We tried different scenarios, and we thought about including stabilizers that would deploy on the side to maintain the craft in a good position during descent (The weight distribution would also favor a nose down orientation.) The stabilizers would slow down the descent, but the Daredevil would also need a semi-rigid parachute or a drag anchor to slow down its descent as the craft would probably enter the water at 200 kph if it was not slowed down.

With the craft slowed down to a reasonable speed, we could concentrate on designing a front bumper on the craft that could absorb part of the impact. The passenger seats could also absorb another portion of the shock. Five-point seat belts would be mandatory, along with a helmet that could be fixed to the seat with a magnet to stabilize your head during descent.

What it’s used for?
Is there a market for such a craft? Yes, there is no doubt about that. Can it be designed to be safe, reliable, and exciting to ride? Most probably with current technology. We’ve tried to come up with a few ideas, and we’d like your input on how to improve the design to make it simpler, cheaper, and safer. It’s an idea that we’d love to see turn into a prototype.

The designer

I would like to thank Boris Schwarzer, who created the image for the Daredevil. Boris is based in Michigan, U.S.A., He went to the College of Creative Studies. He also created the images for the Rubix and the Joust.