The Skysled is the new ultimate ride for a maxed-out adrenaline rush! It consists of a pod that is launched through the air that would allow riders to experiment a burst of speed, a brief moment of weightlessness, and a landing assisted by retro boosters.
The Skysled concept was proposed to me last November by William Russel, a young mechanical engineer from the University of Southern California. I really liked the idea because it reminded me of the Daredevil and Sfear Mountain concepts, so I asked Eren Birben, an Automotive Industrial Designer from Ottawa, to start working with us on the renderings of this extreme theme park ride.
How It Works
The launching pad would be able to move around like a normal truck when it’s travelling from one location to another. When it reaches its destination, the pad would ground itself and enter the launching mode. The Skysled would rest on an electromagnetic rail designed to launch the pod into the air.
Powering magnets able to launch such a heavy object at a considerable speed obviously would require a big source of energy. The oversized launch pad could house many highly-efficient batteries that could recharge with solar or wind energy or with a power grid connection.
To fire the Skysled into the air, the ramp would deploy and it’s computer would calculate the trajectory to make sure the landing zone is optimal based on wind conditions, weight, balance, etc.
Four passengers would be able to access the Skysled with deployable stairs and seat themselves in the pod. The four chairs would be equipped with a security harness, and there would be airbags inside the cockpit as well as an emergency parachute as an extra safety measure.
The top part of the pod would be made with a heat-resistant and shock-resistant transparent canopy to protect the passengers while giving them a breathtaking view in-flight.
The back of the pod would be designed to store the fuel reserve for the rocket boosters. At approximately 66 percent of the distance into its parabolic flight, the Skysled’s AI would activate its jets to slow itself down. The Skysled would land safely just like a Xaero rocket from Masten Space System. A shuttle could pick up passengers and the pod could be reused on site with a second launcher.
In an era where entertainment is blossoming and the search for new ways of getting the biggest boost of adrenaline is increasing, the Skysled would be a strong contender for would-be space tourists. What would be cooler than to soar hundreds of feet in the air and experiencing a landing similar to a Crew Dragon?
I would like to thank William Russell, who had the original idea for the SkySled and Eren Birben, who created the graphic renderings of this extreme ride. Eren obtained his Master’s degree in Design from the Instituto Europeo di design, and he lives in Ottawa, Canada.