Spotlight Projects:

The Hopper Engineering Associates team provides practical and exciting solutions to unique problems in several industries. To showcase our recent work we choose a project of the month. An archive of previous winners can be found here.

June 2014 Project:

Tracking and Rotating Drum Platform Roller Coaster
Tracking and Rotating Drum Platform Roller Coaster

Our client built a 127 foot long dual curved truss "roller coaster" which supports a tracking and rotating drum platform for a touring band to use during the drum solo portion of their live performances. We were requested to perform a structural engineering analysis of the system so that it may be used for their 2014 European tour. The trusses are hung from the venue roof structure and the drum platform travels along the trusses via motorized gears. The drum platform rotates a full 360 degrees about a horizontal axis.


We used the data provided by the client via drawings, CAD files, pictures and videos of the system in operation to create structural models of the track trusses, rotating platform and electronics caboose in a computer software program in order to assess the structural integrity of the system. Several models were created representing the various orientations of the system. Dead, live, moving and dynamic loads were applied to these models to determine that all structural elements are within their allowable limits. A final report was issued to the client as well as PE stamped drawings for their use in getting the system approved based on European rigging standards.

HEA has completed numerous jobs similar to the one shown above (Similar Projects)