So we all have the stats on the top ten fastest coasters in the world. The question that I have been curious about lately is Which coaster maintains the highest speed throughout the whole circuit of its ride? Sure it is impressive to hit a top speed of say 128 mph like Kingda Ka, but what coaster maintains its speed the most???
It's tough from the perception of a rider to gauge actual speed, as many coasters are built in such a way (themeing, location, etc) to enhance the sense of speed. MF does indeed seem to keep up a blistering pace thru out most of the ride, all the way up until the brake run, but MF starts out at such a high speed (and great height) and therefore has a lot more energy to expend from the get-go. I-305 is a similar coaster speed-wise, but the huge trim brake before the last camel back kills a lot of the energy.
My guess is coasters that are most likely to maintain speed (of those that are gravity-driven and not launched, since launches could cheat out the problem of being able to keep speeds up, like the Volcano at KD) the best are those that are:
non-inverting (as I would think that inversions, especially loops, would tend to cause more friction and loss of energy)
built on perfectly flat land (so that the terrain doesn't work for or against gravity in places, unless the coaster has its lift hill at the end, like Ninja at SFMM, and then terrain can help enhance the descending speed)
steel (as woodies naturally have more friction, hence the need for a 2nd lift hill on the Beast)
coasters with no mid-course trim brake (or one that barely does anything to slow down the ride)
So, basically, this would be mostly coasters that are steel non-looping hypers with no mid-course brake run.
Of course, there are other factors, such as ways that the track can be designed to "milk" more energy of of the initial drop, and give the illusion of continued high speed. The Voyage is IMO a great example of those two things.
As for stats of top speed, if you remove the launched coasters (which "cheat" in being able to keep up speed, though none of those have more than one launch), you do get basically what I said - non-looping steel hypers. But, for overall high speed, I'd suspect that list would have to lose Phantom's Revenge because of the terrain it sits upon.
* This post was modified at 10/26/13 8:22:36 PM *