Superman - Ultimate Flight
Mounted between the yellow rails on the right side of the picture is the coaster's first trim brake. Situated after the first drop and before the Pretzel Loop, it consists of just a single pair of pads that can squeeze together to slightly slow the train as it whizzes by. The single brake doesn't have enough stopping power to bring the train to a complete stop, but if necessary, it can reduce the train's speed if sensors detect that a train is moving faster than a pre-programmed value.
The brake assembly is mounted in two holes cut in the track's spine. If you look carefully, you can find these holes cut in many B&M coasters. Because you can slow down a gravity-coaster, but it is hard to speed it up after it leaves the lift hill, it is easier to design a slightly faster ride than needed and take a little speed away with a trim brake than it is to redesign an entire ride if it is too slow to consistently make it back to the starting point! After the ride is built, it is sometimes determined after testing that the trim brakes aren't needed, so there are a few rides around that have the places to mount brakes but nothing is attached.
©2014 Joel A. Rogers.