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Coaster Kingdom: Tell us a bit about the history of KMG. Was there life before the Afterburner?

Bas Derkink (KMG): “KMG stands for Kermis Machinebouw Gaasendam, which in English means ‘Gaasendam Fair Attraction Construction Company’.

“Gaasendam is the surname of founder Isje Kroon’s wife. Isje started KMG about 17 years ago when he built a backflash for a Dutch showman’s Huss Breakdance. Isje has always been into building things himself and travelling all over Europe with self-built and fabricated rides like a Schwarzkopf Blitzer. His father and uncles were also into the business that built Ferris Wheels.

Kroon's former Miami Trip

The Tropical Trip, the design of which was stolen by one of KMG's engineers. Image: Miami Madness

“When he completed the backflash for the Breakdance (which was a unique design by building up the backflash and floor together), he got more jobs to build for others and to build his first Miami ride.

“He got several engineers which drew and calculated the ride for strength. The ride was very popular from the beginning but as Isje was just alone with one or two employees, he could only build three Miamis a year.

“Also due to this and some other struggles, he did not protect his copyright and design so one of the engineers went away with the drawings. What followed was a lot of Miamis being built in the UK; not all too good. Until now about 28 Miamis have been built by KMG.

“The next ride was the Discovery, a huge ride (45 tons) on only one semi-trailer and being set up in an hour and a half! There were five of these rides built. More employees were hired and new rides were developed.

“First there was the Move-It 32, the only one built. The ride was unique in its kind and on three semi-trailers. Again, the ride can be built up in 2 hours if needed due to a very smart build up system.

“This smart building up of rides has always been the keyword for KMG rides. And during this period smaller versions of the Move-It were developed (18-person and 24-person version; later built under licence by Tivoli for the USA market).

“In 1998 the first new swing was developed; up to then all swing rides had three properties which were ignored by KMG. All the swings were driven by a wheel on the bottom of the ride. Due to this, all rides of this kind were enclosed (causing many people to get sick easily). Also due to the drive wheel, the swing could not go much higher than 90-degrees from vertical.

KMG Afterburner

The Afterburner turned out to be a success, which we did not expect  

“From that moment on, KMG developed its first Afterburner ride with three sensational improvements: The ride seats had a very open structure with suspended seats, with dangling feet. This was possible due to driving the swing from the top; the swings pivot point.

“This was also one of the first rides with the use of frequency inverters. With this, AC motor control was never so easy, and made it possible to drive a swing with much less power. So the motors were smaller and the swing could be higher. 120-degrees to be precise.

“The Afterburner turned out to be a success, which we did not expect. The 24-person model on two semi-trailers was a huge success and after building 30 rides, the market dropped and we found out that the ride was just too expensive for a lot of people.

“After Fabbri from Italy said they could build their Afterburner 24 ride on only one trailer (which turned out to be a disillusion for many showman who bought the ride with this belief), KMG decided to show Fabbri how to build an Afterburner ride on one transport.

“The Freak Out was again a success, and just before the dollar crashed, KMG had sold already twelve models of this 16-person ride on the Gibtown exhibition in Florida.

“Up to now more than 73 Afterburner type ride have been build either in a 16, 20, 24 or 32-person version. 

“In the later years, KMG has also developed some other spectacular rides like the Experience (7 rides), Tango (6 rides), Waltzer (1 ride), X-factory (3 rides) and the easy version of Fabbri’s Booster ride; the Speed (12 rides)”

KMG Ride Profiles
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Coaster Kingdom Magazine


Issue 19: Jun 2006

Issue 19
King of the Kermis
Coaster Kingdom interviews Bas Derkink from KMG

Open Mic - Phil Arris
Travelling Coasters
Phil Ariss looks at how travelling coasters have changed over time in Open Mic

In The Picture
In The Picture
Click to enlarge image