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This is something I forgot to post in the Hersheypark post but felt it needed to be added. So put back on your "Hersheypark hats" and enjoy this splendid picture of sooperdooperLooper naked (by that I mean it is not covered in Great Bear)

 

Wow, what a sweet shot. SDL looks all Revolution-like.

 

BTW I rode it –SDL – this summer for the first time in many years. It was so wonderful to sit down in a roomy Schwarzkopf train, pull down a simple ratcheting lap bar and be dispatched.

 

I miss the past ...

 

-Scott

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Thanks RIP Cyclone. I was wondering when you would chime in. I always like reading your comments! Oh Boy have I got some good stuff coming up. Sometimes I want to just post it all but I must stretch it out to last an entire season and possibly for a third season.

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VEKOMA

 

Back in the 70's there were two major suppliers of steel coasters; Arrow Dynamics and Schwarzkopf/Intamin. Sometime in the 80's a new company, named Vekoma, came onto the scene. They had a license agreement with Arrow to design and build their rides in Europe. They used Arrow trains and designed and built a longer, transportable version of the Corkscrew. Then they started to do variations to come up with more compact designs. They were moderatly successful with several installations across Europe.

 

Then they hit the Jackpot! Again nothing new or original but a variation on Arrow's & Schwarzkopf's shuttle loop design, they called it the "Boomerang" The Boomerang was an instant success and the rides started popping up all over the world.

 

The first Boomerang to come to the States was the Sea Serpent at Mariner's Landing. The early rides are known for their roughness and somewhat boring layouts. I find it funny that of all the three major steel coaster companies Vekoma is the one that survived.

 

This is a look back at the early years of Vekoma and the rides they produced. You will see fliers, stats and models of their portable Corkscrew coasters and the original flier for the Boomerang. There is some other good stuff thrown in there also.

 

After looking at all this old stuff I am glad to see the direction Vekoma is going in now. I think they finally realized that their rides were rough and when compared to other rides (B&M, INTAMIN) the GP don't really like to re-ride the rough coasters.

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The following year it sported a different paint job.

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The original model on display at the IAAPA convention

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I believe they only sold two of these models, one is in Japan and the other is in Belgium (pictured)

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The Vekoma suspended coaster was no where as good as Arrow's version!

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the following year they had a couple up and running so they could use an actual photo of the ride

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The original flier for the Boomerang. Notice it was only a rendering the actual shots are from one of their corkscrew coasters

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Parachute tower model at the IAAPA trade show.

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The not as successful variation of the Boomerang was the Invertigo. They didn't sell as many but it is a much better ride.

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an old Vekoma newsletter

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Wow, it is pretty funny how out of Arrow, Schwarzkopf, and Vekoma, Vekoma was the only one to succeed... They did have to file bankruptcy a couple times though, correct?

 

Were all of the SF Giant Wheels built by Vekoma?

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Were all of the SF Giant Wheels built by Vekoma?

 

Vekoma 50 meter Giant Wheels operating in North America include:

 

SFKK

Darien Lake

Moreys Piers

La Ronde

Navy Pier

 

As far as Six Flags goes, the double wheels that once operated at SFMM and SFAW as well as the Triple Wheel at SFGAm were all Intamins. SFGAd's Big Wheel is a Schwarzkopf design that was purchased used by Mr. Leroy from a large Flower Exhibition/Fair in Germany. It's the same model as the Schwarzkopf Wheel at Cedar Point.

 

-Mark

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I do love Vekoma...

 

That model of the Whirlwind got me wondering if it was originally designed to run two trains since there is a storage track in the model. I've only ridden the now defunct one at Knoebels, but I don't think I've seen pictures of any other Whirlwind with 2 trains, either.

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I´m Shoked!! All that Vekoma Information is like Gold!!

 

I need to know something, if someone can help me.

 

The Picture of the boomerang coaster, shows a model that maybe opened in 1984.

 

The only Boomerang coaster that opened that year and at the date, there´s no picture available, is the one located at Puebla, México.

 

I was wondering if that boomerang is picture is of the one that was located at Puebla, because the colors of structure and train, are the same of the Boomerang relocated at Reino Aventura (Now Six Flags Mexico).

 

Any information that helps to find a picture of the Boomerang at Puebla will be apreciated!

 

Thanks!

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I do love Vekoma...

 

That model of the Whirlwind got me wondering if it was originally designed to run two trains since there is a storage track in the model. I've only ridden the now defunct one at Knoebels, but I don't think I've seen pictures of any other Whirlwind with 2 trains, either.

 

WOW, great eye. I went back and looked at the pictures of the Whirlwind model and figured out that they are from two different years. The first picture clearly shows a transfer track and two trains on the model. The second picture is from a later year and both the transfer track and the second train have been removed from the model.

 

They must have planned on selling the ride with two trains and then decided it was more of a one train ride.

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The following year the transfer track has been removed and only one train, which is now red, is on the lift.

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Here you can see the transfer track and two green trains on the ride. One in the corkscrew and one in the station.

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I actually remember riding Vekoma's Canyon Trip at Morey's Piers. It was a strange ride ... never inverted, but still had OTSRs. I think it only lasted a season or two, if I'm not mistaken.

 

YES! I remember the Canyon Trip at Moreys as well! I never rode it as I was about 5 or 6 at the time, but its image, and horrible noise that it made, are something I never forgot.

 

There was a ride down at Busch Gardens Europe (back when it was Williamsburg) called Gladiators Gauntlet. That was also a Vekoma Canyon Trip.

 

This thread is awesome Shane; keep it up!

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I rode that Gladiator's Gauntlet at Busch Gardens. It was in the Italian section.

 

I loved that ride, I thought it was a cool fit and quite a spectacular ride to watch. It was really fun to see the other half of the platform split away from you then come rushing back at you.

 

Not sure how long this ride was at the park or why it was removed. Anyone have the story?

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Arrow Dynamics presents...

The Legend of the Loch Ness Monster

 

Today in Shane's Retro VCR is an early video from Arrow Dynamics.

 

Probablly the 2nd best know coaster of the early steel coaster revolution was the Loch Ness Monster.(the first, of course, was the Revolution) Arrow Dynamics first venture into the custom coaster arena wa a huge hit and to this day is still one of their best creations. That fact should probablly be credited to Busch Gardens for keeping it running so well over the last thirty years.

 

Here is a promotional video that Arrow used at IAAPA to sell custom coasters. The video was given personally to me by Ron Toomer. Each year as I attended the IAAPA convention as a child I would stop by the Arrow booth and watch their videos. As they were packing up their booth at the end of the show, I passed by and Ron pulled me aside. He noticed my facsination with the rides and he slipped me a copy of this video and also one for the Big Bad Wolf. He sometimes takes a beating in the coaster community for his "bent hanger" designs, but what a great guy his is!

 

The Loch Ness Monster has my favorite inverted elements...the interlocking loops. It is too bad that this element is underutilized today. There is nothing more visual on a coaster than to see two trains pass through interlocking loops at the same time. Enjoy these great slow motion shots of the Loch Ness Monster and in a couple of days the Big Bad Wolf.

 

-Shane

 

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Loch Ness is such a timeless ride. The Lair is the only part of the course that doesn't work (for me). I wish Arrow would've added something a bit more thrilling like a couple of speed bumps (like the old GA Turn of The Century clones) through the woods before the second lift.

 

My fav part of that vid -- besides the multiple shots of trains in the loops together -- was that rockin' 70s Shaft/porn flick soundtrack!

 

Hey, I think I saw myself in one of those clips!

 

And Shane, I agree that Ron T. is a great guy. I've known him for years. I actually got a great interview with him last fall where he talks about a number of things including Arrow's failed Flying Turns and taking over Big Bad Wolf for our other pal, Anton.

 

I'm preparing my first post from Season II of The Closet!

 

-Scott

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