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The Airplane Model project


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Hello -

 

My name is Tim Cole, I've been an ACE member for 33 years.

 

I'm looking for better source material for creating an accurate scale model of the classic "Airplane" coaster that once stood at Rye Playland.

 

I've built models of Belmont's Giant Dipper (3 variations) and one of the Traver Cyclone at Crystal Beach (1" = 9' scale)(Completed in 2002 after 4 years of research, planning, and building). My research included mostly photos from Richard Munch's 1982 publication "Harry Traver: Legends of Terror," plus a really good layout of the ride, reverse engineered by Randy Rasmussen.

 

My next project will be a 3/16" = 1' scale. So far the only materials I have for research are photos online or the "Legends of Terror" book, and You Tube). I've found the layout drawn by Randy Rasmussen in this case to be slightly inaccurate and have redone and redone and redone it to my satisfaction.

 

I've heard there are original plans floating around out there, but what I'm MOST interested in are just more photos of the coaster. If it can be Googled, or You Tubed, I've probably seen it. Any interesting trivia about altering the ride's structure through its 30-year history would be interesting too.

 

Final question, does anyone know the significance of the "code of arms" plaques (for lack of a better description) that are on the top of each post (pictured)? Other than for structural finishing purposes, I'm wondering what they stand for.

 

Thanks for any help!

Tim Cole

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What is the significance of the plaques? Someone suggested they could be old bi-plane insignias.

Edited by hillflyer
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If you have the NoLimits simulation program, Paul Drabek over at Negative-G made a pretty good recreation of the ride. CLICK, use CRTL+F or COMMAND+F to search for "Rye". It's buried on that page.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Me again! Hopefully I'll have an update on my model this weekend.

In the meantime, does anyone know off-hand any details about the Dragon station house? I'm trying to figure out if the ceiling boarder is octagon, hexagon, heptagon...etc. I can't quite tell from any photos or videos.

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Sunday May 6th, 2012 - Fortunately, I still have the box of modeling tools that I used when building the model of Harry Traver's Cyclone. My primary workspace will be my dining room table. It's nice and bright and has a good view of our courtyard and neighbors to spy on. I'll get a protective cover for the table that I can draw, cut, and build on.

 

I chose 3/16" = 1' because it allows me to attend better to detail (for which I am a stickler) and 1/4" = 1' was way too big and 1/8" was too small. Rich Munch suggested it be the same scale as my Cyclone (1" = 9') so that people can get a size comparison. 320

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The Airplane model's future building site.

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Thanks MoleMaster! I am excited about the project.

 

This is a longshot, but to everyone who might know anyone who might know:

 

Regarding my recreating the design for the Airplane station - The stations for the Dragon Coaster and the Airplane were similar to each other. In the photo below (taken in 1989), who can tell me the distance in footage between the main support posts? I tried 36', 30', 24', but not really statisfied with my results.

 

In the meantime, I will continue to guess until...

374

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Who can help me with telling me what the distance is between these two marked support posts?

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The first thing I did was dig my moth-eaten copy of Richard Munch's book Harry Traver: Legends of Terror book out of storage. I copied and enlarged all the photos that will help me in the initial step, recreating the layout. I also took snap shots of the videos on youtube and am finding some of those to be REALLY helpful.

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Got an answer to my question about the ornaments on the high points of the Aeroplane! For those that were curious as well, Lawrence McGowan writes:

 

In answer to your question on Cartouches of the Airplane Coaster, most of these decorative designs were African Art designed to grace the outside turns that faced the parking lot for people to view. It was only to decorate the ride in that era of Art Deco African Art which was in vogue of that day. I use to look at these decorations with the idea that they almost looked like Voo-Doo masks to ward away evil. So simply saying that the Cartouches were art accents for the ride in that vein of art of the era. No other significant meaning behind it all.

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I'd say make it like new myself- aging a project like this could be a nightmare from beyond- as in: Worse than a TOGO. Not to mention, many of the 'new generation' would not have been able to experience or know what something looked like from the golden age.

 

R.D.

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Here is the first draft of my layout for the Airplane. When it comes time to blow it up to scale, I'm sure I'll correct little flaws as I draw it out. The numbering system I used just to reference points with was as such: The lift hill was pre-hundreds, the first turn was 200's, the cool spiral was 300's and the back spiral (I call it the "Third Wheel" was 400's.

Anyways, I renumbered all the bents, any 'extra' ones I come across I'll label a, b, c, and so forth. So far I count 222 bents.

The station house I haven't finalized as I'm still figuring that one out. Few pieces of a puzzle that I can't make fit together. If there really are no other photos or movie clips of the inside, then I guess nobody can mark my model as being inaccurate! 656

 

 

 

'

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The first draft of my Airplane model coaster.

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That's pretty spectacular, I think.

 

I did remember that if you have a copy of "The Incredible Scream Machine" By Bob Cartmell, there were some decent pics in there of the Aeroplane. Sadly, I lost my copy in a fire about a decade ago- but you might want to dig up some pics from there as reference points.

 

R.D.

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That's pretty spectacular, I think.

 

I did remember that if you have a copy of "The Incredible Scream Machine" By Bob Cartmell, there were some decent pics in there of the Aeroplane. Sadly, I lost my copy in a fire about a decade ago- but you might want to dig up some pics from there as reference points.

 

R.D.

 

Thanks but no worries, I know of the book. There is one beautiful shot of the south side of the coaster that is also in the RollerCoaster! Volume 5 issue 4 along with other great shots not included in the Traver book.

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Wow, this part is a BEAR!! Coming out of a turn under the first drop...what I see down below doesn't match what I'm seeing in another photo on top! Arrrrgggg - I resorted to snapping stills of youtube, and printing them out and taping together. This should help...? 790

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Someone referred me to a site that has a 1954 aerial of the Airplane. I've printed it out, and now I'm studying angles and the exact placement of the turrets. I'm a little off on my last draft, since I have to do it again anyway..

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And the professional drawing begins. Here is the initial layout/reference lines for my model. Almost like when they put those orange stakes in the ground on a construction site. These determine where the spirals/turrets go which is vital for the rest of the design.

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The model will be made of styrene plastic supplied by Evergreen Plastics. It's available in many sizes for accurate lumber sizes, it's a little more sturdy (in terms of flexibility but I have to be careful about any bending), it's VERY light, and if I want a white coaster, I won't have to paint it! I built my Traver Cyclone of this material and never regretted it. Bent construction could start taking place in mid-July. I'm debating on building the bottleneck first, or the first spiral. That bottleneck could be more challenging so I might tackle that first.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for this information. Maybe I'll half bury a little hand somewhere in that area. LOL.

 

That was a problem that occured on the restored Belmont Park Giant Dipper. There was one spot where someone would smack their hand - this happened about once a month. One guy claimed he was an airforce pilot.

 

Returned from convention at Dollywood. Still working on drawings and more drawings before I start actual construction of the model. Hopefully the first bents will rise this month.

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1473339979_AeroplanePostcardColored.jpg.bf67dfda5151630e1fae7f06e3ec6475.jpg

Quick and dirty example of what color the coaster may have been.

The discussion is now on the color of the Airplane structure. Is there ANYONE who remembers the colors in the coaster's earlier days? Possibilities are: A mostly green structure with the main upright posts a rich cream (as hap-hazardley created in photo. I have someone who remembers it being dark beige. The trains are thought to have been green, and then red later. Any help of how we can find out what colors they were, please let me know! If I decide to depart from my original white concept, I will have to paint the structure as I build it, so by month's end I'll need to know. Thanks! 995
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I plan on going to the college library tonight to do some research. I'm looking for NYT articles published around the time Rye Playland opened. The San Diego Union had a whole special section in 1925 announcing the Memorial Day opening of the Mission Beach Amusement Center (now Belmont Park). They described practically the whole color palette of the park including mentioning that the roller coaster (Giant Dipper...just started construction at that time) would be painted all-white. Hopefully my research will reveal the original colors of the Airplane Dips coaster. 1009

 

Like the 1925 Belmont article, I hope I find rare photos of the Airplane coaster never seen since 1928.

 

Stay tuned....

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That's an excellent source of material- Microfilm of the NYT is an impressive sub-register to work with.

 

A thought occurs to me, though: Have you considered diving into the Rye planning district's files? I'd be curious to see/find out if they kept the planning records for that far back- and if so, would they be able to produce something.

 

R.D.

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