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The Airplane Model project

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Still test fitting the lift hill, it's tricky getting thee crossovers matched up exactly right.


I was stumped trying to get the interior upper and lower diamonds to match up just right. You can see how the points don't line up right. Twi different stories from three different sources. Closer inspection of a photo revealed that the middle row of diamonds are squished in a little bit.


If this were to be rebuilt, this model would be a good tool to show how this ride is really beefed up structurally. That's why I'm trying to replicate every single detail.



The wayward diagnol board shows how the diamonds don't match up.


So I had to take out a whole row of diagnol boards and squish in an extra row.


Matching up a cut/off lift hill post with the header over track below.

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Before I start going through each of the three sections and start detailing them and "locking things down" to its permanent surface, I thought I would piece everything together and match it up/adjust with the real photo to help compare lines....


While I had the whole thing sort of assembled, I took advantage of some photo opportunities.


The real one


Pieces of the model in place...sort of


I scrutinize the real photo and the model photo to catch any inconsistencies. I am not OCD, thought some might argue. Just passionate.



Since I scrapped my last attempt to build the station house, I thought I might build the track on the structure first, and then build the station around it as it's attached to this section.


They call it the Airplane, so this is my wings shot.

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Ah, grab a seat and I'll tell you about the colors. Traver's CB Cyclone was my first model using the white styrene plastic. I wanted my model to remain white, but I also wanted to make it look like an iron frame since thats what it had, so I painted it silver. Sort of regretted that.


When I chose to make the Airplane, I was looking forward to having an all-white structure, but heavy investigating photographs revealed that even as it was being built, it was a two-toned structure. One of my consultants lives near the park and his family's consensus is that the structure was green with cream supports. When I rode the Dragon in 1989, that was the same color scheme.


I could have been creative with the colors. If you look back towards the beginning you can see it started out to be blue but I changed my mind right quick.


They say I should have used a park bench green but I didn't think the contrast was that strong so I chose a tint where the gray shades would be proportionate to the photos. Also i thought the weathering would stand out more against a lighter structure. I recently found a color movie of the ride. It shows that it was all white at one point. But photos of it being torn down suggest once again that it was two-toned. .


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While researching the crossover designs on the second spiral, I was stumped. I thought I was getting different messages from different photos. The circles/lines show the same particular header in question. It seems to depart from the uniform lines of the frame and go diagonal a wee bit. I figured I’d have to figure out why while recreating the structure.


So it appears that the header board is diagonal so that it carries the load down through the closer post to the ground, rather than pull down the post above. I think I learned something!


Just another important detail.



The bottom black line breaks direction on the left.



So it appears that the header board is diagonal so that it carries the load down through the closer post to the ground, rather than pull down the post above. I think I learned something!

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Hey, good work as always!


How much does it weigh now? Can you lift it on your own or do you need to break it down into sections to carry it?


Good question. Each section is practically light as a feather! I can carry one section up on one hand, just like a waiter carrying a tray of food. Super light. That will change once mounted on its permanent base. (Note to self, invest in a back brace)


Later, I might put a picture of me holding two sections each in one hand. Let's hope it won't be too windy.


A train of happy people riding down the 2nd spiral.


Waiting for a train of happy people.

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I was hoping to get away with it, but a friend and consultant pointed out that I had the banking wrong going down Happy Hump up into the internal fan curve. I didn't want to fix it as I thought it would be a nightmare and I'd get ghoulish results.


But he pushed and he's right. So the photos below show the destruction of the old flat dip and the new ledgers in place for the more accurate one.


I was going to try and leave the bents in and just alter the ledgers, but then it WOULD have come out tacky so I just removed that section all together.


HACK! HACK! Cut the track. This was like cutting off a finger.


Since this will be a model of a defunct coaster undergoing restoration, I can use this discarded piece of track as part of that work.


New bents are rebuilt and stacked alongside their new home.


Happy new bents stand in a straight line proudly.


I temporarily placed the old track back where it was so you can see the difference in the new profile, it's lower and more banked. I cannot reused the track, its shape won't conform to the new path so I need to rebuild the track here. Reminds me of when they bridged over that double dip on Colossus.


The Belmont Park Giant Dipper and the Airplane had the exact same track style.

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I had forgotten all about this. As I was cleaning out Dennis' and my storage unit and going through old files I stumbled across this from 2002. The coffee shop on my corner has changed hands a few times, going from The Other Side (End sic), then Filter, now Young Hickory.


My intention while building this particular model was to donate it to the National Roller Coaster Museum which was nothing but talk back then. But finally in 2012 the museum came to fruition at Dollywood. Last I know, that's where the model is. If not, I have no idea where it is now.


The same is planned for my model of the Airplane which is why it's as accurate as I can make it.



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Except for the tiny details (cartouches, handrailings, gooseneck lamps) i'm pretty much finished with this section. After thithis, I will continue to work in permanently securing the top of the lift to the bottleneck, as well as start on the new station house.







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Been following this project for quite some time. I really admire your patience and dedication, and it looks fantastic!


Thanks, I've enjoyed EVERY SECOND making this. Coming soon: Permanently affixing the lift hill and then attaching the 1st spiral onto a pre-landscaped base and start putting up the station house!

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Not much to report, I had a busy week. I've been working mostly on lining up this cross under and started layering track. I've going back and forth between this section and prep work I need to do before installing the lift hill. Oh, and there's a photo of me and my serious face working at the coffee shop.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Project stalled indefinitely. Out of funds, out of glue, nearly out of materials for the first time in three years. While a few people have been following this thread, it doesn't seem like there is a whole lot of interest in this model anyway, so perhaps it's just as well if it doesn't get done. Feeling sad and poor.


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I read every update! Been following this thread since day one. I think many have interest though don't comment. I feel the same way on my park sometimes, it's easy to get discouraged though the final product is always worth it! You should try crowdfunding, I'm sure tons of people who don't get to see this thread would have tons of interest.

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Im constantly following this thread, you can't give up. The project is amazing and it needs to be finished, It looks like your so near the end, I hope you manage to get more materials so you can continue your incredible work

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