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The Airplane Model project


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ARRRG - after carefully scaling the layout of the Airplane, I've discovered the possibility that the bents on the first drop/bottle necked curve and the first spiral may have been 19 feet wide instead of 18. On the Mission Beach Giant Dipper, most of the bents are 8'-0" o.c. wide. Around the turns on each end, they are 9'-0" o.c. (18'-0" for two paths). So we assumed that it was the same for the Airplane - but maybe not. If that's true, back to the drawing board! Consulting now and waiting for a reply.

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Wow - the calculations I came up with are correct. I suppose the bents are 6" wider than normal because of the intense nature of the spiral. Plus there are some other odd a-bit-off-normal areas needing examination. Progressing a little slower than I wanted to, but that's due to double checking and correcting. That's a GOOD thing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mapping out a difficult section - this is where 4 layers of tracks converge in to one corner. Next step is to build a rough mock-up of this section to study clearances and what posts need to be re routed so as not to go right through the middle of track.

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Just ordered my first bulk shipment of all the plastic pieces I need to build the bottleneck turn. 5,230 inches!! Should be here next week. This weekend, I'll attempt to start making a painting template, and then a bent-buiilding template so that when it gets here, I can begin. The complex painting scheme on this coaster requires me to paint the pieces first, then assemble. I'm excited!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

On 8/26/2012 at 4:20pm, the first bent begins to take shape. Interestingly enough, Bent 27 is banked 27 degrees at the top. One of uprights was exactly 14" tall (same as what the strips come in) so it didn't need any cutting!

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  • 4 weeks later...

The following series of photos shows step by step, the initial process of constructing a scale model of the Airplane. The plans for the layout are done as are the lateral elevation drawings. I'm still working on the bent-by-bent elevation drawings - I should be done with those between a month or two.

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An older mock up of "anycoaster USA" to test use of styrene plastic as a medium. When I build this, I planned using the scale 3/16 = 1' with 6" x 8" uprights. Since, I've learned the taller uprights are 4" x 8" and the shorter ones 4" x 6" and my scale has enlarged slightly, now at 1" = 5'.

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A casual observer would look at all the black and white photos of the Airplane and conclude that it was all white. As I discovered later, the airplane was actually multi-toned. There was MUCH discussion over what the colors actually were, some memories say it was yellow and green, some say it was cream and green, and there have been others. I tried cream and green (Dragon colors up to the 90's) as pictured.

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Color Test

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It made sense to me, that the Dragon coaster would be green, because - dragons are usually depicted as being green. I think of sky when I think of Airplane, so I chose blue and cream (similar to that of Rye's kiddie coaster).

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Because of the complex color scheme, I thought it would be easier to paint the pieces first.

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Here is my bent master which I will build my bent template. Each piece as excruciatingly measured and well placed on point. For those that might find this interesting, on Church coasters, (like this one and the Belmont Park Giant Dipper) the basic construction methods were the same. On all turn-around curves, the bents (for a single run) are 9'-0" o.c. (on center) and on tangents, 8'-0" o.c. So this bent would be a total of 18'-0" o.c. (or 3" and 19/32 actual).

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Basic upright and horizontal measurements for a Church Coaster.

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