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The Airplane Model project


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Fred Church was a master coaster designer in his day. Here is a rough rendering of his typical joint connections on bents that you can find on the BP Giant Dipper as well as the Airplane. Having hand's on experience with Church's work makes it easier to spot such intricaticities.

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Timothy Cole

Total: 8 bents, all temporarily erect (and crooked I know) because I can't wait to see something actually come to form. Next is some paint touch-up, then...I'll let you in on a little secret related to laying track...after that, I duplicate this procedure on 9 more bents and the first curve/bottleneck section will be completed!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a little update.

 

I've decided I was getting a little too ahead of myself and putting myself under too much self-imposed pressure to get something built.

I've found that constantly going back over my plans and compare then to several photos, doing a little reprofiling here and a little rebanking there will yield even better than expected results. Never before have I been such a stickler to detail and accuracy that I would go back and make corrections.

 

Even with the part I've built (and will build over) I discovered a discrepancy of about 1/8 inch in one small area.

 

I'm about to start my THIRD attempt to start building.

 

Stay tuned...

1556

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought this photo would hold you over until the next big construction shot. Here is a little construction shot of ledger building. I make these when I have only a little time to spare. I get about 4 or 5 per hour produced.

 

Trivia: The difference between the Airplane ledgers and those on the Belmont Giant Dipper, the latter has four connecting "points, looking like a squished "X" (see red arrow). One main horizontal ledger and one superelevated one that supports the track.

 

On the Airplane, the two ledgers only attache at three points so it looks like a "y" rather than an "X"

 

1665

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is the very beginning of the catwalk assembly. Next step is painting...THAT is going to be hard because I'm aiming for a weathered grayish look. I don't think the catwalks were ever painted, at least not from what I can find.

 

As of 11/29, I'm still thinking as to how to make the catwalk appear as if most of its paint had worn off.

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Edited by hillflyer
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This is my pallet for all the horizontal and vertical pieces that will link all the uprights (bents - see previous photo) together. The ones south of (and on) the blue line are ribbon boards for the outer, center, and inner uprights. Church used 2" x 6".

 

On version one of the model (Now in my salvage bin), I started placing the ribbon boards on one bay at a time meaning that I was trying to join two horizontal pieces on a vertical surface only 1/16" wide. That made it way too fragile, so now I have one long ribbon to cover three bays at a time. They are scored so they will bend at each post. Holds together much better that way and it saves a TON of time!

 

The ones north of the blue line are the diagonal pieces (that make up the diamond shaped criss-crosses) which were 2" x 4"s. That's different from the Giant Dipper which used 4"x 4" lateral cross bracing. It was considered that the Airplane's diagonals may have been only decorative as the 2" x 4"'s don't offer all that much support (according to a civil engineer). The longer ones are scored so I can bend/snap off pieces as I need them.

 

The white areas are where I had to sand off the paint for proper cementing.

1888

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Here is a cut-away drawing of Fred Church's patten for laying wooden coaster track. There were lots of 2 x 2's used, especially around the turns. The tangent areas, 2 2 x 8's were stacked in place of the 8 2 x 2's.

 

This type of track was used on the Dragon and its former neighbor, the Airplane. It's very rare, but this style of track can also be seen on both San Diego and Santa Cruz Giant Dippers, the Puyallup's Coaster, and maybe one or two others. I'm working on a system in install each layer of track. What I have so far, I'm quite excited with the results. More on that soon. 1946

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This accuracy you are going for is absolutely fantastic! Keep up the good work!

 

Thanks. I do intend on taking some shortcuts for efficiency and materials and patience supply, but I'll try to have it look the same. Drawing of my short cut to be seen next.

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Yesterday I posted a rendering of a cut-away section of track used on Church coasters. Here is my revamped rendering for building it in miniature. You can see I'm using some shortcuts, because even my patience can only go so far. The sticks next to the dime are to show you an example of how thin these pieces are.

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Those of you who have been following remember that after I constructed the 17 bents that make up the 180 degree first curve, I clipped them all in half in order to have easier access to lay the track on the two lower runs. See (11/21/12).

 

This is the first time those lower halves have been placed in their permanent position.

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Edited by hillflyer
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An inside view of 123.75 degrees of the 180 degree first turn, now strung together with horizontal ribbons and some lateral diagonals. This also happens to catch my initial testing of how to lay the first layer of sub track, true to Fred Church’s patented design.

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Edited by hillflyer
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Fred Church had this particular design patented right before construction of San Diego's Giant Dipper.

 

An improvement patented by Church, patent US # 1741286 "Laminated construction for roller coaster tracks" filed 5/1925 and issued 12/1929 uses multiple layers of square stock for laminations in the track layers (Panel 12). The square stock allows bending in both lateral and vertical planes. The upper layers are still boards, since they must function as upstops.

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The pieces I’m using to make up the sub track are scaled 2 x 2’s which, in actual measurement, is 1/32” x 1/32”. Yipes. So I took eight sticks (the standard laminate width is 8 pieces), taped them together at one end, and drew marks in 2’ increments all the way down. Then, I threaded them up through a loom that I made (see the clips?). Then I keep one stick in place and pull the others down 2’. Then I pulled 6 sticks down two more feet, then I pull 5 down two feet…and so on and so on to get that staggered effect. Not as easy as it looks or sounds, trust me.

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