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The Airplane Model project


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  • 2 weeks later...

The fastest project to come together is the lift hill track.

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The sticks I will use to make one 70' rail.

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Both rails are done. Pictured is 210 feet of track. Now to connect the ties.

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Ties are added...

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Track only temporarily placed on the lift because I just couldn't wait to see what it would look like

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I guess what it would look like as you begin to climb the lift (yes I know it's tilted :)

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AIRPLANE SCANDAL!!

 

ROLLER COASTER CONDEMNED BEFORE COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION!

 

San Diego~

A quality control inspector for the R.A.M.D. board has ceased construction of the long-anticipated Airplane roller coaster model and its property has been condemned until necessary repairs are made.

 

"A careful review of joint connections has found a shocking number of joints that have come unglued while in the construction process", says director of the project Tim Cole.

 

"The structure can take a good beating even during its own construction", said Cole, a 53 year old American Coaster Enthusiasts Member (since 1982). "I knew I was going to have to go back through and check for loosened connections, but I sure didn't expect so many to have come unglued!"

 

Unfortunately for Cole, the only poking and probing he's been involved in lately, has been testing each joint for security. Red tape markers are now being placed on areas that will need some re-gluing and probably some reinforcing. As of the taking of these photos, about 65% of this section has been checked and marked.

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The pull-out of the spiral has been added upon with new plastic strip tracking.

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The upper deck - the trains would be heading towards the camera after having left the mid-course brake. The bottom deck - the pull out of the spiral.

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After a recent trip to Los Angeles, I'm beginning to think of ways to transport the completed project. It won't be long before I have to decide because the plan involves breaking the coaster into three sections.

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I went back through the spiral and marked connections that needed to be re-glued. (see previous page)

The repairs process has turned in to another phase of the project. sigh

 

Now before I just go back and start re-gluing all the broken joints I thought it best to first realign the shape of the whole structure, making sure everything was straight is straight and everything round - round.

 

I placed three rows of chop sticks and sturdy plastic beams on the side of the rise to the spiral to soldier-up all the bents.

 

The top rim of the spiral was starting to widen out somehow so I used string, tape and a right angle to sort of squeeze it back together. That was NOT as easy to do as it sounds!

 

Since the track ultimately has to fit across all the ledger boards just right, I thought it to be an important component of the repair process.

 

The attentive follower will remember that the track was made so that it could be removed from the structure (for painting & detailing) so for now, tied the incomplete track down to the ledgers. This was also helpful in righting the rouge posts.

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I'm using chop sticks to soldier-up wavering bents. Note crooked bent that needs to be lined up straight with the upper right chop.

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You can barely see the right angle I'm using to help straighten up the spriral.

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I made plastic struts to encourage rouge posts back in to the footprint.

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Squaring it all before re-gluing snapped joints.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I am almost done with the spiral section of an abandoned Airplane coaster. Not quite done to be taking photos for an unveiling for it doesn't quite match the vision I had for a completed section. I decided last minute to build in the very wide circular pull out at the bottom of the spiral.

 

Plus I discovered some reprofiling that had to be done. Maybe next weekend I will have something. In the mean time, here is a sneak peek. Whaddya think?

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Starting construction of the curved pull-out area from the 60' tall spiral. I'll add this to make the section look more complete.

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The abandoned Airplane coaster

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Update -

 

The pullout area of the spiral (white) is confusing me in terms of exactly how high the track is off the ground. This new b&W frame capture arrived just in time to show me that I have to go back and do a little re-profiling here. Match the colored sticks for a reference. The brown grid would be the station floor.

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I spent some time on Sunday with attempting to splice together the spiral and the slingshot. To do that, I had to lift up the entire track structure for working room.

 

Then I merged the two sections together.

 

The only layer I brought back down is the subtrack so that I could continue to extend it. I got all that plus one side done!

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Before the splice

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Success with the splice

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The track was lifted and held way up to clearly align the two sections.

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Peeling apart the layers of track so I can continue extending it through the slingshot.

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Sub track done on the right track side.

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I wasn't sure how I was going to make the anti-roll backs. For a long time I was planning on using the rigid side up of a zip-tie. But I thought I'd take a shot at trying to just make them. I must say, I'm happy with how it turned out.

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MAKING THE GARAGE

 

When I don't feel like or can't work on the larger sections, I work on smaller projects, like pre-cutting, painting and other light work. In this case, I've been working on the garage that sits between the final brake run and the the middle of the ride.

 

So, here is my process for making the garage walls.

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I snip plastic strips (2x8s)

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I line the chopped pieces up inside of a right angle.

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As hard as I can, I push the slats all together to eliminate any gaps between the boards. I secure with tape. The plastic strip I'm holding down with my index finger is to keep the slats from buckling up with I'm pushing.

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Then I trim, line out the window, cut out the window, put trim around the window and paint.

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Insert walls into frame. Add window panels.

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Add more finishing trim from front to back

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Looking down the garage. You know, this would be a GREAT place to store batteries if I ever want to light this up.

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LESSON in the simple brake mechanics of the Airplane (really the Giant Dipper).

 

Since both were designed by the same man, I'm using a good educated guess as to how the brakes on the Airplane functioned. It was so simple. This is what goes on under the track.

 

This is a birds eye photo of the braking stretch going into the station on the right.

 

An unmanned brake is always set to the "ON" position. It takes manpower to adjust the brakes in order to allow a train to proceed through. The trains would come in from the left. As a train is approaching, the brake man pulls the red stick which swings a range of pivoted (red dots) boards (white) forward. That in turn brings the periwinkle board forward, thus moving the risers. When the risers move to the right, the orange brake sled lowers, allowing the train to pass. On the Giant Dipper, there was a 50 gallon drum filled with cement that hung from a cable which automatically brought the sled back up to the "on" position after the man releases the red stick.

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Personal View. This is how simple it used to be people. The only electrical power required was to run the motor. The brakes were not any more science than a pull lever on a kids go kart. Anyone ever notice that the more technologically advanced a roller coaster becomes, the more down time there is? Its ironic that a lot of this technology is required to make rides safer, when it also is a big contributor to the problems.

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MAKING FLAT CATWALK

 

Most wooden coasters don't bother to put cleats on catwalks where they lie horizontal.

 

To make those, I put three scaled 2x8's together, leaving a hair of a space between them. Then I tape every inch or so.

 

Then, I paint the untaped side.

 

To get in the cracks, I peel the three pieces, keeping them taped. This way, I can paint into the seams.

 

Then measure and cut, and glue.

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To make those, I put three scaled 2x8's together, leaving a hair of a space between them. Then I tape every inch or so.

 

Then, I paint the untaped side.

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To get in the cracks, I peel the three pieces, keeping them taped. This way, I can paint into the seams.

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On the Giant Dipper brakes, taking up most the room between the tracks, were two runs each made of 6 long laminated strips of 2x2' wood much like much of the track construction. The first photo is pre-restoration pictures of the Dipper's brake run, burned and painted over.

 

On the wood was laid three metal rails, the same material used for the metal rail on the tracks. These rails are what would make contact with the skids attached to the bottom of each car in the train.

 

For simplicity sake, I used three strips of 2x4s which yields the same visual result.

 

Underneath, I used 4x8s as ties to connect the two sides of rail. Under that, I placed the fin-looking strips I call "riders". These are what lower the track down and raises it back up to stop the train.

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On the Giant Dipper, taking up most the room between the tracks, were 6 long laminated strips of 2x2' wood much like much of the track construction.

 

On the wood was laid three metal rails, the same material used for the metal rail on the tracks. These rails are what would make contact with the skids attached to the bottom of each car in the train.

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Underneath, I used 4x8s as ties to connect the two sides of rail. Under that, I placed the fin-looking strips I call "riders". These are what lower the skids down and raises it back up to stop the train.

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Showing subtrack in the braking area.

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After the brake skid installation -

 

For simplicity sake, I used three strips of 2x4s which yields the same visual result.

Edited by hillflyer
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