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Arrow Loop Height


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I think a majority of them are the same size, as Vortex's 2 loops are almost the same, just the 2nd one is moved down lower to have similar momentum going through it.

 

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Vortex's 2 loops

 

I figured when Toomer was designing their coasters, he just took the calculations he did for the loop and kind of did a RTC-style insert in the course of the track, so he didn't have to recalculate the loop diameter. Easy way out I guess.

 

The only one that I know of that Arrow actually did completely different was their last looping roller coaster, Tennessee Tornado. That shows the direction Arrow was going before they sadly became bankrupt. We could of possibly had a successor to Drachen Fire too.

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There is no way all Arrow loops have the same shape and/or the same height. For instance, Demon (CGA)'s 2 loops have drastically different shapes that not only can be seen, but the first loop feels much different than the second loop while riding the Demon. Most Arrow loops have a similar shape and a similar short height, but they aren't the same.

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A thing I noticed, is Arrow has less ties for the track on more complicated structures. I noticed, by looking at SFMM Viper's corkscrews and seeing that all the ties are evenly space close together, but will in line for Silverwood's Corkscrew, I noticed that when the track connects to the complicated lattice support structure, the ties went to a spacing of every other tie.

 

Some Arrow coasters had their track ties doubled early on.

Before:

 

After:

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(There are pictures of Turn of the Century with the added track ties, which can be found at GreatAmericaParks.com)

 

The 3 biggie 7 loopers had each of their 3 vertical loops reinforced after the first few years. Angle supports between track ties were put in on the top section of each loop:

 

Before:

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After:

556403_197737200351920_1200890745_n.jpg

 

I remember the year Shockwave at Great America opened. Maintenance and the ride crew were talking about how Arrow was telling the park not to run it with out the trim brake, but they wanted to keep the ride fast. The trim didn't even touch the trains for at least part of that first year. The corkscrews would shake back and forth after a train went through - very cool and freaky to see! The trim was soon turned on (as far as I know) permanently.

Edited by GayCoasterGuy
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^Just for clarification, do you mean the post-loop trim or the block brake? Shockwave has always interested me as it left before I made it to SFGAm (my home park). Also missed out on GASM by one year, so I guess these Arrow 7-loopers like to elude me. How was Shockwave?

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^The post loop trim was never installed on Shockwave. I know Great American Scream Machine at Great Adventure and Viper at Magic Mountain (Shockwave's siblings) had the brake installed; Shockwave had conduit and brackets installed for the brake - then they never added the actual brake! (Similarly, the park never installed a trim brake on Iron Wolf before the corkscrew; look at pictures, there is still an empty spot for a trim there.)

 

I was referring to the block brake. Those first couple months, the train flew right through. It was comical to see the trains go through the corkscrews that fast.

 

Same deal with Steel Phantom at Kennywood; during ERT the first year, they didn't use the brakes (at night) as to not disturb the neighbors. It was cartoon-fast. I remember the ride was very rough, but with no trims you were so stuck to the seat there wasn't a chance for headbanging. And that lone corkscrew shook like Shockwave's as well.

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They started experimenting a little bit with Tennessee Tornado. Was this their only large loop?

 

There is also a much smaller, but similar looking loop on one of their loopers in Kuwait. The support structure is very similar, although the loop must be about the same size as Arrow's others. It's called Roller Coaster and is at Al-Sha'ab Leisure Park.

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^That is kinda cool, I forgot having seen that coaster before.

 

Unfortunately, by the time Arrow got around to doing stuff that (how can I put it nicely?) "started making sense," the grave was dug. B&M came on to the scene and that was the end.

 

Imagine some of those Arrow coasters with better shock absorption and lap bars (only)...

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^^ Yeah, great job finding that. It looks like an updated version of their loopscrew coasters. I think Arrow's last years had a ton of growth, with loopers (Drachen, Tennessee, and this Kuwait one) having more flow to them instead of strings of similar elements repeated over and over. X, for all its faults, is a groundbreaking design, and the four wild mice the company made show that Arrow was staying innovative and breaking into new styles in the late 90s. But, like said already, B&M basically made everything better.

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show that Arrow was staying innovative and breaking into new styles in the late 90s. But, like said already, B&M basically made everything better.

 

Arrow *could* have done just a few minor things to make some great rides. First, get some nice lap bars - we all know that now (Anton knew it way back, of course). Using a modern chassis with wheel boogies would have helped a lot, too. It's not rocket science (joke to myself: Ron Toomer was a Aerospace Engineer). I still think many old Arrow rides would be GREAT with nice padded lap bars. I've heard "rumors" of some companies (not Kumbak) looking to provide old Arrow rides with new lap bar trains.

 

Transitions! If you can't (or don't want to spend the money/cut profit) to properly heartline a corkscrew or boomerang entrance, just increase the radius so the *jerk* doesn't happen. The entrances to the vertical loops can be rough too; again, just increase the radius (but it also didn't help that the top-half of the Arrow loops were completely circular, so you get another *jerk* there). We saw this on Tennessee Tornado (and in pictures and videos of the Kuwait coaster)... and I aware TT generally gets great reviews, I still find the trains and shoulder bars to be awful. Note the brakes before the UN-banked curve to the lift. Really? You have a train going a few miles an hour and you didn't bank that tight little curve!??

 

As much complaining as I can do about Arrow coasters, I prefer them most of the time over B&M. They just feel more "roller coaster like" to me.

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I dunno if it's been brought up, another thing I noticed with Arrow's 3 7 inverters was that there was more tracking on the vertical loops. It was kind of triangular, and solely for the vertical loops.

 

That extra bracing was put there after it was discovered that if they didn't the top of the loops would need to be re welded often, they didn't oringally come with that extra bracing.

 

Picture of the Great American Scream Machine before and after this transformation:

 

 

 

You can also still see one of the original top of the loop track pieces in the safari being used as a play structure for the monkeys:

 

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I think if Drachen Fire was made a couple years later, instead of 1992 when computers were just coming into designing roller coasters, this would certainly be one coaster that would still be around. I had also forgotten that Toomer was the one who designed Drachen Fire as well, being his final major looping coaster design before he retired. Think that's when he realized that his method of designing looping coasters was outdated and probably why his final coaster was Desperado, which was their 1st coaster to use the 1 piece bent rail tie. I think if X would of been a better success and didn't have the issues it did, Arrow would probably have became more or less what S&S is today and S&S would probably still be in pneumatic powered rides.

 

But then again, Alan Schilke would of never helped formed Rocky Mountain Construction and the Iron Horse track system if Arrow didn't go under. Outlaw Run, New Texas Giant, and Iron Rattler would have never came into existence.

 

A new style of trains and restraints would of been a much needed help, maybe even could of retrofit those on some of their older coasters. I actually would like Vekoma to put their new trains on an Arrow looper to see how it'll perform and could result in a more comfortable ride too.

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Remember, Ron Toomer didn't ride his coasters. I mean, right from the first Corkscrew, that lateral slamming/head banging was there. How many people could have said, in a very nice way, "hey man, think we can do something about the head banging going into that corkscew" (or whatever element/transition...). I often wonder if many people said anything to him...?

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I think because Corkscrew was so brand new when it came out I think they may have thought it was a feature. I knew Toomer couldn't ride any of his rides, but man, you'd think someone would of told him over the 20+ years he was designing coasters that the transitions didn't feel right. One that instantly comes to mind is the banked turn going into Vortex's MCBR. Going from that angle to completely flat in that short of a distance going that fast, was a "what the crap was that" kind of moment for me.

 

I don't think smoothness was a factor on many steel coasters built during Arrow's prime. They were still smoother than many wooden coasters of the time. I mean, I guess in 1993 when Kumba opened, we were all spoiled on how a steel looping coaster should be like.

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One that instantly comes to mind is the banked turn going into Vortex's MCBR. Going from that angle to completely flat in that short of a distance going that fast, was a "what the crap was that" kind of moment for me.

 

That's the "oh my god are you serious we are going into that tight turn at this speed" turn. After it was built, I heard the curve originally was going to wrap around to the other side of the lift. Yeah, that transition is bad - and the subsequent "dump you out, then jerk you up, and try to kill you" corkscrew entrance.

 

 

I don't think smoothness was a factor on many steel coasters built during Arrow's prime. They were still smoother than many wooden coasters of the time. I mean, I guess in 1993 when Kumba opened, we were all spoiled on how a steel looping coaster should be like.

 

Don't forget the Anton coasters. They were (and still are!) plenty smooth (Yet still feel like a roller coaster - I'm not dissing B&M of course... I just lied.)

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Why does it fell like I'm the only one who has great experiences on my Arrow's? I haven't suffered one bit of head banging, and I think their rides are awesome and I love that they aren't smooth. I mean, the original Corkscrew at Silverwood rattles as much as Timber Terror, but it's not rough. It fells INSANELY out of control and is a load of FUN. I actually hold my self steady on these rides because they don't seem perfectly safe, and it makes my rides better. I hate to see people complain about how their rides sucked and that these rides aren't good loopers and that they should all be melted to scrap metal, because I enjoy them greatly. My 2 cents.

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Don't forget the Anton coasters. They were (and still are!) plenty smooth (Yet still feel like a roller coaster - I'm not dissing B&M of course... I just lied.)

 

Anton didn't get into corkscrews, boomerangs, bowties, or any other kind of inversion on his coasters so is that a legitimate comparison? Anton only perfected the vertical loop whereas Arrow went with the clothoid teardrop shaped loops.

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