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Questionable coaster elements


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As for me I've always thought that the empty area from where the barrel roll on Maverick was originally. It seems like they should have designed some sort of overbank instead of that boring turn.

Yeah, it used to be a barrel roll and they took it out and replaced it with straight track.

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The jo-jo roll on Hydra.

 

I know many of you are thinking what a great, gimmicky thing this is, but despite the fact that the GP also thinks it looks cool, I wouldn't call it very pleasant or thrilling in the least.

 

Uncomfortable, yes.

 

Edit - Also...any part of Son Of Beast.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy it and I also though it could be a bit uncomfortable but I actually found it very comfortable and a fun element. But then, it's a matter of opinion.

 

Great bear's ridiculous ending. I know it was the easiest way to get the ride back to the brakes but anything else would have been better: another corkscrew, a helix or something like a heartline roll.

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^I agree, even though it is the most "interesting" part of a mediocre ride.

 

This section right before the corkscrews of Anaconda convinced me that the designers at Arrow were hardcore alcoholics and were suffering from the DTs when they designed it.

 

 

I think I might have figured out the reason for this, including all of their other odd shaping issues: Arrow kept on making their coasters using hand calculations for way too long.

 

If you notice, all of their loops and corkscrews are the same size. The geometry to make a loop or a corkscrew is ridiculously complex. Trying to redo the calculations for loops for different coasters of different heights would take up way too much time, so in order to save a huge amount of effort, the inversions were made the same size. In order to keep the G's safe/the same, the speeds at which the coasters have to enter the inversions have to be the same. This is probably why Viper at SFMM has that massive incline before the loop (they wanted a loop at the beginning of the gigantic first drop) as well as why their MCBR's typically slow the trains to a crawl, in order to navigate the corkscrews safely.

 

By the early-to-mid 1980's, CAD programs started to really take off and become cost effective/commonplace in more and more engineering firms. In the amusement design industry, this enabled the design of insanely complex shapes, such as including heartlining into coasters (seen by Giovanola and Intamin in the second half of the 1980's.) Since they have been so successful with their method of designing stuff for so long, they didn't see the need to learn a complicated CAD program. Throughout this decade, Arrow was mostly the king of big coasters and kept making lots of stuff, so this further cemented that their design ideologies didn't need changing.

 

By the 1990's, most companies seemed to start using CAD programs, enabling them to make ridiculously insane stuff, like the advent of B&M's Invert, which is still a world class design to this day. But again, Arrow is still stuck in their old ways. Take a look at Anaconda. If B&M was contracted to make it, the loop and the sidewinder would likely have started sloping upwards from lake level instead of having that big flat incline, the transition between those two helices would have been perfectly smooth, and the MCBR would not have slowed the train to a crawl because all of the geometry of the subsequent track again could have been made much more quickly. But instead, Arrow kept with their old ways, because it worked for them for 20+ years.

 

However, as we all know, the frequency of their new designs really started to plummet in the 1990's now that B&M (et al) started to make ridiculous, new and advanced products all over the place. By the middle of the decade, they noticed how their business was really suffering, and finally realized that they had to try to keep up with the times. It looks like that Roadrunner Express (SFFT) was their first coaster using CAD programs, but they lost a ton of money because they stagnated for two decades while everyone else kept surging forward. While with this new technology they theoretically could have survived if they kept coming up with LOTS of new, innovative ideas, but obviously they did not. X was their last ditch effort to stay afloat, and then of course the final nails in the coffin leading to them being bought out by S&S was the Six Flags lawsuit.

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You have to give arrow some more credit though, their coasters were smooth when they opened. And many of those transitions were designed for higher speeds then they travel through now. All the trims and complete stops weren't there to begin with, they were added once they started getting rough .

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Arrow was great for what they did in their time, but I find it sad that by the late 80's they were being commissioned to make such large coasters that they just didn't have the capability to make long lasting. I was thinking about this just a couple days ago when reading about Shockwave at SFGam, which I rode in its last years. It's size was incredible when it came out and still nothing to snuff at these days, but seeing the ride plunge nearly 200 feet and then completely ignore that incredible speed by navigating three loops well elevated is just kind of silly. You won't find a B&M that has an abrupt transition like what it did when it entered the MCBR with a jarring turn, a turn that technology shouldn't have been needed to understand that a lateral change that quick would result in throwing a passenger's neck directly into the restraints. You will find Intamin's that do this still, which is why Intamin's sometime seem like a step backwards compared to B&M, though I can't blame them for designing rides ignoring these things when so many rides are content being beaten for thrill.

 

It's ironic that Demon, a much smaller ride than Shockwave, is still standing while Shockwave was demolished after being constructed a dozen or so years later. Arrow was making fine and fun rides in the size of Demon, but they started making their rides twice the size without really advancing their technology.

 

X is still pretty much the best ride I've ever ridden, but they rested on their laurels for years after they got to the top of the game and were only pushed to really innovate again when B&M forced them to do so by necessity.

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Someone forgot to depump their vertices.

 

OK, this is a new one on me.

 

"You have to accentuate the positive,

Eliminate the negative,

And be sure to depump your vertices . . ."

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You won't find a B&M that has an abrupt transition like what it did when it entered the MCBR with a jarring turn, a turn that technology shouldn't have been needed to understand that a lateral change that quick would result in throwing a passenger's neck directly into the restraints.

 

Well, that Shockwave transition was notorious, but Raptor's snap into the brakes fits your description. If you mean only among transitions into MCBR, Alpengeist's is also quite abrupt and inconsistent with B&M's usual design gracefulness.

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Arrow was great for what they did in their time, but I find it sad that by the late 80's they were being commissioned to make such large coasters that they just didn't have the capability to make long lasting. I was thinking about this just a couple days ago when reading about Shockwave at SFGam, which I rode in its last years. It's size was incredible when it came out and still nothing to snuff at these days, but seeing the ride plunge nearly 200 feet and then completely ignore that incredible speed by navigating three loops well elevated is just kind of silly. You won't find a B&M that has an abrupt transition like what it did when it entered the MCBR with a jarring turn, a turn that technology shouldn't have been needed to understand that a lateral change that quick would result in throwing a passenger's neck directly into the restraints. You will find Intamin's that do this still, which is why Intamin's sometime seem like a step backwards compared to B&M, though I can't blame them for designing rides ignoring these things when so many rides are content being beaten for thrill.

 

It's ironic that Demon, a much smaller ride than Shockwave, is still standing while Shockwave was demolished after being constructed a dozen or so years later. Arrow was making fine and fun rides in the size of Demon, but they started making their rides twice the size without really advancing their technology.

 

X is still pretty much the best ride I've ever ridden, but they rested on their laurels for years after they got to the top of the game and were only pushed to really innovate again when B&M forced them to do so by necessity.

Reminds me of another company being accused of "stagnating" recently... Seems like history repeats itself *cough* B&M *cough*

 

As for crazy elements, that above sidewinder pic looks just wrong. What coaster is that from?... Some Chinese knock off?

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If you notice, all of their loops and corkscrews are the same size. The geometry to make a loop or a corkscrew is ridiculously complex. Trying to redo the calculations for loops for different coasters of different heights would take up way too much time, so in order to save a huge amount of effort, the inversions were made the same size. In order to keep the G's safe/the same, the speeds at which the coasters have to enter the inversions have to be the same. This is probably why Viper at SFMM has that massive incline before the loop (they wanted a loop at the beginning of the gigantic first drop) as well as why their MCBR's typically slow the trains to a crawl, in order to navigate the corkscrews safely.

 

By the early-to-mid 1980's, CAD programs started to really take off and become cost effective/commonplace in more and more engineering firms. In the amusement design industry, this enabled the design of insanely complex shapes, such as including heartlining into coasters (seen by Giovanola and Intamin in the second half of the 1980's.) Since they have been so successful with their method of designing stuff for so long, they didn't see the need to learn a complicated CAD program. Throughout this decade, Arrow was mostly the king of big coasters and kept making lots of stuff, so this further cemented that their design ideologies didn't need changing.

 

By the 1990's, most companies seemed to start using CAD programs, enabling them to make ridiculously insane stuff, like the advent of B&M's Invert, which is still a world class design to this day. But again, Arrow is still stuck in their old ways. Take a look at Anaconda. If B&M was contracted to make it, the loop and the sidewinder would likely have started sloping upwards from lake level instead of having that big flat incline, the transition between those two helices would have been perfectly smooth, and the MCBR would not have slowed the train to a crawl because all of the geometry of the subsequent track again could have been made much more quickly. But instead, Arrow kept with their old ways, because it worked for them for 20+ years.

 

 

I mostly agree -- in fact I came hear to post about that facepalm section of Anaconda between the MCBR and the corkscrew. what a total trainwreck! I honestly believe it'd be a very fun and pretty smooth coaster without that one section.

 

one little correction, though: generally, when Arrow coasters opened, the MCBRs were barely on at all. I distinctly remember more or less flying through Anaconda's MCBR in its early years. You can find old throwback videos and commercials showing this as well. there was a time when the corkscrew was taken at a pretty decent speed.

 

take a look at the 7:40 mark of this video, I'm not sure it slows down at all:

 

I suspect the MCBR got ratcheted up incrementally year after year as a response to guest complaints about roughness. kind of a crappy solution -- taking that poorly designed butterfly element at a slower speed doesn't really make it much smoother. it's terrible at any speed. at this point, Anaconda's MCBR brings the train to a near complete stop, which in my opinion makes the second half of the ride even rougher because the elements are actually banked for a higher speed than the train is traveling.

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^ That looks like one of those ghetto-fair coasters that I'd never ride. It needs wires for balancing, and with the amount of shaking, I can't imagine it being a comfortable ride experience. That sharp transition halfway through the loop looks especially jarring.

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