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Knoebels Discussion Thread


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It was posted on that newsgroup that an article was written about Knoebel's in-house coaster designer- John Fetterman.

 

There's also a few other tidbits, including the comparison between a wooden Flying Turns and a Mack Steel bobsled ride. It also confirms the fact why you will never see a true wooden coaster at a Disney park and how Knoebels might have a hand in saving wood coasters from excinction!

 

Here's the link to the article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13693175/

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Interesting article! And somebody should tell Cameron that there's another pinball obsessive in the coaster world. Fetterman sounds like a proper eccentric, but the way they're building and the way Knoebels is run sounds awesome to me, on their own time.

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but the way they're building and the way Knoebels is run sounds awesome to me, on their own time.

 

Actually sounds alot like the Intamin approach to me.

 

I'm kidding though. Knoebels is actually my most anticipated park to visit, and I'm more anxious about the Flying Turns than Intamin Point '07 or BGE's new supposed dive machine.

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^ Y'know, for the first time, I actually have NO complaints about my last visit to Blackpool, I think mainly because I was there in enough of a big group that I barely noticed the things I usually don't like! Besides Jow, there are no chavs or illuminations in Pennsylvania, right?!

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Even from here on the ground he can feel its pull, the dips and curves of the roller coaster broken down in his mind into mathematical certainties.

 

For John Fetterman, it's as reassuring as a sunny day.

 

He knows every inch of the Twister because he created it.

 

From its peak more than 100 feet up to its 72-foot drop and swooping underground tunnel, he designed it to pin riders to their seats and make them feel as if they're going to sail into space.

 

It's like that in his head sometimes with the numbers flying around, crashing together. He has to focus hard to bring them back into line, smooth and clear and melodious

 

At 52, he is used to this. His mustache is graying now, and his shoulders slump a little under the forest green T-shirt he wears tucked into his shorts.

 

He learns more from listening to a roller coaster than riding it. The sound of the chains clanking as the ratchet teeth under the cars catch the links and slowly haul them toward the summit. The steel wheels clacking across the track.

 

The Twister is the marquee ride at Knoebels, an amusement park set among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains that beckons with yesteryear charms: bumper cars and carousels under the pines, next to the Swiss Christmas chalet and Haunted House.

 

In between are kiosks where you can buy battered fries, Jell-O salads and home-made fudge.

 

An hour north of Harrisburg, it's the "largest free-admission, free-parking amusement park in the United States," says owner Dick Knoebel. "You can come here and enjoy the park and not spend a dime. But you better not want an ice cream cone." It'll set you back $2.20 to catch a thrill on the Twister.

 

Its old-fashioned atmosphere is what makes this place exotic. Its quirkiness is what makes it right for Fetterman. It's a place he can pursue his obsession. Maybe the only place.

 

Professionally speaking, Fetterman has called Knoebels home for the past 30 years. He lives about a mile down the road and drives his old S-10 pickup to the gravel lot on the edge of the park six days a week.

 

It's about as un-Disney as you can get. While other parks were going for bigger, taller and faster, Knoebels didn't. Fetterman's newest coaster, under construction, is the embodiment of that resistance.

 

"It's the culmination of a dream," he says, standing before the rising wooden form of the Flying Turns, a $3 million replica of a ride first constructed nearly 80 years ago.

 

"It's built on a human scale. I could certainly design something extreme, something stultifyingly stupid, but I won't even consider doing it. It's too easy, and ultimately disappointing."

 

He is determined to show the amusement world that you can provide a thrill with more than brute force. While the top steel coasters can soar 400 feet and higher, the Flying Turns will be all of 47 feet tall, with top speeds of maybe 25 mph.

 

Earlier in his career, Fetterman thought perhaps the industry would sit up and take notice of his work. He gave up on that long ago.

 

But when the Flying Turns is done, it may just be what he has been quietly aiming for all along.

 

In a world of fast and furious, he wants to build the thinking man's roller coaster.

Read the rest of the Interview click below:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/03/AR2006070301084.html

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  • 1 month later...
2-3 Lifts = definitely at LEAST 2 trains.

 

-James "The other bobsleds do okay" Dillaman

 

I believe that when it says 5 cars it means 5 total cars... 1 car trains...

 

That is low low low capacity IMHO. I mean the Intamin bobs with individual cars take at least 4-5 on inline with what looks like up to 8 on some of them with 2 per row and 4 rows per car.

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Actually it's 3 lifts... I was saying with multiple lifts, they can run 3 trains, as stated here

 

Here's what John Fetterman had to say over at the CoasterBuzz forums:

 

There will actually be three lifts in this ride, an increase of one over the Bartlett design. The first lift gets the train from the station to the opposite end of the ride, where a second lift carries the train to its highest point for the beginning of the troughed portion of the ride. The third lift comes prior to the station. It affords an additional measure of safety to a system which will demand the use of three trains to maximize throughput.

 

The tunnel-slash-540 degree helix comes between the first and second lift. It is not intended to provide the rush of a rocket coaster’s acceleration. It is intended to be a red herring for first-time riders who have heard about the unique aspects of the ride, but have not actually experienced them. Also, tunnels are generally fun!

 

The “helix” is not the same as the helix present on the Euclid Beach ride. That helix was at the very end of the ride and part of the braking system. It was not particularly gentle on either passengers or rolling stock, and the braking approach it contained – a crowd brake encroaching from the upper side – was not employed again by Bartlett on his later designs.

 

Braking on this Turns is accomplished by first bringing the track back up from its lowest point – slowing the train – and flaring out the radius of the final turn, allowing the car to creep downward from its highest banking around the curve, following with a straight section with funnel guides. At the far end of the funnel, the train has been “found” and “captured” by the guide track, and a set of sled brakes can do their job converting the energy of the cars into heat.

 

From what John has explained, CoasterFanatic is pretty much right in his guess. The long straight section next to the Flyer is probably the brake run, while the 2nd long section running in the back of the ride is the 3rd lift hill.

 

Read the thread if you have questions.

-James Dillaman

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I was at Knoebels last weekend, and snapped some pictures showing the progress of the Flying Turns. Things are coming along, and they are one bent away from the highest point of the ride. There's no footers for it yet, as well as any footers for the 2nd lift hill. Once they get the twisty trough and the shallow drop into the trough done, I'm sure they will drill and pour the footers for the rest of the ride. The only problem right now is that there's a crane and another ride in the way. Looking at the way the layout is positioned on the site and the location of the Looper, the Looper may not be moved as it can sit next to the Flying Turns, but then again, it might have to be moved to make room for the queue. I asked about the trains, and they are still building them. They have one part done, and are still working on the other part. It would be cool if they could have a car on display at the PPP! Now, onto the pictures:

_MG_4305.jpg.7d31923700d114a8c715ecd1fbf698d2.jpg

The prototype trough gets a few test coatings... What'll be? Rubbol Dek or good ol' Thompson?

_MG_4324.jpg.6093ac29a656b44a27572bea1fda683d.jpg

One bent away from the highest point!

_MG_4312.jpg.b1ac11d9d1efbd15626d288c1bb20503.jpg

The Turns, in Technicolo®!!

_MG_4323.jpg.321acc68960671465cfed0a33080fc77.jpg

Woody with a Big Worm...

_MG_4322.jpg.7c87ba9e433691f8a3bfcecf8827b4e1.jpg

Woody, Woody, Woody, Morning Woody...

_MG_4320.jpg.22987ca7a14874748d55f01e45ca2c6f.jpg

Looming high above the midway

_MG_4317.jpg.7ba1ac8b348f59d842653e23f4296f5d.jpg

Old Glory on top of the tallest steel structure.

_MG_4316.jpg.ccac0c604346959160b4656e57a29b36.jpg

First theming of the Flying Turns! Does that mean the train will have airplane wings?

_MG_4315.jpg.2d6a5dbbed5b52db5a05bc57d2bccdd2.jpg

EXCLUSIVE THROUGH-THE-TREES FLYING TURNS SHOT!!!11!1

_MG_4314.jpg.635c53a5e6348176b67b2cbc06315061.jpg

You'll need a hard hat for this area, and some coasters *cough*Ghostrider*cough*…

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Actually it's 3 lifts... I was saying with multiple lifts, they can run 3 trains, as stated here

 

Here's what John Fetterman had to say over at the CoasterBuzz forums:

 

There will actually be three lifts in this ride, an increase of one over the Bartlett design. The first lift gets the train from the station to the opposite end of the ride, where a second lift carries the train to its highest point for the beginning of the troughed portion of the ride. The third lift comes prior to the station. It affords an additional measure of safety to a system which will demand the use of three trains to maximize throughput.

 

The tunnel-slash-540 degree helix comes between the first and second lift. It is not intended to provide the rush of a rocket coaster’s acceleration. It is intended to be a red herring for first-time riders who have heard about the unique aspects of the ride, but have not actually experienced them. Also, tunnels are generally fun!

 

The “helix” is not the same as the helix present on the Euclid Beach ride. That helix was at the very end of the ride and part of the braking system. It was not particularly gentle on either passengers or rolling stock, and the braking approach it contained – a crowd brake encroaching from the upper side – was not employed again by Bartlett on his later designs.

 

Braking on this Turns is accomplished by first bringing the track back up from its lowest point – slowing the train – and flaring out the radius of the final turn, allowing the car to creep downward from its highest banking around the curve, following with a straight section with funnel guides. At the far end of the funnel, the train has been “found” and “captured” by the guide track, and a set of sled brakes can do their job converting the energy of the cars into heat.

 

From what John has explained, CoasterFanatic is pretty much right in his guess. The long straight section next to the Flyer is probably the brake run, while the 2nd long section running in the back of the ride is the 3rd lift hill.

 

Read the thread if you have questions.

-James Dillaman

 

Yes, the rolling eyes smiley was really necessary!

 

Anyway, so it isn't 3 lifts in the common terms. It's like one split lift, and then one lift operating as a block at the end. Thanks for the info.

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