I know that a lot, I mean a lot of people complain about the American Eagle (SFGAm). They say that they never race it. They say it is overbraked. I remember in the '98 season that it was that way, and since I started going to SFGAm they didn't race. But in the '99 season, the trim brakes after the helix did not turn on, both red and blue! And then last year, same thing, and they had ride ops that had enough competence to race them! Did anyone else get a chance to ride it when it was operating like that last year?
------------- Deja Vu & V2. Can life get any better?
I don't care what anyone says. I love the American Eagle. I don't care about the breaks, it's just awesome. The first drop is great, on of the best on wood. I love it. I did get to ride it when it was Racing (near the end of the season) When it went down the first drop, I seriously thought the wood was going to snap in half. It was shaking SO BAD, but when I look back, it made the ride even scarier. I hope the trains will be turned backwards as rumors say. ------------- "4 Seats are better than 2"
Almost everytime I went to Great America they would close one of the sides at 6:30pm or so. Only once last year did I ride it when they were racing them. Sometimes they would be running both sides but they wouldn't dispatch them at the same time. Usually it was because it would take four or five tries to clear the train after the announcement to "Please push down and then pull up on your lap bars."
I heard earlier the might run one side backwards but have heard nothing either way on that issue in quite some time.
------------- Only 10 more days to Thunder Run and Twisted Sisters!
I am sure the park would race them if the attendance was high for the ride. The problem is that it is hard to race them if they only have one side going, because the ride is not popular enough to warrent two crews on the eagle.
SFGAm is my home park and I was there numerous times last year and not once were both sides runnning. Also, the brakes at the top of the helix were on so heavy that the ride down was very slow. I love A.E. but find it hard to justify riding when it's not racing and braked so heavily. I usually hit it once during each visit but would gladly ride more if it were racing and not braked.
------------- "Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious." - Brendan Gill
They raced them on some weekends last summer, and it's much better when the trains are racing. But those brakes right before the helix are killers...it could be up there with the Beast for having a cool helix if they'd just take the brakes off at the top.
All in all, though, it is a great ride and one that I rode plenty of times when I was there.
The racing issue is something that I have often thought of. Most likely A.E. is the biggest racing coaster is the U.S. and yet it isn't racing at all. I asked a ride op to race them for me last fall but he didn't. I hope they do race them this year. And as for the breaks, I never knew there were any until someone said there were. Maybe I get luckey and don't get breaked.
Have any of you experienced this ride when it first opened in 1981? Let me just say that this was the cream of the crop. Season passes and 9 years after its opening, this was the god of wooden coasters. Constant racing, no trim brakes, and and overall airtime experience. Today, its nowhere near its youth but it still has one of the best wooden drops in the biz and still provides airtime on the bunnyhops(red side). This coaster will always be my mainstay when I visit SFGAm just like CP diehards always consider Magnum as their mainstay.
------------- "SAVING THE WORLD BEFORE BEDTIME" Powerpuff girls
AMERICAN EAGLE RED TRAIN IS MY FAVORITE RIDE.. The brakes do gotta go though. I remember , when the brakes around the helix arent on, its soo fun, especially on the red side, you fly soo fast through the track, and with those hills, its the best. My friend worked at the Eagle, and said its a computer that figures it all out,I know, alot , the Blue side, its soo crazy, cause the brakes around the helix like literally stop it, and when we would race, wed be like 5 seconds off after them, and still pass them, but with that dinky blue side, the straight track , it does catch up. And does anyone notice? on the blue side, that chain is always slow! in the red train, you like, pass it going up, so tell them to race it,, and they usually do, I wont ride the blue side ever, and when I do ride the red, Usually they race them,, This ride rocks..
and sfga fan, they dont just set the brakes during the start of the season, the computer always makes it different, ride it one day, and ride it the next, believe me,, sometimes the blue will be out, and then the red, its always different, always
I love the American Eagle. My favorite ride on it was when they had the train turned around backwards, I rode in the front car. The view from the front seat turned around backwards is awesome.
I've been on it many times when they have raced it and the one thing that I've noticed, more than on any other racing coaster, is that people really get into it. They always start chanting "number 1" or "your gonna loose" and rock back and forth as if to get their train to go up the hill faster. Anybody else notice that?
I did think that it was running a lot faster last year. The track seemed to be extremely greased, at least it was at the beginning of the season. Also, didn't there use to be water in the middle of the big helix? It was dry last time I saw it.
Chitown said: "Have any of you experienced this ride when it first opened in 1981? "
It was the ride among rides then. It was easily my favorite coaster until Batman came out in 1992. The retracking of recent years has helped a bit but I'm not sure I'll ever have an experience like when I first rode the Eagle as a terrified little 9 year old.
We are all about racing the coaster, especially for its 20th season. I personally have no problems with the racing of the ride. The problem is that we try to maintain a higher capacity then racing them. If one train get delayed, because of an exit pass or other distractions the other side will dispatch and then it is hard to allign the trains up again. So, you have to remember that maintaining a higher capacity is a higher priority then racing the coasters.