Arrow Launching Mechanism?

Sunday, August 29, 2004 7:24 PM
What is the square, steel plate just in front of the train in this picture?

Sunday, August 29, 2004 7:47 PM
It looks to be the pushing item that will shove the train backwards through the course.
Sunday, August 29, 2004 8:14 PM
Arrow launching's called a "bow"...SOMEONE was bound to say it! ;)
Sunday, August 29, 2004 11:31 PM
Arrow's launch system operated as follows:

A small square two-axle cart sits on the track, built so that its leading edge pushes against the first or last axle of the train. The cart is attached to a wire rope.

The wire rope runs out to the end of the launch track and over a sheave, then returns under the track, wraps around a drive drum (if I am remembering this right), goes all the way to the end of the station, around another sheave, then attaches to the back of the pusher cart.

A DC electric motor is connected to the drive drum. When the launch is called for, the DC motor is powered at full bore, relying on the fact that a DC motor can operate at 150% of rated load long enough to shove the train out of the station. DC motors also deliver awesome startup torque not available from (standard) AC motors.

It's what you might call a "brute force" approach to launching a train. That's also why Arrow's launch starts 50' in the air.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Sunday, August 29, 2004 11:57 PM
Riding Afterburner last week in the front, I got a good look at the launch system. The wire rope actually runs from one side of the drum near the end of the launch, back to the back of the station, around a pully, connecting to the pusher cart, then out to the far end of the launch again, around another pully, and finally attached running in the opposite direction to the other side of the drum.

I think that makes sense.

Monday, August 30, 2004 1:49 PM
Don't know what it's called, but the Screamin' Demon at KI had one.
Monday, August 30, 2004 4:19 PM
So are there two launching mechanisms on these coasters, one for the away trip and one for the return?
Monday, August 30, 2004 4:45 PM
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 12:42 AM
Screamin' Demon at Kings Island got moved to Camden Park.

It operated there for many years, but now it is being slowly dismantled, its pieces used for other projects in the park. That ride is history, I'm afraid.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 1:05 AM
These rides wern't very much fun. Theres one still operating at Frontier City.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 9:00 AM
Yeah, I know RideMan. It is in my home state. I was just using Screamin' Demon as an example because probably not too many people would know it as the Thunderbolt Express.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 2:36 PM
Yup,Diamondback at FC was the lower half of lightnin loops from SFGRADV,Python(operated at SFA from 93 to 98) was the upper half of LL.

Has anyone got any pics of the underside showing the launch mechanism?on Python you couldn't really get a good view while going up the staircase to the platform as there hardly ever was a line for the ride.

When a line did form(wich was hardly ever)you could feel the whole platform/staircase shake whenever a train was being launched,also didn't an operator on SFEG's Sidewinder fall to their death after accidently stepping off the ride platform while manning the controls for the return side of the ride?

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 1:27 PM
Actually these things seemed pretty thrilling when you'd never gone inverted on a coaster before. They definitely lost their charm with time though.

Quote I once heard on Screamin Demon. "What do you mean we're goin to go throuh the loop again, BACKWARDS?!!!"

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 3:32 PM
Actually, I liked it simply because it was my first looper and first for going backwards.

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