Last week I went to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and rode Python. While in line (it goes under the lift) I was watching the train go up the the lift and noticed that the wheels that control lateral motion on one side didn't touch the track at all. This (to me) solves this mystery although it could be just that ride (doubt it). Another thing I noticed is that the entire track system (not supports) was welded not bolted. Is this how they did them for a while or what?
That's been known for a while. That's one of the reasons Beemers are so smooth. All 3 sets of wheels are in constant contact with the track. One of Arrow's other problems are that they have VERY rough transitions. Any one else know how to put it in a more "technical" explination...Dave?
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Vekoma has the same problem. While riding their SLCs you can watch the side wheels permanently bouncing from side to side. The same goes for the upstop-wheels, which dont touch the track either. Combined with the long trains and the layout, this makes for a bumpy ride.
...because Vekoma licensed their technology from Arrow.
Rumor is, Ron Toomer, who designed most of Arrow's old rides, never rode any of them. Therefore he never got it through his thick skull that the transitions were overly abrupt and the rides were bumpy. The new rides like Tennessee Tornado have new designers.
And some folks like the bumpiness and think B&M's are too smooth. Go figure. I kinda like it on a mine train or Magnum, but not on an Arrow corkscrew/looper.
Remember that until Arrow and Schwartzkopf there weren't a lot of steel coasters. All steel designs were applied wood designs. Are there any wood coasters where all three wheels make contact with the rail? Here's a shocker, the Tennessee Tornado uses the same Arrow corkscrew trains as PKI Vortex, CP Corkscrew, etc and has the same gaps between rails and wheels. It wasn't until the early 90's when wheel assemblies started to grip the rail tight. The biggest problem with Arrows are the transitions. The reason behind the transitions was that Arrow and/or the track manufacturer had problems bending rails in variable radii. The "new" Arrow can do so and hence smoother rides. Since X will be holding riders in every position conceivable, the wheels will be touching the rail 100% of the time and transitions will be smooth.
Does anyone know if Schwartzkopf coasters (SFoG Mindbender, sooperdooperlooper) grip the rail or is there some play?
Some do, some don't, Scott; I think Schwarzkopf was the first coaster builder to use sprung wheel sets. Sooperdooperlooper does not have the sprung wheels, but I understand that the West Edmonton Mindbender does. Also, many Schwarzkopf coasters don't even have upstop wheels (Jet Star, for instance).
When the guide wheels aren't in constant contact with the rail, there will be a minor bump when the wheels hit. But how quickly those wheels hit is determined by the profile and the way the transitions are bent.
I wonder if the distinction between the older, smoother Arrow rides and the newer, rougher ones has anything to do with Arrow's shift from hand-drawn plans to CAD designs and CAM roll-forming techniques...with the latest shift from the mid-generation rougher rides to the latest Roadrunner Express and Tenessee Tornado rides representing improvements in CAD/CAM technology.
Ya, I also noticed at Kennywood that Steel Phantom didn't exactly fit on it's track very well as it went up the lift, right next to the queing line. It was still a fun coaster though, but still a little rough. Also, when Arrow was at their height, they didn't have the technology to make smoother transitions that is used today, and therefore they couldn't keep one's heart as the center of motion. All of that must have been fixed when they built Tennesee Tornado.
ah ha... so thats why when shockwave at SFGAm SLAMS into it's brake run... that not only is the track's transition too quick... but you can feel the car slam you into the track better than "the rock". can you smell what the shockwave is cooking? un-conscious coaster enthusiasts
Fierce Pancake said: Rumor is, Ron Toomer, who designed most of Arrow's old rides, never rode any of them. Therefore he never got it through his thick skull that the transitions were overly abrupt and the rides were bumpy. The new rides like Tennessee Tornado have new designers.
I saw this pbs thing on rollercoasters from like 1993 drachen fire was the main feature in it so there you go. In it though it stated that ron toomer gets motion sickness therefore rarely actually rides them.
*** This post was edited by ScorcherCongo on 4/19/2001. ***
Fierce Pancake, don't bash one of the greatest designers. If it weren't for Ron Toomer we may not have the modern day roller coaster. About a year and a half ago i wrote Ron Toomer explaining my passion to become a designer, I mentioned that i thought the shockwave at SFGA was rough. He kindly agreed and took that into consideration, i am sure that he knew this. He also said that it is a very intense ride. I think that was his intention when he made these. In favor of coaster fanatics. He thought that the ride buffs enjoy more intense rides. Think about who you badmouth before you do it. You may never know the whole story. And to this post i agree with everybody that the old arrows give me a headache. Especially Python at BG tampa. I hate that ride, and the head pad ripped my hair out.
This is very true. Toomer only gave us the steel tubular track. And these other men have indeed innovated the modern day coaster. Also that most designing companies have created an innovation that changed the coasters we ride now.
Back to what I said before up there, 1 thing that I also have noticed is that as coasters get older, they loosen up and are nolonger smooth; i.e at IOA, I rode the hulk and dueling dragons when they were 1 month old, both of which were perfect. When I returned there in December, I noticed, while waiting in line for the singles line on hulk, i saw that the wheels were a little loose as it entered the break run. When it was my turn to ride it again, it was much rougher. I dont know if it was just poor maintenance or if it was just plain deterioration, but neither hulk nor dueling dragons were and will never be as smooth as they were then.
Well is it possible for parks to make all the wheels contact the track on their old Arrow megaloopers. Would they have be re-designed or can they just change the wheels to spring type wheels that make contact at all times. Does anyone know if SFMM did changed the wheels on Viper to contact the track at all times b/c Viper has been running incredibly smooth for the last few years.
RideMan said: ...I wonder if the distinction between the older, smoother Arrow rides and the newer, rougher ones has anything to do with Arrow's shift from hand-drawn plans to CAD designs and CAM roll-forming techniques...with the latest shift from the mid-generation rougher rides to the latest Roadrunner Express and Tenessee Tornado rides representing improvements in CAD/CAM technology.
I think that this has more to do with it than anything else. The reason that newer trains can even grip the track constantly because of improvements in the design and assembly of the track. If an Arrow wheel assembly were to be made snug for one of their older coasters, the train wouldn't make it through the course (or the assembly would break). I think a spring loaded assembly might help with noise and a little with ride, but wouldn't eliminate the shimmies and bumps in the track nor would they smooth out rough transitions.
My 2 cents...
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*** This post was edited by janfrederick on 4/19/2001. ***