Big Bad Wolf

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:08 AM

As rumors about Big Bad Wolf's removal continue to spread, I started wondering about its construction. It seems fairly well accepted among enthusiasts that BBW was originally designed by Schwarzkopf, but ultimately built by Arrow. What this confirmed by the park/Arrow/Schwarzkopf? I find it interesting that BGE has [had] two coasters that were supposedly designed and built by two different companies, but only the origin of Drachen Fire is debated.

As a side note, I'd be sad to see BBW go. I've only ridden it once, and would like to do so again.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:00 AM

If this rumor is true, this is so sad. That is one enjoyable ride...one of my favorite coasters. It's so unique how it hugs the terrain, and that second hill is something else! I once saw the original artwork from Schwarzkopf online and the trains looked like cumbersome rocket ships. It was quite ugly. I wonder if anyone can find that link again? It was a website that showed the history of roller coaster technology. I could be wrong, but I believe Arrow used the exact same layout and concept of the banked track that Schwarzkopf developed, then manufactured using their own materials. Arrow failed the first time around with "The Bat" at King Island.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 10:10 AM

Well accepted by whom? I've never heard that nor have you given any compelling reason that it would be true.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:49 AM

Martling - I think this is what you're looking for :

http://schwarzkopf.coaster.net/OKflugbahnGF.htm -or-

http://schwarzkopf.coaster.net/ESflugbahnGF.htm

I have always heard that BBW was originally a Schwartzkopf design and construction progressed as far as pouring the footers, so the layout was already established. Then the company went throught a bankruptcy, or something, and was unable to finish the project. That's when Arrow was called in and the result is what we see today.

I seem to remember, back in the day, a club event at BGE and someone from the park explaining to us the unusual history of the ride. Those long cars were to operate as singles, and were to look like running wolves. Memory fades, I know, but I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining it..

I've never heard the origin of Drachen Fire debated. It was presented originally as an Arrow ride, from design to finish, and included exciting new features and elements that the company developed especially for that ride.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 12:49 PM

I have always heard that BBW was originally a Schwartzkopf design and construction progressed as far as pouring the footers, so the layout was already established. Then the company went throught a bankruptcy, or something, and was unable to finish the project. That's when Arrow was called in and the result is what we see today.

I seem to remember, back in the day, a club event at BGE and someone from the park explaining to us the unusual history of the ride. Those long cars were to operate as singles, and were to look like running wolves. Memory fades, I know, but I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining it..

I've never heard the origin of Drachen Fire debated. It was presented originally as an Arrow ride, from design to finish, and included exciting new features and elements that the company developed especially for that ride.

The above for BBW is what I learned from the park many years or even over a decade ago.

As far as Drachen Fire, it was originally going to be a B&M along the lines of Kumba. Back in the early 90s, B&M would only build up to four coasters a year, they could not deliver a coaster to BGE in 1992, so BG went back to "old faithful" Arrow to build Drachen Fire. From what I understood, DF went off some early draft versions from B&M, thats why it had Arrow's only "cobra roll", but Arrow called it a "batwing". Arrow had NO clue on how to do a camelback inversion (Kumba's third inversion), so it did a camelback hump for airtime, the first hill after the first drop of the ride.

I REALLY miss Drachen Fire, it was no rougher than most other Arrows out there. It took a bad rap from the older crowd that goes to BG, if it was at another park, I fully believe it would still be running today.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 1:02 PM

I hope that isn't true abou BBW, I really enjoyed riding it.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 1:31 PM

Yeah, the B&M connection seems largely mythical as well. I don't really buy that either.

It's not that I think either is impossible, but the enthusiast community has a thing for turning myths into facts, so I'll be eternally skeptical.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:10 PM

Jeff said:
Yeah, the B&M connection seems largely mythical as well. I don't really buy that either.

It's not that I think either is impossible, but the enthusiast community has a thing for turning myths into facts, so I'll be eternally skeptical.

That "IS" what happened...

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:35 PM

Jeff, that's what I heard about B&M versus Arrow as well for the contracted Drachen Fire...pretty much. My understanding was that B&M was a fairly new company at the time, and while they originally contracted for both Kumba and DF, they decided that two simultaneous projects were too much to guarantee quality work, so they stuck with Kumba and Arrow stepped in to design DF.

I likely would hate Drachenfire now, but Danny, I'm with you in missing that coaster. I was sad to hear they had taken out the corkscrews at the end (which was how I rode it), and even more saddened to hear it was scrapped and melted down. I have only been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg once, but I rode DF 7 times in a row. It had, for a while, been my favorite "upside down" coaster. Plans to to ride BBW before it goes are underway...was going to go this weekend but got sick. Hopefully soon!!!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:49 PM

Thank you for the link RCMAC. Man, those cars were horrible for a roller coaster. With Drachen Fire, it is true it was originally a B&M plan. I rode it once and pulled a muscle in my neck in the loop nearest the station, which I believe was taken out a few years later and the track reprofiled. Anyway, I thought the second half of the ride was painful, but the first half was original, creative and very exciting.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:22 AM

I remember seeing a typed letter from B&M specifically stating they had nothing to do with the Drachen Fire project. Anyone know where to find that link?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:28 AM

Haha, after a little searching, I did find this post from Jeff a few years back:

Jeff said:
If even one more person brings up this stupid B&M to Arrow Drachen Fire thing this thread is closed.

IT NEVER HAPPENED.

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Thread/35078.aspx?page=2#420113

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 7:50 AM

Jeff said:


Well accepted by whom? I've never heard that nor have you given any compelling reason that it would be true.

You're right, I don't have any compelling evidence; that's why I asked the question. :)

RCMAC, thanks for providing that link. I've seen that website before, and it has great information. My only concern is that it appears to be an enthusiast site, and not one that sites the park or Schwarzopf directly (as far as I could tell). It's interesting that Schwarzkopf filed a patent in 1983, the year Bat at KI closed. I wonder what made Schwarzkopf's design different enough from Arrow's that they could file a patent...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:11 AM

You're welcome, and you're right, that is a fun website. I don't know who he is, but it's clear that it's one guy's work, though, so the information drawn from Schwartzkopf's files, patents, and ads is the most trustworthy. I guess his historical narrative about certain rides and coasters should be regarded as hearsay or speculation. Those that know me here know I'm groovin' on the flats, so I found that info most interesting. I love lost or forgotten projects, too.

Having said that, I'll repeat that the info about the BBW schwartz/arrow thing came to us from the park itself. I know I didn't make it up.

I don't know much about patents, but I would assume that the mechanics, track, trains, brake systems, and all that technical stuff is what the patent is for, not so much the concept of a flying/suspended coaster. So a different design warrants a different patent. I could be wrong 'bout that.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:38 AM

Well, speaking or Drachen Fire, dad had a chance to ride the thing back in the mid-90's WHILE GETTING PAID!!!!

He did charters for a local bus company going down to DC with a group of band kids. One of the stops on the charter was a day at BGW. I remember him telling me what a cool ride in a cool park) it was... until he got sight of CP and rode "Maggie," and saw TTD. (Go figure, a guy who works with hydralics LOVES TTD!)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:07 PM

I find it eerie that amidst the talk of the removal of Big Bad Wolf, to day on Facebook there was the following post from BG, "is warning you – only the bravest ride The Big Bad Wolf at night." Why is it we are being warned? Maybe a ride upgrade to enhnace night rides? Or is the warning a cryptic way of giving us one last chance to enjoy a great ride? Either way, I love this ride, have always been the perfect "big thrill ride" for the kids that are not ready for Alpengeist or Griffon. Shame on BG for even thinking about its removal!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 3:10 PM

Fun said:
I remember seeing a typed letter from B&M specifically stating they had nothing to do with the Drachen Fire project. Anyone know where to find that link?

Do you really think that would prove anything, one way or another?

-Nate

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 3:30 PM

^It would prove that B&M didn't want their names associated with DF at all... ;)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 3:48 PM

phoenixphan :-) said:
..on Facebook there was the following post from BG, "is warning you – only the bravest ride The Big Bad Wolf at night." ... Maybe a ride upgrade to enhnace night rides? Or is the warning a cryptic way of giving us one last chance to enjoy a great ride?

This had no meaning other than an Ad slogan from the PR group.. They have used this many times before..

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 9:16 PM

The issue with the Trains was the center of gravity. BM put it over the rides heart why Arrow put it over the center of the car.

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