Dorney's Thunderhawk

Tuesday, June 12, 2001 8:03 AM
After visiting Dorney last Saturday for the first time in 4 years, I was reminded of how much I really enjoy the Thunderhawk. However, I couldn't help but wonder how much better the ride would be if the trim brakes on the first turn and the speed hills leading back into the station had not been there.

I remember reading in a 1989 issue of RollerCoaster! magazine that there were "check brakes" installed on the coaster long before the issue was published. Has anyone ever ridden the Thunderhawk without the brakes installed, or the brakes turned off? It seems to me that the laterals in the curves would be pretty violent, and the speed hills would rival those on the Phoenix!
Tuesday, June 12, 2001 8:18 AM
I rode the Thawk way back in the mid 80's without the trims in place. Unfortunately I was only 10 or 11 at the time so I don't recall the experiance. I do however remeber the old station very well. It follows the same path as it does now but only there were bumper cars in the center of the runout to the lift and it went thru a smoke filled tunnel to the lift.

Last time I rode the Thawk was about two weeks ago. The trim on the turnaround was on but the one on the return wasn't on a hard as normal giving some air. I was surprised at that.

I feel the trim on the turnaround is needed. Sit in first car last row and you'll see what I mean on the second turn. ;) I find the second brake the real heartbreaker.

Hello, My name is Dan and I'm a coasterholic.
Tuesday, June 12, 2001 8:38 AM
You don't notice the first brake too much. The second brake seems unnecessary. That ride has great laterals and extreme airtime in the first half. The bunny hops would own if that brake wasn't there. It is still an awesome ride and it is a walk-on almost always.


Tuesday, June 12, 2001 8:55 AM
I agree with you. Thunderhawk is a good coaster. I rode it a long time ago, and I remember how it really threw me around. It was a wild ride. I hated the old cramped quene for the line, but I did like the tunnel to the lift. They should have kept that. I also agree that the 2nd trims ruin what could be some great airtime. They have really tamed it down. Its still alot of fun. I think its a better coaster than Hercules, except for the first drop.
Tuesday, June 12, 2001 10:26 AM
You're right about the second trim being the heartbreaker, it really hurts an outstanding finale! Just when you start popping out of your seat, the train slows and just kinda rolls into the brake run without the momentum it had.

Still, the Thunderhawk remains a terrific ride... much better than Hercules, which is another pity altogether!
Tuesday, June 12, 2001 12:02 PM
Yes, Thunderhawk is a great ride, but I disagree about a couple things. The trims actually interact with the ride in this case, the trims cause you to eject from your seat(front especially), and on the hops, I floated even with the trims on. Otherwise, I see nothing wrong with Thunderhawk at all.

Dorney Park is da bomb!

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