Flying Turns about ready to fly?

Timber-Rider's avatar

I'm not a historian, but didn't several parks have Flying turns type coasters in the early 1900's? I would guess that if they could be maintained back then, the park should not have much of a problem with maintaining the same type of coaster. But, with all the new safety requirements, it might be more difficult for them to open. Back in the golden age they would throw rides together with little restriction, and hope nobody get injured. There are also better ways to preserve wooden attractions these days then there were back then.

I think this version of the flying turns will not be as wild as the older versions, and probably be a fairly tame ride. I have been on a few bobsled coasters, and the only one that was remotely fun was the one at Six Flags Great America. (avalanche?) Not surprised that a majority of them no longer exist. Disaster Transport was ok, but won't miss it.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

I don't think it's a coincidence that the wooden flying turns went extinct. Just thinking about the rain-soaked track and all that expansion / contraction with the seasons makes me cringe.

Rocky Mountain better get started on Flying Turns Topper Track now.

In all seriousness, I'll make a special trip back to Knoebel's when this ride opens (being optimistic). I've been very intrigued from the start.

The first Flying Turns was built in 1929 under the supervision of it's designer for former aviator Norman Bartlett. There were eleven built between 1929 and 1930. The longest lived one was the Euclid Beach Park ride (1930-1969). I've heard that the number of incidents with these rides were no different than any of the coasters of the era. They were/are labor intensive to maintain as the troughs were subjected to a lot of wear and tear from the trains in the course of a season.

Last edited by Dutchman,

And Riverview had theirs to the end as well, I think that park closed in '67.

I rode Euclid Beach's Turns and it was a blast. It was the highest ride in the park and a rite of passage. It was a very short ride, though, maybe 20, 30 seconds from the top to the crowd brake. I don't remember it being particularly rough or poorly maintained, track-wise. They used very hard wood and I think Knoebel's was trying to replicate the construction. (hasn't it been replaced already?) At Euclid Beach they painted a stripe on the track that followed the train's course, of course. It probably helped keep wear and tear to a minimum.
I remember the trough would fill up with junk and debris. Along the way you would pass leaves that had blown in and lots of hats. We'd try to grab em.

Ensign, I'll save you the trouble here:

A horse is a horse, of course, of course.

MrZero said:

Touchdown said:

Since Flying Turns will have a longer train, I have hopes it too will be great.

Will Flying Turns have a longer train? I thought they were going to be just what you saw in the photo or two cars at most.

The photo shows a train of at least four cars. Three of them don't have bodies.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Last time I was there the trains they had, and there were two or three of them, had two car chassis with only one of them having a seating area installed.

I know they had the ride almost ready to open and a failure during testing happened which required another back to to the drawing board session, This one is about three or four years worth.

That new train is significantly longer., Not that it means anything but better capacity possibly.

The ride was Dick Knoebels Project to try to recreate the turns and was always a Hopeful status that if they could get it reliable and safe that it would open to the public. Yes it takes money and effort to create, maintain etc. Knoebels also has its own lumber company so that offsets some of those expenses. The difficulty in maintaining is they actually have to warp the wood vs linear track.

That being said, I don't have to have Knoebels FT to warrant a visit. I often use the park as a focal point for ventures to all the other PA Parks. Hershey, Dorney, SFGADV, Formerly Williams Grove, Steamtown, Delgrossos and Lakemont, Horseshoe Curve. On top of that, Knoebels has so much to do and you can come and go as you please if your camped there.

Hope they get it going, I always thought the ride would be Visually stunning to ride.


delan's avatar

Fun said:

But after 7 years of delays, this ride needs to be really good at doing something. I just don't think it's going to be in the thrills department.

Philistine!! If its anything like Schweizer Bobbahn at Europa its bound to be a winner :-)

I will be at knoebels tomorrow is there any chance it will be open? lmfao

I consider myself a fairly big supporter of historical rides--and maybe I'm engaging in heresy here--but wouldn't it be so much simpler and cheaper to use PVC (or whatever modern bobsled track is built from) for the trough? Everything else could be reproduced as faithfully as possible to original FT designs, so the ride experience should be approximately the same.

My author website:

I think that'd be missing their whole objective. Knoebel's seems to be after genuinely reproducing classic ride experiences. They're all about charm and nostalgia, and this is what makes the park so unique from others.

God bless these coaster lunatics at Knoebels! Finding courage when everyone else has laughed and abandoned them. Showing up the day they knew they needed a new train design, but holding their heads high and updating the damned website with the bad news. Going back to the drawing boards, even when the accountants said it's bleeding them dry. And trying again. And again!

You never stop dreaming, Knoebels! You hear me?! Don't you dare, for one minute even consider failure! Press on! Press on to your dream! And your dream will become the dream of future generations who will hold your name in eternal glory. You are the dreamers, and the future belongs to you.

kpjb's avatar

What the hell?


Did you mean #what the hell?# ?

sirloindude's avatar

Uh Flying Turns the 1001 Nachts of Bill's desire?

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

LostKause's avatar

kpjp's comment was the perfect punchline; from melodramatic to hilarious. Best. Comic. Timing. Ever.

So I guess while I am here, I'll comment about Flying Turns.

They probably wouldn't have stuck with it this long unless they realized that it was possible. The more time and money that they invest, the more determined it seems that they need to open it.

It has probably taken this long because once the initial failures began to crop up, they decided to spend less time and money on it, and stretch out the effort so they could concentrate on other things, like the gold nugget thing or the drop tower ride. The show must go on.

rollergator's avatar

It is good to note that Knoebels has been busy installing other new atteractions - it's not like they've been "cooling their heels" waiting on Turns to open. Replaced the "family" coaster, added Black Diamond (dark ride *and* coaster), a pendulum ride, a drop ride, repaired damage from multiple floods, fixed (and/or broke) Twister depending on POV.

Some of the complaints about Turns make it sound as though KG has been doing nothing but working on the ride, when in fact they've been doing a LOT while still working on the ride.

Gator, Knoebels apologist/enthusiast...

Carrie J.'s avatar

I read Bill's post with humor. Was that not the intention?

Either way, I still hear Battle Hymn of the Republic in my head as I read it.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Yeah, I typed Bill's quotes into Google last night, figuring it was a play on some humorous movie that I wasn't getting. Maybe he's just an inspirational writer/speaker or something...

I was at the park today from open to closing and they were testing it all day. I watched it cycle 3 times and it looked like it was fine to me, but I don't understand why they aren't using complete trains with water dummies in it to get more accurate results!

Bill's reminded me of inspirational speakers.

Inspirational speakers remind me of inspirational football coaches.

Inspirational football coaches remind me of inspirational football players.

Inspirational football players remind me of Ray Lewis.

Ray Lewis reminds me of this inspirational and bizarre speech a 0:46. Watch the whole thing though.

Why does Bill's speech remind me of this? I don't know. School just ended so my mind shuts off for 3 months. I can't answer complicated questions.

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