Seeing the hyper banked curves of Thunderhead got me thinking...would it be possible to build overbanked turns (ala Millennium Force) on a woodie? I'm talking banks over 90 degrees with the track actually hanging from the wooden supports. I've never heard of this being attempted. Possible, no?
Possible, but probably not worth while from a construction/upkeep perspective...banking 90 deg plus would probably require funky/serious supports since none of the force is directed towards the ground.
A wooden structure doesn´t work too well with pulling forces. Thats why so many woodies have those steel cables in their turnarounds to deal with the laterals. A wooden overbank would require some strange supports.
I for one agree with Moosh on this one, the best woodies I have ridden are the ones that stick to what woodies are known for. I was so psyched for SOB but it was a complete let down. Wood, in my opinion, is for a classic coaster experience, I had hoped that this wasn't the case but after riding several new woodies nothing compares to the classics. I only wish I was experienced as some of you guys and got to ride some of the great wood of the past. While I am excited about some of the new wood that is being built for this year, I am preparing myself for the worst (which I hope they all prove my post wrong)
madfancp - if you're referring to the new S&S woodies, remember that CCI's first two coasters were Sky Princess and Zach's Zoomer. Look where they went from there! Yeah, Timberhawk isn't so thrilling for us thrillseeksers but that's no reason to think the next S&S woodies won't be much better.
Overbanked turns on woodies would probably require a steel structure to be practical, just as PKI did on SOB's loop.
Overbanked turns also simply don't make sense for most woodies. On MF they are a way to turn around a train with a tremendous amount of engergy (speed^2) in a limited area. Only 4 or 5 woodies have even half the energy of MF, and the vast majority have less that 1/3 as much energy.
Just to be nit-picky, it seems to me to be more of an issue of speed than energy. The real problem is that pulling a turn of the radius desired at ground level would produce insane G's, building a hill to get the train real high so the speed is minimized wouldn't fit either. Thus do both at the same time and invert so gravity helps you out.
The reason I don't think it's an energy concern is that other things that go into energy (mass of the train, specifically) don't seem to me to affect whether you want an overbanked turn or a regular one.
Odd how the only enjoyable part of SoB is not available on any other woodie. So if overbanked turns and loops really don't belong on woodies, I'd have to add that extreme heights don't belong on woodies, either...with the possible exception of the new Intamin woodies. But I think it's been proven that size, as well as inversions and other elements strictly characteristic of steel coasters, are not at all necessary to make wood good.
Someone ought to build a half-steel, half-wooden coaster. The first part is your typical woody with a bunch of hills, lots of airtime, and maybe a helix. Then the second half would be a bunch of loops and tight turns made of steel. They could call it Schizophrenia.