PKI just didn't want a looping woodie, they wanted the TALLEST, FASTEST, looping woodie. Combine that with what I understand to be design and construction problems and you end up with a ride that the GP generally loves but that enthusiasts generally do not.
I think that SOB is an awesome coaster and should not be the last of its kind. That coaster, IMO, is not much rougher than the Beast. Also, the first time I ever rode the Beast, I had to take an asprin to get rid of the ensuing headache. I have never had that problem with SOB.
It may not be the last looping woodie, but I'm sure it will be the last of it's kind. I would bet serious money that there will never be a woodie built on that scale with traditional wooden coaster building techniques and materials. PKI was hoping for the "Magnum" of woodies, and while they did get a ride that draws decent ridership, they did not get the ride they hoped for.
We may see another big woodie (Intamin) built, and perhaps another woodie with an inversion, but no more SOBs I'm sure!
Adding to P's post, that particular type of Intamin wood coaster track comes in prefabricated sections, just like a steel coaster. It intended to make maintenance easier, as you merely remove the damaged section and replace it with a new one.
Raven, it's a single piece of wood rather than 7 laminated layers, and then they run trains which are VERY similar to Millennium Force/SROS trains with the same wheels, etc. Some people say that it doens't even feel like a wood coaster.
I have seen that and I am familar with Balder and Colossos. I just don't understand why one manufacuter's woodies are so smooth and all the other ones need so much maintainance. It almost looks like Intamin uses less wood than CCI did.
edit: I did not see peabody's last post when I posted this *** Edited 4/13/2004 5:40:15 PM UTC by RavenTTD***
In all fairness, SOB isn't that horrible, at least not anymore. I'm still not a big fan of the trains, but it's better than it was. The real nightmare now I suspect is the maintenance of the ride, for which I'd hate to budget for.
I'd be curious to know how many carpenters walk that ride every morning. I'm sure that, in terms of what ride mechanics have to deal with, there isn't much more work to SOB than any other larger coaster. But the time and labor required from the carpentry department must be rediculous!
Because of the *exceptional* height/speeds and the extreme forcefulness of the helices, I am QUITE sure that Sonny requires a LOT more maintenance than "other large woodies". The last time I rode it, Sonny was much much better than I had previously remembered, but sa Jeff said, paying for the maintenance of the ride must be out of this world. I suspect PKI has regretted the decision to build the monster more than once or twice...but I continue to applaud them for taking on such an enormous project.
I am not 100% sure of this, but I keep remembering that Stengel, who did the design for SOB and who has the patent for the Intamin new-gen track tried to talk Paramount into using that technology for SOB. Of course this would have increased the bill for Sonny quite a bit. Maybe Paramount was not too keen to work with Intamin again after the Volcano debacle. Who knows?! But I am convinced that the Intamin track would have saved PKI a lot of frustration and money in the long run.
As far as I understand, the track on the new Intamin "plug-and-play" mega-woodies use a bunch of thin layers of wood "glued" together with some kind of heat-resistant adhesive. It's not one single piece of wood, but rather several (many more than 7) layers glued together.