Thread title says it all. 32 years later, a POV has surfaced of the legendary Bat.
The first modern era suspended roller coaster was a spectacular failure of engineering. Virtually no banking on the track meant that all of the stresses of the swinging motion had to be translated to the structure and wheel assemblies. To make matters worse, the brake fins were located under the trains which further increased the stresses.
Look and listen to the extreme swing at 2:10 as the trains swing well past 90 degrees and the shock absorbers bottom out. In that one moment, you can easily understand why the ride did not survive.
Also included is the wonderful cartoon commercial for the ride that is from a different era from Kings Island. An era where the park was on top of the thrill industry and firing on all cylinders.
I've waited 32 years for another ride on the Bat. I'm glad the internet has preserved this unique experience for us to relive.
Now, if only someone could un-Earth a copy of the "Beasts, Bats, and Demons" commercial from 1982-1983.
Wow, that is fantastic. There are several points where you can see the car swing to its limit. I just can't for the life of me understand why they didn't bank the track. Putting the brakes under the swinging car instead of on the bogie also seems colossally stupid in an obvious way.
It probably doesn't make any difference, but at least you can see from the video that it wasn't really that interesting of a ride. Top Flight Gun Deck is really the point that Arrow got it totally right.
That was really neat, thanks for sharing. It sure looks like it was a fun ride, but not the "end all be all" people make it out to be.
For me personally, no suspended can ever surpass BBW. Between all the head choppers on the first half, the suspense going up that second lift, and the insanity of the Rhine Plunge and swoops afterwards, it was a perfect execution of the concept. Top Gun is the only suspended that can come close but without that second lift the ride is over way too soon to be fully satisfying.
Part of what made the Bat so unique is that all of the motion was "swing" based and not banking based. There is definitely a difference between the two dynamics on Arrow suspended coasters in terms of how they feel. When the train is moving at a velocity different from the track, you feel it a bit differently than you do when they two are just heartlining around the center of gravity. Of course, this very swinging dynamic is what lead to the excessive wear and tear of the Bat and ultimately to the short lifespan of the class in general.
There is no doubt that the pinnacle of suspended coasters was Eagle Fortress.
Towards the end of the ride, it has a Bat like moment in that it lines up for a turn on the wrong side and the horizontal acceleration whips the cars to the other side. The main difference is that the angle of the wheel assemblies to position of the train doesn't equal the 90 degree plus load that the Bat had at several times.
The first half of the Bat wasn't that special; but, the run off the second lift was quite incredible. Seeing those incredible looking trains in motion was icing on the cake.
Speaking of excessive wear and tear... those 4D coasters are the modern equivalent to the suspended. Many moving parts and forces working against each other will likely mean they will remain a novelty and have a short lifespan.
I was lucky enough to ride this a few times as a kid.. (I was 10-11 then). My memories were mostly of the violent swinging and the nice positive Gs you got on the curves, especially after the 2nd lift (I just called it 'pressure' back then). Also the fact that on our last ride, it stopped halfway up each lift for several minutes... the ride was normal otherwise, but they shut it down after we got off, and this was towards its end... I don't think it ran too many more weeks after that before they closed it for good.
At the time, I rated it "fun" better than Racer, but not as cool as the Beast, and not nearly worth the long lines it commanded. Combine its uniqueness, a lot of marketing, slow operations and crummy uptime, and you wound up with absolutely beastly lines when it was actually running.
Thanks for the video link!
Incredible, and thanks for sharing.
It's also nice to see the dearly departed Zodiac in the background at the end.
Very nice link; thanks for sharing.
I agree with Jeff; this doesn't actually look that spectacular. The later suspended coasters were where Arrow really got the design right, culminating in the fantastic Eagle Fortress.
I'd love to see some more suspended/swinging coasters built, though I can't say I'm holding my breath...
Very cool video. Also, thanks for sharing. Some of those swings looked like they took a violent toll. Even back then, you would think the people engineering this ride would know that constant force on those swings would result with problems.
I can see why even the modern Arrow suspended coasters became a thing of the past when B&M introduced their version.
I just can't for the life of me understand why they didn't bank the track. Putting the brakes under the swinging car instead of on the bogie also seems colossally stupid in an obvious way.
I'm not sure about the putting the brakes under the car, but I would imagine the engineers designing the track took a page from truss bridge design and assumed that since the cars could swing, they acted as pinned connections and transmitted little to no torque to the track.
Coaster Rider X said:
When the train is moving at a velocity different from the track, you feel it a bit differently than you do when they two are just heartlining around the center of gravity.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. The track has no velocity because it doesn't move.
Regarding what is "torquing" the track, if it's not banked, that means the pull on the bogie is going to be all over the place instead of on the road wheels, and therefore the top of the rails. Suddenly you have to look all over the place for bearing and axle failures, and all possible flavors of track failures. What a pain.
As for the swing feeling different, the cars are going to swing to the outside of the turns, banked track or not. The shocks on the Bat look horribly loose, and I'm sure took a beating because of the constant swinging.
And more incredibly, the original scale model of the Arrow suspended coaster had a corkscrew inversion in it. There's a video of it around somewhere. They finally decided that should the train slow for some reason the cars wouldn't be stable enough to avoid injury to the passengers.
I guess B&M figured out a solution some years later.
Here is a link to the video
I wouldn't say B&M figured out a solution. The Arrow suspended and B&M inverted coasters are drastically different designs. They just look similar because of the orientation of the track.
The solution was not letting the trains swing. :)
The poor girl at the end of the ride saying... "It Hurt My Body!... Really!" at around 2:23.Last edited by SteveWoA, Monday, June 17, 2013 12:47 PM
At around 2:23 the train has slowed quite a bit. But doesn't reach the brakes until about 2:30.
Anyone care to venture a guess? Or is it just me?
That is awesome, I had been hoping to see a POV of the ride for ages. It looks incredibly fierce and intense bordering on painful. There seemed to be at least 3 turns that swing the cars past 90*. I can see why some of those who were lucky enough to ride still say it was the best/most intense suspended ever built.
Top Gun/Flight Deck reigns supreme for me out of the one's I have been on (BBW and Iron Dragon being the others).
Wow. Those vintage videos are pretty cool. One can really see the history of bad engineering in the Arrow company. They have built so many coasters, only about 10 of which (off the top of my head, and IMO of course) are actually any good.
I can see why some of those who were lucky enough to ride still say it was the best/most intense suspended ever built.
I can't see it at all. I think most of that notion is nostalgia.
The ride looks like it was a snooze fest until it failed to negotiate a turn. Eagle Fortress on the other hand, that ride looks pretty intense.
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