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Arrow Dynamics/Kings Island discussion


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Welp, I've been curious about something. Is it just me, or was Arrow Dynamics really not that great of a design company. I know they installed 8 attractions in Kings Island, and only 2 of them remain.

They just seem to have a lot of defunct rides in their name. For instance:

1. They manufactured the tracks for the Antique Cars(now defunct)

2. They designed and built The Bat, which we all know was a colossal failure. They struggled with it for only 3 seasons when it was mostly closed before demolishing it. Then, they installed The Vortex at virtually no cost due to their embaressment over The Bat. Engineers from Arrow completely botched The Bat design. Too much stress on parts, poor planning ect.

3. They built Screamin' Demon which was sold to another park, and then ultimately trashed.

4. They made the Kings Mill Log Flume which is now defunct. (However it was moved from Coney and was THAT old)

5. They built KCKC and designed the hydroflume. As much as I loved KCKC, the concept of a hydroflume was expected to be "THE premier attraction" I mean, since log flumes were so popular then bigger faster hydroflumes will be the bomb! (Which they were not as successful as expected) Arrow pioneered those.

6. They went bankrupt. nuff said.

What are you guys' imput on the company Arrow Dynamics and their contribution to KI? Were they a less than stellar company or did their attractions last, but simply wore out?

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Arrow made a lot of stuff over a long period of time, some were great and some were junk!

To me Vortex is one of the best Arrow loopers around and due to Vortex I have become a bit of a fan of arrow loopers even if some are more rough then your average woodie!.

Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point, is a Arrow coaster even has a ACE sign for being the first to hit the 200 foot mark, even though to me it's a real big mine train coaster!

Arrow has it's place in the history of coasters.

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Kings Mills Flume is still there, its Wild Tornberry's River Adventure now. However much of flume track was replaced when the ride was refurbished. I believe the Station and drops are the only original flume track that remains.

Don't forget KI still has 3 coasters operating that were from Arrow. Flight Deck, Adventure Express and Vortex.

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not sure that they were the failure that you point out. Everyone is entitled to an opinion- here is mine.

1. antique cars- really kind of a dinosaur in today's thrill parks, which KI is. I know they were sacred cows as far as some of this site are concerned- but in reality obsolete.

2. The Bat was a 'prototype' coaster that would have been excellent had it been designed correctly. ufortunately the only way to assess that was to build and fail.

3. Screamin Demon was aging and in the day of Vortex, obsolete. Age and ongoing maintenance had something to do with it being trashed.

4. Kings Mill Flume was just re-designed and still operates.

5. KCKC- no need for 2 log flumes and Paramount Parks wanted to construct a building for Tomb Raider.

6. bad management probably contributed more to their demise than design.

Flight Deck is still operable.

As far as contribution- I think they served their purpose- but with competition comes better designs and they just got nudged out of the market.

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6. bad management probably contributed more to their demise than design.

As far as contribution- I think they served their purpose- but with competition comes better designs and they just got nudged out of the market.

I don't know, I love Arrow but they did do X http://www.rcdb.com/id750.htm and Drachen Fire http://www.rcdb.com/id112.htm

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Rumor has it that a lawsuit from Six Flags regarding the problems with X caused Arrow to go under. That, however, seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back. Along with the lawsuit, a long-diminishing demand for their coasters, and the research and development that went into X and the proposed Fishhook coaster at the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas, ultimately drove Arrow into bankruptcy.

I suppose bad management could be attributed to Arrow's demise, but that definition may differ from one perspective to another. Certainly, it would seem their main problem was not evolving with the market, thereby failing to remain competitive with Intamin and B&M. Arrow showed much improvement with the advent of Tennessee Tornado and their expanded product line (ArrowBATic, Virginia Reel, 4D), but it simply came too late in the game. The reason for that is probably known to only a select few, and I doubt any of them frequent these boards.

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I would definitely not say Arrow was a bad company. The rides removed, with the exception of The Bat, were old. It was their time. The Bat was a prototype, you can't expect to get everything right on a prototype.

As said before, The Kings Mill Log Flume wasn't removed, just renovated and became The Wild Thornberries.

Your count is a bit off, there are actually four Arrow rides, Flight Deck, Adventure Express, Vortex, and Wild Thornberries, there actually might be more but I can't think of any right now.

Arrow has a very well-deserved place in roller coaster history. They pioneered the first tubular steel coaster, the first working looper (Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain), the suspended coaster, and the 4th dimension coaster. They aren't by any stretch of imagination a bad design company. They just mismanaged.

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Arrow pioneered the first modern inverting roller coaster, which was Corkscrew at Knott's Berry Farm. Revolution at SFMM was the first modern looping coaster, and was designed by Anton Schwarzkopf.

Also, Wild Thornberry's River Adventure is part O.D. Hopkins, part Arrow, since the 2001 refurbishment. I know that the trough was replaced, but other than that, I don't know how much O.D. Hopkins did.

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I thought the Wild Thornberry's would be counted as a Hopkins. I agree that maybe they went under due to their failure to upgrade their designs to keep competitive with futuristic designers such as B&M. I never thought of the point that since The Bat was a prototype, the only way to start and discover a good design is building and failing.

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I thought the Wild Thornberry's would be counted as a Hopkins. I agree that maybe they went under due to their failure to upgrade their designs to keep competitive with futuristic designers such as B&M. I never thought of the point that since The Bat was a prototype, the only way to start and discover a good design is building and failing.

I don't know. I would consider Wild Thornberries Arrow if it were me. But I'm not sure what the official classification is.

I would agree that they weren't keeping up with B&M and Intamin. They're modern ride manufacturers, Arrow wasn't. At least not in it's later years.

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I never thought of the point that since The Bat was a prototype, the only way to start and discover a good design is building and failing.

No, the only way to discover a good design is not building and failing, especially with respect to a structure on which human lives depend. Certainly, much knowledge can be had from the analysis of failed designs, even moreso than the analysis of successful designs according to some, but that knowledge should be obtained from models and prototypes, not the full-scale product. For whatever reason, there were several issues that Arrow engineers did not consider significant, or did not consider at all, and these issues proved to be too great for the ride to be an economically viable attraction at the park.

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The Wilrd Thornberrys was designed by Arrow (at the time known as Arrow Development). In the 2000 season, the ride was renovated by O.D. Hopkins, replacing most of the old wood and fiberglass trough with stainless steel. However, the station area, both lift hills and the final drop and splashdown remained original with some TLC. The layout remained unchanged when Hopkins renovated the ride for its reincarnation in 2001 as the Wild Thornberrys River Adventure.

And on the subject of testing things, it is not uncommon for large skyscrapers and building to build full scale tests of their curtain walls (the cladding that keeps the elements out of the building). The reason for the mockups can be many. From ensuring that it meets the specified performance standards (keeping enough water out, thermal resistance, etc), to figuring out tolerances and how the construction process will work and what trades will be involved and when. Often building a mock up, while there is an upfront cost, can result in changes to the design that save money on repairs that would have been necessary had the mock up not been constructed. It also can save time in the construction process by ironing out any potential clearance issues between the different systems of the curtain wall.

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CoastersRZ confirmed my point about Arrow's design of The Bat. Now that I see it, they should not have been testing a prototype with human lives at stake like that. I don't think any company should build and design an attraction while having that much trouble with it, it's just embaressing. The Bat issues must have been far worse for arrow to deal with than even the roller coaster of america which kinda screwed up SOB.

Arrow did have it's gems though.

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I would definitely not say Arrow was a bad company. The rides removed, with the exception of The Bat, were old. It was their time. The Bat was a prototype, you can't expect to get everything right on a prototype.

As said before, The Kings Mill Log Flume wasn't removed, just renovated and became The Wild Thornberries.

Your count is a bit off, there are actually four Arrow rides, Flight Deck, Adventure Express, Vortex, and Wild Thornberries, there actually might be more but I can't think of any right now.

Arrow has a very well-deserved place in roller coaster history. They pioneered the first tubular steel coaster, the first working looper (Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain), the suspended coaster, and the 4th dimension coaster. They aren't by any stretch of imagination a bad design company. They just mismanaged.

I agree.

The Revolution, was opened in 76 wasn't it?

I think Arrow took risks, by that I mean they seemed to be ready to try things that had never been tried before. I admire that. The Bat was a risk because it had never been done before. It didn't work out but that's what trying new ideas is about. Arrow was ahead of their time and I think they inspired the ride industry.

The Vortex is excellent. The Screamin Demon was a blast, but they over shadowed it when Vortex moved into the park.

If the SD was still there I would ride it everytime I went. Flight Deck is great too, but not as good as The Bat.

You put it perfectly, they were pioneers and they should be appreciated. (Just my opinion). I like Arrow designs, they pushed the envolope.

:)

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CoastersRZ confirmed my point about Arrow's design of The Bat. Now that I see it, they should not have been testing a prototype with human lives at stake like that. I don't think any company should build and design an attraction while having that much trouble with it, it's just embaressing. The Bat issues must have been far worse for arrow to deal with than even the roller coaster of america which kinda screwed up SOB.

Arrow did have it's gems though.

27 people weren't hurt on The Bat though.

People were hurt on SoB.

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I would definitely not say Arrow was a bad company. The rides removed, with the exception of The Bat, were old. It was their time. The Bat was a prototype, you can't expect to get everything right on a prototype.

As said before, The Kings Mill Log Flume wasn't removed, just renovated and became The Wild Thornberries.

Your count is a bit off, there are actually four Arrow rides, Flight Deck, Adventure Express, Vortex, and Wild Thornberries, there actually might be more but I can't think of any right now.

Arrow has a very well-deserved place in roller coaster history. They pioneered the first tubular steel coaster, the first working looper (Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain), the suspended coaster, and the 4th dimension coaster. They aren't by any stretch of imagination a bad design company. They just mismanaged.

I agree.

The Revolution, was opened in 76 wasn't it?

I think Arrow took risks, by that I mean they seemed to be ready to try things that had never been tried before. I admire that. The Bat was a risk because it had never been done before. It didn't work out but that's what trying new ideas is about. Arrow was ahead of their time and I think they inspired the ride industry.

The Vortex is excellent. The Screamin Demon was a blast, but they over shadowed it when Vortex moved into the park.

If the SD was still there I would ride it everytime I went. Flight Deck is great too, but not as good as The Bat.

You put it perfectly, they were pioneers and they should be appreciated. (Just my opinion). I like Arrow designs, they pushed the envolope.

:)

You're right, it was built in '76. And as was pointed out, I was wrong. Revolution was actually built by Anton Schwarzkopf and designed by Werner Stengel. However, like CoasterKrazy said, Arrow did pioneer the first modern inverting coaster.

What I forgot to mention is Magnum, the first coaster to break the 200ft barrier. This wasn't just a height record breaker but an instant classic. A ride that still stands up to the new Intamin bad boys that stand at 300ft and over. They proved that height and speed isn't the only thing a ride needed to provide an awesome experience.

I won't say it's indisputable, but I will say it's difficult to dispute that Arrow was the driving force in steel coaster advancement of the main part of the 20th century. They tried new things and that's how we have coasters that stretch to 400 feet (albeit gimmicky) and coasters that go upside down 10 times.

Ed Morgan, Ron Toomer and Karl Bacon, I take my hat off to you.

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^Gotta agree with you Chase, Magnum beats MF any day.

CoastersRZ confirmed my point about Arrow's design of The Bat. Now that I see it, they should not have been testing a prototype with human lives at stake like that. I don't think any company should build and design an attraction while having that much trouble with it, it's just embaressing. The Bat issues must have been far worse for arrow to deal with than even the roller coaster of america which kinda screwed up SOB.

Arrow did have it's gems though.

Steve, I think you're misunderstanding the meaning of the word "prototype" in this situation. They weren't "testing" anything with human lives. The design had been proven that it could operate safely thus why it was allowed to be built. Arrow had a facility where they would test designs (you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmtm9G9bPvA). They knew it was safe, but by prototype they mean it was the first technologically of its kind. While it operated it had a perfect safety record. BL:SC, Flight of Fear, and Crypt were all considered prototypes by their manufacturers.

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^Gotta agree with you Chase, Magnum beats MF any day.

CoastersRZ confirmed my point about Arrow's design of The Bat. Now that I see it, they should not have been testing a prototype with human lives at stake like that. I don't think any company should build and design an attraction while having that much trouble with it, it's just embaressing. The Bat issues must have been far worse for arrow to deal with than even the roller coaster of america which kinda screwed up SOB.

Arrow did have it's gems though.

Steve, I think you're misunderstanding the meaning of the word "prototype" in this situation. They weren't "testing" anything with human lives. The design had been proven that it could operate safely thus why it was allowed to be built. Arrow had a facility where they would test designs (you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmtm9G9bPvA). They knew it was safe, but by prototype they mean it was the first technologically of its kind. While it operated it had a perfect safety record. BL:SC, Flight of Fear, and Crypt were all considered prototypes by their manufacturers.

Not to mention, how different is what Arrow used to do from what Intamin has done in the last 8 years at Cedar Point? They tried to put a 70mph zero g-roll on maverick... enough said. Arrow set the foundation for steel coasters. It was just inability to compete and lack of more modern designs that the company went under.

Arrow is like packard, studebaker, dusenburg, etc. Any company that had an integral part in the history of their product but was eventually beat out by companies with new, more advanced designs.

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Actually, my two favorite steel coasters are from Arrow Dynamics. Here are my top ten list.

1 Voyage

2 Magnum XL200

3 Renegade

4 T-Express

5 Ghostrider

6 X

7 Millenium Force

8 The Beast

9 Raging Bull

10 Talon

Obviously, I am a wooden coaster fan.

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Not to mention, how different is what Arrow used to do from what Intamin has done in the last 8 years at Cedar Point? They tried to put a 70mph zero g-roll on maverick... enough said. Arrow set the foundation for steel coasters. It was just inability to compete and lack of more modern designs that the company went under.

I agree that Arrow did many great things for steel coasters, but comparing Arrow's failures (Bat, Drachen Fire, X) to Intamin's design flaw, on one ride, that was easily corrected and did not force the removal of a ride is a bit extreme.

I would definitely not say Arrow was a bad company. The rides removed, with the exception of The Bat, were old. It was their time. The Bat was a prototype, you can't expect to get everything right on a prototype.

And what about Drachen Fire? It was only 10 years old when it stopped operating.

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I too agree, Arrow has had its rises and falls, just like almost any other coaster company out there today. arrow did take risks and some of them, not great ones. but they still did have many great rides that have lasted and in my opinion, will last for many more years. personally, i Love AE and FD. espicially at night. i also agree that i think that they are part of the reasons why we have the type of coasters that we do today. someone had to take a risk in building the designs and they were willing to do it.

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I would definitely not say Arrow was a bad company. The rides removed, with the exception of The Bat, were old. It was their time. The Bat was a prototype, you can't expect to get everything right on a prototype.

And what about Drachen Fire? It was only 10 years old when it stopped operating.

I was just talking about Kings Island, not Arrow rides in general. But yes, I would say Drachen Fire's demise was probably more closely related to bad design.

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