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Shaggy

The Firehawk back-story...

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Yup, corkerscrews instead of our in line twists and helix. So our ride is a bit longer than Nighthawk.

 

Firehawk also has dual stations while Nighthawk does not. Also ironic that the prototype/ older model is staying while Firehawk is leaving.

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Dual stations like Firehawk are a double edged sword.  They increase capacity but they also cost more to maintain and operate due to requiring more employees.

I am a fan of flying coasters and while I never thought Firehawk was a great layout, I will miss it.  Here is to either KI or CP getting a new Vekoma or B&M flyer.  The world could use more rides like Tatsu, Manta, and Flying Dinosaur.

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7 hours ago, TheRickster said:

Also ironic that the prototype/ older model is staying while Firehawk is leaving.

I think this is one of the reasons why Nighthawk would be staying- it was the first. Which I why I hope to ride it someday B)

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I believe Firehawk and Batwing at SFA were supposed to have another unique feature apart from Stealth.  I think they were supposed to remain up right until the lift and then tilt back into flight mode, or it was at least something Vekoma had idealized.  

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1 hour ago, silver2005 said:

I believe Firehawk and Batwing at SFA were supposed to have another unique feature apart from Stealth.  I think they were supposed to remain up right until the lift and then tilt back into flight mode, or it was at least something Vekoma had idealized.  

You are correct. They were supposed to stay in the upright position until it reached the top of the lift hill.

It never happened.

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Just now, BoddaH1994 said:

You are correct. They were supposed to stay in the upright position until it reached the top of the lift hill.

It never happened.

This animation (posted earlier in this thread or one of the many others) shows that feature: 

Ironically, one of the biggest issues with Firehawk was the wireless sensors confirming whether or not the pins of the ride were locked into place. I.E. what's securing the ride in the "lay down" position. Imagine if that thing had to lay back on the lift hill, lock in place, and then signal that it's ready all before it crests the hill and begins? There's enough other moving parts and variables in place, that would've been insane. 

If memory serves, there was an accident on Nighthawk where the trains weren't properly secured down and the ride went about its cycle, injuring some employees during a morning test ride. 

Here's another peculiar Firehawk/X-Flight question: Didn't you used to board from the middle and exit the sides when it was at Geauga Lake? I believe KI switched it around to enter on the sides, exit through the middle.

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On ‎9‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 1:38 PM, teenageninja said:

I think the most ironic thing about this is that they tore down KCKC because it was an eyesore and installed a giant tan box in Rivertown.

I agree!  Two of the rides mentioned here wanted by Tim Fisher to "modernize the park" are the 2 biggest eyesores in the park.   The Tomb Raider building and Stunt Coaster.  The Keelboats with the lake and the Antique Cars with their landscaping were definitely not eyesores, they added beauty to the park.

So the person that did the most damage to Kings Island now has a name!  Tim Fisher.

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2 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:


Here's another peculiar Firehawk/X-Flight question: Didn't you used to board from the middle and exit the sides when it was at Geauga Lake? I believe KI switched it around to enter on the sides, exit through the middle.

i want to say you boarded the same way.

Then again, how should I know?  When we went in 2006 a ride op yelled at us saying that we weren't allowed to take photos while in line in the station. (Remember that?)

Probably the oddest rule I'd ever heard.

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2 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Here's another peculiar Firehawk/X-Flight question: Didn't you used to board from the middle and exit the sides when it was at Geauga Lake? I believe KI switched it around to enter on the sides, exit through the middle.

Geauga Lake had the same platform layout, outside was load, middle was unload.

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4 hours ago, PhantomTheater said:

Geauga Lake had the same platform layout, outside was load, middle was unload.

Thank you!

3 hours ago, silver2005 said:

Here are some photos via negative-g.com that show the similar station when it was at Geauga Lake.

http://www.negative-g.com/six-flags-worlds-of-adventure/2003/six-flags-worlds-of-adventure-2003-4.htm

Thank you! Not sure why I thought that was flipped?

1 hour ago, PhantomTheater said:

^Also has a good picture of the inboard motors to lower and raise the seats.

Totally forgot about that. I believe Nighthawk was the first to get the external apparatus that raised and lowered the seats (modified after its relocation to Carowinds from PGA as "Stealth"). Then Firehawk received a similar system when it moved to KI. Anyone know if that's correct? 

4 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

i want to say you boarded the same way.

Then again, how should I know?  When we went in 2006 a ride op yelled at us saying that we weren't allowed to take photos while in line in the station. (Remember that?)

Probably the oddest rule I'd ever heard.

Totally forgot about that! And no one else bothered us the whole day about taking photographs while in line. 

Funny story: I'm pretty sure that ride op was a member of these forums, really nice guy. Haven't seen him on here in years. He was adamant that X-Flight's removal wasn't a signal of the end for GL. I felt bad when it was...

...there was also another member here who claimed Kings Island's lot was a staging area to move the ride to Michigan's Adventure. Because, you know, if you're gonna move a coaster North of Geauga Lake - the best thing to do is move it hundreds of miles south, let it sit in a parking lot, then take it North again. Whaddup, Brian?

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I just want to say this thread is awesome and has been a great read. Thanks to the many contributors for giving us a behind the scenes look at Firehawk's past.B)

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38 minutes ago, Gordon Bombay said:

...there was also another member here who claimed Kings Island's lot was a staging area to move the ride to Michigan's Adventure. Because, you know, if you're gonna move a coaster North of Geauga Lake - the best thing to do is move it hundreds of miles south, let it sit in a parking lot, then take it North again. Whaddup, Brian?

It's not going to happen, but wouldn't it be funny if it did go to Michigan's Adventure? Then he's not technically wrong. ;)

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8 hours ago, CoastersRZ said:

And for good reason.  If one of the cars didn`t lock into place, that would be a miserable ride if your were riding in the sitting position the entire time, and not the flying position.

Yikes! That would have been interesting to say the least.

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7 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Ironically, one of the biggest issues with Firehawk was the wireless sensors confirming whether or not the pins of the ride were locked into place. I.E. what's securing the ride in the "lay down" position. Imagine if that thing had to lay back on the lift hill, lock in place, and then signal that it's ready all before it crests the hill and begins? There's enough other moving parts and variables in place, that would've been insane. 
 

 

The ride did not use wireless transmission. It used a bus bar that followed the length of the track in certain areas to provide power and to relay a signal back to the PLC. The train had "fingers" on certain cars, including the lead car that made contact with the bus bar. The grey rails on either side of the track, and most of the fingers were removed when the ride was moved to KI, as well as the onboard motor that could raise or lower the car. It still has the smaller locking pin motors on board, however. 

DSCN5136.jpg

XFlight03

You can see the "fingers" sticking out in this shot. 

One more bonus photo, as far as I know this is the only existing photo of a train leaving with the cars in the upright position, dated May 2002. 

 xflight_upright.jpg

But back to the wireless, Firehawk still uses the same bus bar method in the station(not wireless), albeit far fewer contacts are needed. You can just barely make out the contact pins to the right of the white nylon wheel on the left side of coach 1. 

Firehawk at Kings Island

 

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@MBT: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm getting everything wrong in this thread, but learning so much haha. I appreciate the insight. Was there some sort of wireless transmission or component to Firehawk, though, other than what I thought there was? Or am I completely off base on this?

 

1 hour ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

It's not going to happen, but wouldn't it be funny if it did go to Michigan's Adventure? Then he's not technically wrong. ;)

In a way, given the back story on how it got to KI, that'd be totally appropriate!

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I'm not aware of any wireless component on Firehawk, but my knowledge of the ride comes mostly from 2007 & earlier. 

The reclining on the lift was exceedingly rare. The entire project for Six Flags was rushed after Paramount ended their agreement with Vekoma. It was essentially less than 230 days from the verbal agreement to when the ride was supposed to open in Ohio. The contract wasn't even signed until January of 2001, after construction had begun! The project was met with numerous challenges and failures caused by the compressed timeline. In year one, the ride struggled to even open. After the first season, additional programming and mechanical work was performed in an attempt to get the ride to recline on the lift on a consistent basis, but that didn't last very long in 2002 before it was abandoned. Relations soured between Six Flags and Vekoma and the two have never built another coaster together since. 

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2 minutes ago, MBT said:

I'm not aware of any wireless component on Firehawk, but my knowledge of the ride comes mostly from 2007 & earlier. 

The reclining on the lift was exceedingly rare. The entire project for Six Flags was rushed after Paramount ended their agreement with Vekoma. It was essentially less than 230 days from the verbal agreement to when the ride was supposed to open in Ohio. The contract wasn't even signed until January of 2001, after construction had begun! The project was met with numerous challenges and failures caused by the compressed timeline. In year one, the ride struggled to even open. After the first season, additional programming and mechanical work was performed in an attempt to get the ride to recline on the lift on a consistent basis, but that didn't last very long in 2002 before it was abandoned. Relations soured between Six Flags and Vekoma and the two have never built another coaster together since. 

Each train was outfitted with WiFi when it was moved, although I do not know the exact function, but I can find out. We did a Firehawk backstage tour as part of one of the KIC events and a steel coaster maintenance guy told us about the WiFi. My understanding is that system was a big part of the downtown that it had. 

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17 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

You are correct. They were supposed to stay in the upright position until it reached the top of the lift hill.

It never happened.

The original flying dutchman, Stealth at Great America was originally intended to leave the station in the sitting position and recline on the lift as well.  I don't think it ever worked either.

https://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/news/archives/june99/stories/062299_04.shtml

 

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16 hours ago, goettablitz said:

The original flying dutchman, Stealth at Great America was originally intended to leave the station in the sitting position and recline on the lift as well.  I don't think it ever worked either.

https://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/news/archives/june99/stories/062299_04.shtml

 

X-Flights did for a very small amount of time. Someone posted a picture of the train leaving the station, loaded, in the upright position, either on here or reddit.

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On 9/27/2018 at 12:25 PM, Shaggy said:

Ironically, King Cobra at KI was originally going to be demolished in 1999 – and not open with Action Zone.  But once the development of “Stealth” began – KI opted to hold on to KC for two more seasons in order to swap a coaster for coaster…  The “new” “more vibrant” paint job that KC was given when Action Zone opened was a decision to mask what Tim Fisher considered an “eyesore” by that point in time.  After Action Zone opened, King Cobra was again slated for removal in 2001 as preparation for the Vekoma Flyer to be added in its spot.  Even after the flyer was cancelled, KC still met the fate of the wrecking ball after 2 years of the park attempting to sell it.  

I think its ironic that both KI and KD had Togo standups that were replaced by Deliriums. 

I kinda feel bad for King Cobra in a way. I never got to ride it but it seemed like an exciting ride.

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