|Custom Looping Coaster|
|First installation||Corkscrew (1976)|
|Last installation||Tennessee Tornado (1999)|
|Riders per train|
|Riders per hour|
|Lift/launch system||Chain lift hill|
|Dimensions||feet x feet|
The Custom Looping Coaster was a product offered by Arrow Dynamics. It spanned over twenty years, during which twenty-five were built. Arrow also produced two standardised layouts: the Corkscrew and the Loop & Corkscrew.
History[edit | edit source]
The first installation, Corkscrew at Cedar Point, opened in 1976 as the first roller coaster with three inversions. It was also Arrow's first custom inverting coaster and their first vertical loop. The same year, two installations both called Turn Of The Century opened, one at each Marriott's Great America location (now California's Great America and Six Flags Great America).
In 1977, Double Loop opened at Geauga Lake with the first back-to-back loops. The following year, Loch Ness Monster opens at Busch Gardens: The Old Country (now Busch Gardens Williamsburg) and introduced interlocking loops.
For 1980, Arrow modified their Turn of the Century roller coasters at both Marriott's locations, adding two vertical loops. As a result, their name was changed to Demon and they joined the newly-built Carolina Cyclone as the first roller coasters with four inversions. The same year, Orient Express opened with four inversions, two of which are contained within the new batwing element (referred to by Arrow as a boomerang).
Viper, which opened at Darien Lake in 1982, was the first roller coaster with five inversions. This was achieved by a vertical loop, followed by a double corkscrew and a batwing. The following year, Dragon Mountain opened at MarineLand with the only bowtie element ever built. It also took advantage of the existing terrain, remaining close to the ground throughout its 5,500 foot course. In 1984, Dragon opened at Ocean Park. Built on a hillside, it is the first roller coaster to feature a sidewinder.
In 1987, the record for most inversions was broken by Vortex at Kings Island. It has the same set of inversions as Viper at Darien Lake, with an extra loop at the beginning. Vortex's record-breaking status was short lived, as ShockWave opened in 1988 at Six Flags Great America with seven inversions: three loops, a batwing, and a double corkscrew. Six Flags subsequently built two clones. Great American Scream Machine opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in 1989 and Viper opened the following year, with an altered layout, at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Seven inversions would be the most on any Arrow roller coaster. The trio held on to their record until the opening of Dragon Khan, built by Bolliger & Mabillard, in 1995.
Drachen Fire, opened in 1992 at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, was a departure from Arrow's seventeen years of looping roller coaster experience. Rather than incorporating vertical loops, batwings and double corkscrews, Arrow included several new elements that they had never built before, including a corkscrew during the first drop, a cutback and a cobra roll. The support structure was also a new design, similar to that used by Bolliger & Mabillard. Riders complained of roughness, even in its opening season, and Drachen Fire's reputation became bad enough that Busch Gardens modified the track, removing an inversion. The coaster was ultimately closed in 1998 and demolished four years later.
Arrow returned to their older designs the following year for Fantasia Special, with the first triple corkscrew, and Canyon Blaster, located within the indoor Adventuredome theme park. By the second half of the 1990s, Arrow's projects were declining in quantity. Roller Coaster, opened in 1996, was Arrow's first Custom Looping Coaster to use their refined track and again saw a departure from their older looping designs, with smoother transitions and a single corkscrew element. The final Custom Looping Coaster installation was Tennessee Tornado. Opened in 1999 at Dollywood, it has a 110 foot tall loop (a much larger radius than loops on previous Arrow coasters) and smoother transitions. Arrow Dynamics was purchased by S&S Power in October 2002 after filing for bankruptcy.
Design[edit | edit source]
Most Custom Looping Coasters were welded together onsite, however some later installations used bolt-up track and supports.
The majority of installations use a combination of the following inversions:
Double corkscrew on Anaconda
Vertical loop on Viper at Darien Lake
Interlocking loops on Loch Ness Monster
Batwing on Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain
Bowtie on Dragon Mountain
Trains[edit | edit source]
Installations[edit | edit source]
|Corkscrew||Cedar Point||United States||3||May 15, 1976||Operating|
|Demon||California's Great America||United States||4 (originally 2)||May 20, 1976||Operating|
|Demon||Six Flags Great America||United States||4 (originally 2)||May 29, 1976||Operating|
|Double Loop||Geauga Lake||United States||2||1977||Closed September 16, 2007|
|Loch Ness Monster||Busch Gardens Williamsburg||United States||2||1978||Operating|
|Carolina Cyclone||Carowinds||United States||4||March 1980||Operating|
|Orient Express||Worlds of Fun||United States||4||April 4, 1980||Closed October 26, 2003|
|Dragon Fire||Canada's Wonderland||Canada||4||1981||Operating|
|Viper||Darien Lake||United States||5||May 1982||Operating|
|Vortex||Kings Island||United States||6||April 11, 1987||Operating|
|Rolling X-Train||Everland||South Korea||4||1988||Operating|
|ShockWave||Six Flags Great America||United States||7||June 3, 1988||Closed 2002|
|Great American Scream Machine||Six Flags Great Adventure||United States||7||April 15, 1989||July 18, 2010|
|Viper||Six Flags Magic Mountain||United States||7||April 7, 1990||Operating|
|Anaconda||Kings Dominion||United States||4||March 23, 1991||Operating|
|Steel Phantom||Kennywood||United States||4||May 1991||Closed 2001|
|Drachen Fire||Busch Gardens Williamsburg||United States||5 (originally 6)||April 4, 1992||Closed July 1998|
|Fantasia Special||Tongdo Fantasia||Japan||5||1993||Operating|
|Canyon Blaster||Adventuredome||United States||4||August 23, 1993||Operating|
|Hot Wheels SideWinder
Formerly Big Dipper
|2||December 26, 2001
Closed January 27, 2001
|Roller Coaster||Al-Sha'ab Leisure Park||Kuwait||2||1996||SBNO since July 2017|
|Tennessee Tornado||Dollywood||United States||3||April 17, 1999||Operating|
Similar products[edit | edit source]
In 1979, the first roller coasters from Dutch company Vekoma opened in Europe. They used the same track system as Arrow looping roller coasters as well as Arrow's own trains. Vekoma continued to use the track system for many of their own models, and offered their own custom looping coasters.
References[edit | edit source]
- S&S; Power, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Arrow Dynamics, Inc. - S&S-Arrow (WayBack Archive)
- Standard Ride Features - Arrow (WayBack Archive)
|Arrow Dynamics models|
|4th Dimension • Hyper Coaster • Launched Loop • Looping Coaster (Corkscrew • Loop & Corkscrew • Custom) • Mad Mouse • Runaway Train • Mini Mine Train • Special Coaster Systems • Suspended Coaster|