Coasterpedia
Log in

Custom Looping Coaster

Revision as of 20:47, 7 April 2018 by Lachlan (talk | contribs) (Undo revision 72450 by Coaster Bot (talk) "looping" isn't a recognised category, "MarineLand" is styling used on official website)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
This is a previously featured article
Custom Looping Coaster
{{{caption}}}
General
[[File:|link=|center]]
Status Discontinued
First installation Corkscrew (1976)
Last installation Tennessee Tornado (1999)
Statistics
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Type Steel
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill

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 corkscrew element on Corkscrew at Cedar Point

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.

An overview of the track layout of Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain

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.

A train climbing the lift hill on Drachen Fire

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.[1]

Design[edit | edit source]

Most Custom Looping Coasters were welded together onsite, however some later installations used bolt-up track and supports.[2]

The majority of installations use a combination of the following inversions:

Trains[edit | edit source]

The roller coaster uses trains with either six or seven cars. Each car sits four riders in two rows of two. Riders are secured by over-the-shoulder harnesses.

Installations[edit | edit source]

Name Amusement park Country Inversions Opened Status
Corkscrew Cedar Point
USA.png
United States
3 May 15, 1976 Operating
Demon California's Great America
USA.png
United States
4 (originally 2) May 20, 1976 Operating
Demon Six Flags Great America
USA.png
United States
4 (originally 2) May 29, 1976 Operating
Double Loop Geauga Lake
USA.png
United States
2 1977 Closed September 16, 2007
Loch Ness Monster Busch Gardens Williamsburg
USA.png
United States
2 1978 Operating
Corkscrew Valleyfair
USA.png
United States
3 1980 Operating
Carolina Cyclone Carowinds
USA.png
United States
4 March 1980 Operating
Orient Express Worlds of Fun
USA.png
United States
4 April 4, 1980 Closed October 26, 2003
Dragon Fire Canada's Wonderland
Canada.png
Canada
4 1981 Operating
Viper Darien Lake
USA.png
United States
5 May 1982 Operating
Dragon Mountain MarineLand
Canada.png
Canada
4 1983 Operating
Dragon Ocean Park
China.png
China
3 1984 Operating
Vortex Kings Island
USA.png
United States
6 April 11, 1987 Operating
Rolling X-Train Everland
South Korea.png
South Korea
4 1988 Operating
ShockWave Six Flags Great America
USA.png
United States
7 June 3, 1988 Closed 2002
Great American Scream Machine Six Flags Great Adventure
USA.png
United States
7 April 15, 1989 July 18, 2010
Viper Six Flags Magic Mountain
USA.png
United States
7 April 7, 1990 Operating
Anaconda Kings Dominion
USA.png
United States
4 March 23, 1991 Operating
Steel Phantom Kennywood
USA.png
United States
4 May 1991 Closed 2001
Drachen Fire Busch Gardens Williamsburg
USA.png
United States
5 (originally 6) April 4, 1992 Closed July 1998
Fantasia Special Tongdo Fantasia
Japan.png
Japan
5 1993 Operating
Canyon Blaster Adventuredome
USA.png
United States
4 August 23, 1993 Operating
Hot Wheels SideWinder
Formerly Big Dipper
Dreamworld
Luna Park
Australia.png
Australia
Australia.png
Australia
2 December 26, 2001
1995
Operating
Closed January 27, 2001
Roller Coaster Al-Sha'ab Leisure Park
Kuwait.png
Kuwait
2 1996 SBNO since July 2017
Tennessee Tornado Dollywood
USA.png
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]