Specific Type: Wooden Bobsled
In 2006 the construction crew at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Pennsylvania began construction on a coaster that is a throwback to the golden age of coasters. John Fetterman took inspiration from 1920’s era designers Norman Bartlett and John Miller and designed a wooden bobsled coaster under the name of Flying Turns. The crew atKnoebels took this design and began work on the coaster instead of sending the coaster through a major manufacturer like most modern day coasters. This bobsled coaster runs in a trough rather than on tracks like most coasters. This means the cars are free to slide back and forth in the trough just like you see with bobsledding in the Winter Olympics. Bobsled coasters are rare enough themselves in today’s amusement parks, but most of these use a metal trough for the train to run in. Flying Turns takes the uniqueness to a whole new level by featuring a completely wooden construction; both the supports and the trough in which the train travels in are made of wood just like the bobsled coasters of the old days
However, bridging the gap between the new and the old brings its own sets of challenges. Construction began in January of 2006, but unfortunately the crew has stumbled upon several challenges and problems so Flying Turns is still yet to open. Things were looking good in 2007 as the crew completed the track work and ran successful test runs of a single car. By the end of 2007 the crew was running powered test runs of the whole train; things were looking good for the throwback coaster. However, problems began arising when a problem with the trains’ wheels was discovered. The wheels had to be shipped back to their manufacturer in California in order to be fixed. After that problem was fixed a more serious problem arose. The train was traveling through its layout too quickly which put riders’ comfort and safety at risk. Knoebels began work on the ride, but this work has proven to be quite tricky. The park hoped to openFlying Turns for the 2009 season, but unfortunately this goal was not able to be met.
In 2011, Knoebels added another entry to their blog with a new Flying Turns update. It said that they were very encouraged with the new Flying Turns trains. With the blog post was a video, which showed a point of view from the prototype chassis. Knoebels also stated in their blog that there is still a lot of work to be done to finish the ride. The ride remains closed to this day.
The ride begins with a left turn off of the lift hill that transitions right back into a right hand turn while traveling at a slight downward grade. Next up in the layout is a 90 degree left turn in which the train rises up the side of the trough.
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