Drachen Fire

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Drachen Fire
Drachen Fire in 1996.jpg
Drachen Fire in 1996
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Park section Current Black Forest site
Coordinates 37°13′50″N 76°38′40″W / 37.230636°N 76.644435°W / 37.230636; -76.644435Coordinates: 37°13′50″N 76°38′40″W / 37.230636°N 76.644435°W / 37.230636; -76.644435
Status Closed
Opening date April 4, 1992[1]
Closing date July 11, 1998
Cost $4,000,000 USD
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer Ron Toomer
Model Custom Looping
Track layout custom
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 150 ft (46 m)
Drop 130 ft (40 m)
Length 3,550 ft (1,080 m)
Speed 60 mph (97 km/h)
Inversions 6 (1992-1994) 5 (1994-July 11, 1998)
Duration 1:46
G-force 3.7
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Drachen Fire at RCDB
Pictures of Drachen Fire at RCDB

Drachen Fire was an Arrow Dynamics roller coaster that operated from 1992 to 1998 at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

History[edit]

Many elements that Busch Gardens wanted within the roller coaster had never been constructed by Arrow Dynamics previously. One particular problem that Arrow faced was designing the vertical loop to wrap around the lift hill, an element used on Kumba and on Riddler's Revenge at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The concept also featured a cobra roll inversion and interlocking corkscrews, signature design elements for B&M coasters but ones not used before or since by Arrow. The layout proposed by Arrow relied upon the type of support infrastructure typically used by Arrow, but the layout was much larger than Busch wanted. As a result, the size of the layout was reduced.

Less than a month after opening, the coaster gained a reputation for roughness.[2]

When Drachen Fire was completed, it had six inversions: a wraparound corkscrew midway into the first hill (first), a Cobra Roll (referred to by Arrow as a "Batwing"—second and third), and a cutback (fifth) between the corkscrews. Two counter-clockwise corkscrews (the fourth and sixth inversions) completed the inversion count. However, after the 1994 season, the corkscrew before the cutback inversion was removed and replaced with a banked turn.

The ride closed in mid-1998. The ride stood "Standing but not operating" until 2002 as the coaster was listed for sale but no buyers were received and the ride was soon dismantled.

Notes[edit]

A train was traveling on the track on Opening Day of 2001, testing the ride to decide whether or not to re-open it for the 2002 season, as well as raising many people's hopes about the possibility of opening with the rest of the park, but the ride was never re-opened.

The coaster was placed for sale in 1999.[3] After failing to find a buyer, the coaster was torn down in February 2002 and its steel recycled.[4] Drachen Fire's loading station and train storage house are currently used for Howl-O-Scream Halloween festival.

The Coaster originally had 6 inversions but the "diving corkscrew" which immediately followed the brakerun was removed after the 1994 season.

In 1999, Arrow implemented the same B&M-style support structure used on Drachen Fire for the Tennessee Tornado at Dollywood.

In 2006, Busch Gardens began to use the former Drachen Fire site as a concert venue.

In 2009, Busch started holding the Glory at the Gardens concert series in Festhaus Park due to overflowing The Royal Palace Theatre in Aquitane.

In 2012, Busch Gardens debuted Verbolten, a Zierer multi-launch roller coaster, on a portion of Drachen Fire's former land.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kale, Wilford (5 April 1992). Area. "Comedian helps save rocky day when Busch coaster fails to roll". The Richmond Times-Dispatch. p. C-2. 
  2. ^ Petkofsky, Andrew (20 April 1992). Area. "Some riders rate Drachen Fire as pain in the neck". The Richmond Times-Dispatch. p. 8. 
  3. ^ Cohn, Meredith (15 August 1999). Business. "Busch Gardens' Drachen Fire For Sale". The Virginian-Pilot. p. D1. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  4. ^ O'Brien, Tim (11 February 2002). "Extinguishing the fire: Work begins to dismantle ride at The Old Country". Amusement Business 114 (6): 7. ISSN 0003-2344. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 

External links[edit]