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This profile was last updated on 2/24/05  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Alan Schilke

Wrong Alan Schilke?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Director of Engineering
    Arrow
  • Dynamics Chief Engineer
    Arrow
  • Head Engineer
    Arrow
13 Total References
Web References
arrow dynamics -- arrow dynamics
www.dbarrows.com, 24 Feb 2005 [cached]
... Referring to the height race, Alan Schilke, the director of engineering for one of the world's leading roller coaster engineering firms, Arrow Dynamics, based in Clearfield, Utah, says, "There is a ... http://www.pubs.asce.org/ceonline/1199feat.html
ABCNEWS.com : Computers Design Faster Thrill Rides
abcnews.go.com, 9 April 2002 [cached]
- Engineer Alan Schilke was not dropped as a child."No.Other emotional scars, but no, no serious head injury," he says with a laugh.But his fans - and there are millions of them - may think differently.
• World's Fastest Roller Coasters
...
That's because Schilke, an Arrow Dynamics chief engineer, is the twisted mind behind some of the world's most outrageous roller coasters, including the new "X" at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California.
"People really thought of it as a 'spin and puke' ride, not really something that was a controlled, free-flight, kind of movement," he said.
The "X" may be the roller-coaster industry's most unusual achievement.Riders strap in, almost fly over the track, and move freely on X, Y, and Z axes.They shake, rattle, and roll at a top speed of 76 mph and experience a drop of almost 200 feet - all within 40 seconds.
Although "X" is not the world's fastest roller coaster, which hits a top speed of 100 mph, it includes far more complex twists and turns.
...
And you're pretty much playing with gravity beyond that," said Schilke, an almost cult hero in the world of roller coasters and one of the pioneers who applied computers in the design and development of new roller coasters.
Schilke is the first to say that designers have always been limited by the laws of physics.
...
"You end up with a much smoother product because you can go back and keep refining and refining and refining it," Schilke said.
CAD software, with its computer-tested seismic and G-force analysis, gets all the attention today.But the engineering breakthrough that put Arrow on the map in the first place is the design of roller-coaster wheels.
The company redesigned how a car's wheels attach to and move along the coaster track to address the issue of frictional loss.Less friction means the roller coaster car can travel longer and faster.This is really where the rubber meets the road, or in the case of Arrow, where the Agrithane (the material that roller coaster wheels are made of) meets the track.
The Family Travel Network
www.familytravelnetwork.com, 13 Feb 2001 [cached]
"You do have to worry about how you're spinning people," said Arrow's head engineer, Alan Schilke.
ECC: X
www.coasterclub.com, 22 Oct 2003 [cached]
Many, including myself and designer Alan Schilke, liked the middle seats the most for a couple of reasons.
...
X is now at the halfway mark and with so much non-stop gymnastics, designer Alan Schilke felt it would be a good time to allow riders to get their equilibrium back by seeing the horizon and knowing once again what is up and what is down.So he designed what he calls the ‘Luge Turn'.
...
Most of all, we should thank Alan Schilke, the Arrow engineer whose creative talents brought us a bold new ride that could not have come at a better time.
...
Few steel roller coasters bear the signature of one designer in quite the same way as X. Conceived by one of Arrow Dynamics' long time engineers, Alan Schilke, it took years before his radical coaster idea was taken seriously enough to make into reality.
An Indiana native who graduated from Perdue University with a degree in structural engineering, Alan's early exposure to coasters was at his home park of Kings Island (Cincinnati, Ohio) where he became intrigued with such unusual design traits as the tilted section of trick track on the Togo stand-up coaster King Cobra.His first exposure to the amusement industry was in the early 90's as a structural consultant to Arrow on such rides as Anaconda, Steel Phantom, Drachen Fire, Desperado and The Big One.In the mid 90's he finally joined Arrow as an employee, working on the Big Dipper at Sydney, Australia's now defunct Luna Park (now operating as the Cyclone at Dreamworld).A few years later Fiesta Texas's Road Runner Express opened, the first coaster for which he contributed to the layout design.In 1999, Alan started to reveal his flair for coaster design when Dollywood (Nashville, Tennessee) opened the Tennessee Tornado, a triple looper that introduced a unique inversion called a loop-screw that Schilke had created.
It was also during the latter half of the 90's that Alan began to think more seriously about developing an idea he had been toying with for some time.Manufactured by Chance, the Zipper is a popular fairground ride where riders are spun head over heels in small, two seat cages that travel around an elliptical track that revolves at the top of a central support.Disorienting, forceful and sometimes intense, the crazy contraption had always been Alan's favourite portable ride and he began to think about how it might be possible to combine the rotating seat with a roller coaster.Alan continued to refine his concept further, creating an innovative, cantilevered train whereby a separate control rail would determine the rotation of each car at any given point on the ride.
...
Alan and his team went to work on an ambitious design, incorporating a non-stop succession of at least half a dozen never-before-seen ride elements.
Even after construction began, people kept telling Alan it would be too wild and disorienting for the general public.Riders would become dizzy and sick.Alan knew that as long as the acrobatic rolls and flips were done in spots of low G's and the seats were not upside down during the positive G-filled valleys, he could keep riders' blood flowing normally.X's success has proved him right.
X is only the beginning; Alan would love to experiment further.For future designs he would like to split the train with one side facing forwards and the other backwards.
...
Until then, Alan hinted that he will be hard at work on even more inventive track twisting concepts.
TechTV | Thrills and Chills From PC Skills
www.techtv.com, 1 May 2002 [cached]
Engineer Alan Schilke was not dropped as a child."No.Other emotional scars, but no, no serious head injury," he says with a laugh.As "Tech Live" reports tonight, his fans, and there are millions of them, may think differently.
That's because Schilke, an Arrow Dynamics chief engineer, is the twisted mind behind some of the world's most outrageous roller coasters, including the new "X" at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California.
rollercoaster tech"People really thought of it as a 'spin and puke' ride, not really something that was a controlled, free-flight, kind of movement," he said.
The "X" may be the roller-coaster industry's most unusual achievement.Riders strap in, almost fly over the track, and move freely on X, Y, and Z axes.They shake, rattle, and roll at a top speed of 76 mph and experience a drop of almost 200 feet -- all within 40 seconds.Although "X" is not the world's fastest roller coaster, which hits a top speed of 100 mph, it includes far more complex twists and turns.
ADVERTISEMENT
...
And you're pretty much playing with gravity beyond that," said Schilke, an almost cult hero in the world of roller coasters and one of the pioneers who applied computers in the design and development of new roller coasters.
Schilke is the first to say that designers have always been limited by the laws of physics.
...
"You end up with a much smoother product because you can go back and keep refining and refining and refining it," Schilke said.
CAD software, with its computer-tested seismic and G-force analysis, gets all the attention today, but the engineering breakthrough that put Arrow on the map in the first place is the design of roller-coaster wheels and how they attach to and move along the track.The company addressed the issue of frictional loss, and less friction means the roller coaster can travel longer and faster.This is really where the rubber meets the road, or in the case of Arrow where the Agrithane (the material that roller-coaster wheels are made of) meets the track.
But the "X" coaster at Magic Mountain is about more than just material science innovations for the wheels and tracks; it also pushes physics and nausea to the extreme.It's new technology helping turn a roller-coaster engineer's nightmares into a thrill-seeker's dreams.
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