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American Flyer - Copper


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#1 SkiKC

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 11:08 AM

With the news that this summer will bring not one, but two, new lifts to Copper, it seemed right to make a last trip up to photograph and ride the outgoing chairs.
Flyer always seemed a bit different to me, being used to the newer Poma designs and the Doppie UNI-GS lifts that seem to be replacing them. What's always caught my eye and drawn my attention, though:
  • It's listed as an Alpha-Falcon style lift, but on another industry site, I've seen mechanics arguing that, saying that the design and maintenance documents for Flyer don't match that naming style. And it's different from some other Alpha Falcons I've seen in that everything is under the same skin. What does or doesn't make it an Alpha Falcon?
  • In both terminals, the bullwheels are exposed, but only midway though the stations, instead of on the ends as other Alpha Falcons I've found, and if I recall correctly, both are at a vertically inclined angle to the loading area, which I have not seen before. Was this done as a one-off, to allow everything to be under the same skin? Or is there other design logic that I haven't come across?
  • Will Flyer's replacement share the top-drive, vault drive design of the current lift? To my knowledge, it is the only HSQ that I've ever ridden that still has the vault drive. A majority of HS lifts in general seem to be driven above the line.
  • Will any alterations be made to the lift line, or will the new HSS have the same terminal locations?

This post has been edited by SkiKC: 29 March 2018 - 12:36 PM


#2 liftmech

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:19 AM

SkiKC-
1: The lift may be listed as an Alpha-Falcon, but no such designation has existed that I'm aware of. My guess is that some non-industry person coined the phrase based on Breckenridge's old Falcon lift. It was an Alpha-drive fixed quad for one season, then the detachable terminals were dropped on/in front of the existing stations. The nomenclature on many of my drawings lists this style of terminal as a Performance. The only term I've seen or heard for the lifts with an Alpha drive unit separate from the detachable mechanism is "Alpha Evolutif', meaning evolved. The detachable terminals themselves are still called Performance as far as I'm aware.

2: The bullwheel at the bottom is indeed on an angle compared to the ramp. This was designed so that the rope would drop away from the grip as the grip opened up. Other older Pomas use this design as well. The converted fixed-grip lifts (see above) do not have this as their original configuration had standard flat-mounted bullwheels. Doppelmayr still uses this approach, you just can't see it as the terminals are more enclosed. The top bullwheel is slightly inclined as well, but not at a very noticeable angle. This was not a one-off (the old Colorado lift at Breck was a twin) but the first version of what would become standard.

3: No. The new lift will use Leitner's Direct Drive, which utilises a high-torque, low-speed motor instead of the standard high-speed motor-and-gearbox combination. The vault will remain as storage, and will house the drives for the new motor. The Flyer has a vault because of the sheer size of the drive equipment (two electric motors, a PK-350 gearbox, and a Cummins KT-38 12-cylinder diesel engine) which terminal structures of the day could not house without issues.

4:The top will be in the same location, with the back mast mounted to the vault and the front just downhill .The bottom will move uphill and to the east (basically where the existing maze is) to improve skier circulation. Thus, the entire liftline will shift slightly to the east.

Hope this answers your questions.
John (Flyer mechanic since '03)
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#3 vons

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:23 AM

So Are you getting a garage for your new bubble chairs? and are you all or LPOA salvaging anything from the old lifts or is Rocky MT Recycling getting everything?

This post has been edited by vons: 03 April 2018 - 06:23 AM


#4 chairliftsrcool

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 04:26 PM

@SkiKC, I did the exact same thing this weekend. My dad and I went up skiing for a couple hours and I took some pictures of flyer & eagle for old time's sake.

@liftmech, do you think their will be any auction of chairs of small parts of either lift to the public?

#5 liftmech

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:48 PM

I have not heard what we’re doing with the chairs yet.

Vons— we’re salvaging anything that can be used on other Pomas we own, saving parts that other areas might find useful, and scrapping the rest.
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#6 skierdude9450

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 08:08 PM

Will the towers be reused for the new lifts or are they getting new ones?
-Matt

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#7 DonaldMReif

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 04:05 PM

View Postskierdude9450, on 08 April 2018 - 08:08 PM, said:

Will the towers be reused for the new lifts or are they getting new ones?


On American Eagle, maybe. On American Flyer, probably not given the realignment.
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#8 liftmech

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:33 AM

Doubtful on the Eagle as well.
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