Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Knott's Airfield, March 1977

Today we're taking a quick detour to Knott's Berry Farm. The hugely successful "Roaring 20's" section of the park (which included the famous Corkscrew roller coaster) was deemed worthy of expansion, and so the "Knott's Airfield" was added. I believe that this was a restaurant, meant to resemble an old fashioned terminal. Guests could choose either fish or chicken, just like on an airplane. I kid! Howsabout that cool "flying K" logo? Does anybody know if this building still stands?

Among the attractions added for the Knott's Airfield (which included the Sky Cabin, Sky Jump, and Steeplechase), and the one visible at the end of this runway - the Loop Trainer. I think they had a ride just like this at Magic Mountain (?), and maybe at Hershey Park too. You'd spin and and spin, and the crushing G-forces held you in the ride as the giant disk tilted up at a steep angle until you blacked out. Some fun! Meanwhile I am intrigued by the double doors that would take you into the guts of the Mine Train ride - let's sneak in there!

And, just because I have it, here's an old guy near the Antiques store - wherever that was. Near the Saloon, I think.


Chiana_Chat said...

KBF it says - bet KFC wasn't delighted! No I can't remember ever seeing that Airfield building. It looks like there were two eateries in the same building - downstairs is open while upstairs seems to have a service window that's shuttered and possibly seating beyond? Grandma is smiling to steal the scene but it's a tough go with those picnic tablecloth pants on the right.

Love to sneak in those doors hehe Kneat K on the trashcans.

How neat - thanks Maj!

TokyoMagic! said...

Great pics, Major! That restaurant was the Airfield Eatery. There was an old biplane hanging from the ceiling of the dining room. Sometime in the eighties, they removed the upper seating level and the "air traffic controller" tower and renamed it "Captain Kelly's". The name change never made sense to me. They tore the building down just within the last decade and replaced it with this much smaller building:

Coasters Drive-In

Love the shot of the Loop Trainer. I believe Magic Mountain's was called The Enterprise. If I remember correctly, all park's shut this ride down and removed them because of some sort of engineering flaw that either caused or could potentially cause an accident. Maybe someone out there knows for sure.

Andrew said...

Major, I love these old shots of Knotts!

TM: regarding the Loop Trainer style ride, there is one still in operation at Six Flags Great America near Chicago, called The Orbit. I saw it there this summer, but wimpped out of riding it. I used to love it as a kid, though!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, how do you glean so much info from the same photos that I am looking at? Maybe you were bitten by a radioactive spider.

TokyoMagic!, nobody knows more about Knott's than you. Sounds like the Airfield Eatery must not have been a popular place to dine if it underwent so many changes in such a short amount of time. Too bad it's gone, but I'm glad I have a picture of it! Interesting about the Loop Trainer as well, it's nice to know that I rode on a killer attraction - literally!

Andrew, thank you for the info about the Loop Trainer twin at Great America; there was a time when I think almost every big amusement park had one of them.

Chuck said...

Man, I miss the days when there were lots of parks with truly integrated theming. This area was so well-executed.

I remember this restaurant at Knott's well. It felt like you were inside a real hangar that had been moved from an historic airfield - without the oil and avgas smell, of course.

My wife went to Knott's alone on Veterans' Day one year when I was deployed (admission was free for military and their families). She said the crowds were just insane and there wasn't the staff to handle it; things were no different waiting for food. She spent an hour waiting in line at the Airfield Eatery before she finally got fed up, left the park, and drove to Disneyland for dinner.

There are still some HUSS and Schwartzkopf Enterprises out there in operation. A partial list is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_(ride)

JG said...

Major, if that 3D map of the mine train (the link to which you posted recently) is accurate, those doors probably open into the train repair area.

Agreed, Chiana has some preternatural attention to detail. I vote that she review all pictures first to draw attention to the various details so the rest of us can better appreciate the Major's hard work....I love the narrative technique.

I missed this era in Knotts history, came and went without me seeing it. oh well.


Chiana_Chat said...

Maj, you may be right; a radioactive spider could explain why people say I'm so bright when I know I'm not! That and why my thoughts are picked up by nearby radios... ;)

JG, aw thanks. Now that would be a fun job! :D

TokyoMagic! said...

Those double doors are actually a part of the Log Ride attraction and are still there today!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I've seen those double doors!

Magic Mountains version of the loop trainer was called Enterprise, then rename "Reactor" in the late 80's and removed in the early 90's and not missed... Figures that this spin 'n puke rides was a Schwarzkopf creation.

Great shot of the Airfield Eatery, boy does that bring back memories.

Great post Major - thanks!.

Nancy said...