Flying Turns Bobsled ride - Forest Park Highlands - St. Louis
Photo added 2-14-12: Angels are not always dead people with wings. I just talked to one! Look at the photo she sent! I've been waiting to find a construction shot of the Turns for over 35 years. What a way to start off the new year! Thank you Bobby, so much!  Her name is Bobby Grapenthin. Her grandfather, Eddie Pratt & Uncle Jack Pratt used to work at FPH and helped build & own rides and concessions there. Bobby got to spend her childhood at FPH. Lucky, lucky, lucky!!!
(above) - St. Louis was home to two very unusual amusement park rides. The Swooper at Chain of Rocks, just north of the city, was one such ride. The other was an unusual roller coaster called The Flying Turns. Built and designed by Norman Bartlett, there were only about eight installations built in the United States. St. Louis was fortunate to have one. The cars rode on casters that swiveled 360 degrees. The cars rode in a trough lined with three layers of cypress strips. The more weight in the cars, the higher they rode up the walls, sometimes past verticle. It was built in 1934, replacing the Mountain ride near the front of the park. (courtesy of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-St. Louis)
Flying Turns Bobsled ride - Forest Park Highlands - St. Louis
(above) - This photo was taken in the Flying Turns, "winged car" period. The Highlands must have had a thing for color. Most of the parks just painted their "Turns" cars a dull grey with some kind of emblem at the end of each wing. The FPH ride was a medium sized version. All except one of these rides were smaller than a full-sized roller coaster, but gave more thrills than a larger sized coaster. The smallest version of this ride was the first one at Lakeside Park in Dayton, Ohio and the largest was the Lake Placid Bobsled at Palisades Park, New Jersey across the river from Manhattan. Two of these rides started out at world's fairs & were moved to local amusement parks after the fairs finished their run...Riverview Park, Chicago & Coney Island Bobsleds, NYC. --(courtesy of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-St. Louis) 
Flying Turns Bobsled ride - Forest Park Highlands - St. Louis
(above) - This photo is one of those rare treasures you hope to find on eBay. I lucked out again. It was taken on opening day of the Flying Turns. Every time the cars would exit the tunnel, a loud horn would sound off, scaring the bejeezus out of you. The ride in the background is an early version of the Looper.
Flying Turns Bobsled ride - Forest Park Highlands - St. Louis
(above) - Photos of this particular version of the Flying Turns are very rare. I was very lucky in finding this one. It shows the tunnel and sign. You would see it heading east on Rt. 40. At some point, the sign over the tunnel was removed. The only other Flying Turns with a tunneled lift hill was the largest, The Lake Placid Bobsleds at Palisades Park, N.J.
(Emma Jean Kirkwood family photo)
Flying Turns Bobsled ride - Forest Park Highlands - St. Louis
(above) - I really enjoy this photo. It's fifth generation. Originally, it was a clip from a 8mm, then to a video tape (remember those?), then to a dvd, then a floppy disk, and finally to a print....a long trip for this picture, but worth it.
(above & right) - Sometime in the early to mid fifties, new cars were purchased for the Flying Turns. These cars had more of a sleek modern look to them and actually rode better causing less wear on the wooden troughs. (Courtesy of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-St. Louis.)
photo courtesy of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-St. Louis
©2009