Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Blast From The Past - Six Flags Worlds of Adventure's X-Flight Pt 2

On January 4, 2001 Six Flags Ohio announced that following an extensive review of the laws of gravity,park officials unveiled secret plans that Newton and Einstein’s laws of gravity by would be reversed with the creation of X-Flight, an incredible - if not unbelievable - new roller coaster concept.

The first at a Six Flags park anywhere in the world and the only one of its kind in the Midwest, X-Flight promised mankind the ability to freely fly like never before. The mighty addition of X-Flight brought Six Flags Ohio’s roller coaster total to a noteworthy ten and capped an unmatched coaster crazed expansion with six major league caliber roller coasters in less than four years. (I love press releases.)

In 1999, Geuaga Lake had been purchased by Six Flags renamed Six Flags Ohio. During the off season four roller coasters were added to the park. Which was by the way the biggest single year coaster expansion in regional theme park history

As an encore, the park built what was then one most innovative new roller coasters of the year; and, for that matter may well still be. X-Flight super flying coaster was scheduled to make it's historical launch in early May 2001.

Shortly after the X-Flight announcement, Six Flags purchased the Sea World park that was located on the other side of Geauga Lake. The 750 acre entertainment complex, newly named Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, featured three parks in one, a Thrill Ride Park, a Marine Life Park and a Water Park.

Technical difficulties delayed X-Flight's opening until May 26th, Problems with the reclining mechanism on the trains, the restraints and the unique transfer track that allowed a dual loading station began in testing and those difficulties plague the coasters throughout it's history at the park

X-Flight featured 180-degree inversions, eight exhilarating loops, spins and spiral twists over 3,340 feet of steel track. With a 115 foot lift hill, maximum G forces reaching 4.3 and a top speed of 50MPH the $15 million coaster had riders soaring like a bird.

The Flying Dutchman offers a ride experience that no other flyer offers, through the inversions, the riders are either on their front or back. While the riders are lying on their backs they do not face the direction they are traveling, and unexpected curves and inversions take them completely by surprise.

Through those parts of the track that riders pass in a flying position, they experience an unparalleled flying sensation. The corkscrew element allows riders to experience the element for the first time facing outwards thus creating more exhilaration and more flying time with a negative G rush.

Two months before the beginning of the 2004 season Cedar Fair bought the park, The deal was finalized less than a month later and the park was quickly unflagged, unbranded and the name was changed back to Geauga Lake (with Wildwater Kingdom added for the water park.)

Despite the fact that Cedar Fair poured millions of dollars into the new Geauga Lake the park was scaling back their operating season by 2006. The Hurricane Hannah area was shut down and X-flight (along with Steel Venom) was removed from the park.

Both coasters were relocated, with X-flight finding a home at Kings Island. Located near Flight of Fear, the newly dubbed Firehawk opened May 27th 2007, with a spiffy new paint scheme and a much simpler, much, much more efficient reclining mechanism of the trains.

X-Flight would have been a huge success for Six Flags World's of Adventure if they could have gotten it to run more reliably. The ride also needed the area under it landscaped, still X-Flight was a great ride. It was, when it was running, one of the must do rides for us when we visited the park.


Surya said...

I haven't been on one of those, but being Vekoma, I wonder how smooth they are?

Scott and Carol said...

Surprising smooth, I love the flip over, from being on your back inverting into the "flying" position at the top of the lift. It's wonderful!