At 4:00 am CDT, this was the sight that greeted us as we came closer to the previously forbidden area, similar to Area 51, where secret projects came to life. Unfortunately for Six Flags Great America, it was built in the middle of the park, so it's really not so secret.
This is the place we were looking for, and it was much easier to photograph in daylight. Luckily, we did have the proper credentials for authorized entry; what we found inside was incredible.
Our transportation vehicle, it shows up so much better in the daylight.
The commandant of the X-Flight Cadets addresses the crowd, after they came marching in from both directions down the midway.
Complete with jumpsuits and aviator sunglasses, they look totally prepared to put X-Flight through its paces.
Hank Salemi, Park President of Six Flags Great America, received clearance from the control tower to release the cadets for the inaugural flight.
It all started with a bang, complete with confetti cannons and fireworks. As the smoke cleared, the train ascended the lift hill.
The inaugural flyers performed a barrel roll high above the stage.
The mandatory artsy fisheye shot of the first official train on X-Flight.
Maintaining their stoic decorum, the cadets silently fly through the south end of the ride. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage to come early next week, we talked with many interesting people of all ages and heard amazing things, but for now we have to get our rest. The day started so early.