by Brad Shulkin (Sports Editor of Statesman Newspaper)
With over 3000 feet of drops, barrel rolls and vertical flips, the newest installation of the Six Flags Great America coaster, X-Flight, was announced last month and will headline the 2012 season at the amusement park in Gurnee.
“Six Flags Great America has a long history of introducing legendary rides and coasters,” said Jennifer Dugan-Savage, Communications Manger at Six Flags Great America.
With nothing but a harness to keep people from falling, X-flight has passengers suspended on either side of the track, creating a weightless feel as it twists and turns through drops, loops and turns. Designed by Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M), the same manufacture as Raging Bull, Superman: Ultimate Flight and Batman, X-Flight will include 180-degree turns, as well as multiple fly-throughs, which is unique to any ride in the park.
“B & M is one of the very best manufacturers,” said Dave Lipnicky, American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Public Relations Director. “They are known for excellent manufacturing, excellent construction and excellent design.”
Since the company announced their plans to the public via Facebook, there has been an outpour of excitement coming from not only fans of the theme park, but also rollercoaster enthusiasts.
“I’m so ecstatic for the new ride,” Kerry Cummings ’12 said. “[Six Flags Great America] hasn’t come out with a coaster like this in a while.”
But, this is only the beginning. Lipnicky believes that the industry is ready for new innovations and will see more of these types of coasters in the future. With the amount of buzz and excitement that is being created surrounding X-Flight, theme parks will be able to generate more profits, thus being able to create bigger and more innovative rides for guests, Lipnicky said.
Six Flags Great America is always looking for ways to expand their property and introduce new rides to the public. X-Flight will be one of 14 rollercoasters to call Six Flags its home and will be located in the County Fair section of the park.
“X-Flight is a ground-breaking wing coaster featuring state-of-the-art technology,” Dugan-Savage said. “We are thrilled to bring this revolutionary win coaster to our guest for the 2012 season.”