Way back when Stealth opened at Paramount's Great America, the public was thrilled at this brand-new prototype which allowed riders to literally fly through the air like a bird. The flood of positive input prompted Six Flags to invest in two more Vekoma Flying Dutchman coasters in 2001, Batwing and X-Flight. These clones were installed at Six Flags America and Six Flags Worlds of Adventure.
X-Flight is located on a barren, unthemed patch of land near another recent addition, Superman: Ultimate Escape, the world's first impulse coaster. Located to the right of the entrance, just down a ways from the main path, this gleaming lime green coaster creates a great facade for guests walking up to the entrance. Riders, however, will find the actual course practically devoid of any type of theming. Essentially, the entire coaster was set on dusty dirt field.
Still, what theming exists is pretty nice. A large, steel crane hangs over the pathway with the X-Flight logo plastered on a sign attached to the arm. The station is simple yet stylish. The green walls accentuate the blue columns and roofing, which slants up from both sides before curving up in a half circle to meet at the center. It's a fairly common station design found in many new Six Flags thrill rides these days.
Guests head under the track, through the line, to reach the station, which features twin loading docks design to speed up the loading process, which can be meticulous. Prospective fliers climb aboard the four-per-row trains facing backwards, strapping themselves in tightly. There is an over-the-shoulder harness, a seat belt that buckles onto the seat, and leg straps to properly ensure that riders aren't whipped around or thrown off the train. When all the safety procedures have gone through, the train begins its exit out of the station.
Still standing and facing backwards, guests converge from their half of the dual loading docks back onto the track before making a dipping left turn and beginning their ascent up the lift hill. As the train climbs, the seats slowly recline so that upon reaching the top of the hill, riders are lying on their backs. A slow crest leads to a dip before the train turns left, inverting into flying position in the process. It's time to soar!
The train tears down the first drop, coming inches from the ground, it seems, before soaring back up into an overbanked right turn. Like a fighter jet suddenly swerving away, the train side winds to reverse its direction, making the swooping 180-degree turn before diving back down towards the rapidly approaching ground. Guests holler in glee as they emulate Superman. Another similar swooping right turn inverts the train back so that the guests lie on their belly again. Leveling out, the train takes thrill seekers through the only vertical loop of the coaster, a majestic-looking 75-foot tall inversion.
Flying over the beginning of the lift hill, riders revert back to flying position on a smooth left turn, plunge back down towards the ground before lifting up again at the last moment. Another quick right turn takes riders away from the parking lot and towards the home stretch: two consecutive barrel rolls. Twisting and rocketing like a spinning torpedo, X-Flight drags its pilots along through the disorienting double element before taking them in for the finale, a very nice downward 450-degree spiraling helix that takes the riders to the brake run, uninverting them for the last time. As the brakes catch hold, slowing the train down, the seats slowly raise themselves from the lying position, placing guests back in their original standing position as they return to the station, branching off into one of the two loading docks.
Since the beginning of time, man has always dreamed of flying. X-Flight has done its part to fulfill that dream.
Six Flags Worlds of Adventure
May 26, 2001
2 minutes 20 seconds
- 4 inversions
- special reclining seats that
tilt into flying position
- PHOTOS -
Photos courtesy of Westcoaster.
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