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Compact Coasters Maurer SkyLoop


executing a final forward flip. The first Free Spin debuted in 2015 at Six Flags Fiesta Texas as Batman: The Ride. A similar version dubbed the Joker opened in 2016 at New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure. This year the Free Spin will be at three parks including Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Great America, and Six Flags New England. Inspired by the S&S 4th Dimension Coaster, the 4D Free Spin utilises magnetic technology to induce and


forward and backward. Upon boarding a train that straddles the track, eight riders per car face in two directions, forward and backward. A chain lift carries each car up an inverted curved section to a height of 107ft (33m). From there, the suspended trains rock back and forth on the straight-aways and rotate head over heels as the cars plunge over freefall drops. The larger new generation ZacSpins yet to be built will have a footprint of 105ft by 260ft (32m by 79m).


Hairpins and Saxophones Long before S&S Worldwide, now S&S - Sansei Technologies, built Gale Force, it introduced the Screamin' Squirrel in 2005. Towering 98 feet (30 m) in the air, it was a variation of the wild mouse roller coaster. There is no defined primary drop. Instead, it consists of several "hairpins" and saxophone inversions. That is, riders rode upside down over several portions of the track. One was produced and now operates in Gardaland, Italy. The El Loco Coaster debuted in 2008 at Indiana Beach


with a traditional lift hill and a horizontal layout. It pushes the limits of what can be accomplished in a small footprint. These family-friendly roller coasters offer a steep first drop, barrel rolls, the smoothest track imaginable, a 45° outwardly banked turn, and a throughput of up to 960 riders per hour. The El Loco Coaster comes in two sizes. The four-seat coaster occupies only 204 by 50 feet (62m x 15m) of space. The eight-seat version's footprint is 228 by 66 feet (70m x 20m). There are now six El Locos operating around the world. The 125-foot-tall (38 m) Gale Force is the world’s first launched El Loco coaster by S&S. Squeezed into a space 220 by 40 feet (67 by 12 m), the twisting and turning trip begins with a forward-backward-forward 59 mph (95 kph) electromagnetic launch that sends riders over a top hat element and through a 100° downdrop, a 180° twisting climb, an off-camber dive drop, a corked roll, a top hat twist, and a raven dive. The relatively short ride time (1 minute) and single train (12 passengers) makes Gale Force a perfect fit for the small beachfront park on the Jersey Shore. This new triple-launch version of El Loco is more vertical and compact than the original El Loco.


Spinning Free 4D Free Spin is S&S’s answer to Intamin’s ZacSpin. Both rides feature a vertical track layout on a compact footprint with seats that spin forward and backward over a zigzagging track with undulating straightaways and free-fall drops. Free Spin reaches a top speed of 40 mph (64 kph) over a 1,000-foot-long (305 m) track that snakes back and forth like a demonic pachinko game. After ascending a 120- foot-tall (37 m) vertical lift, riders undulate over two hills while flipping forward twice before diving over a beyond-vertical raven drop. Following a reverse flip, riders spin backward while falling over another beyond-vertical raven drop before


APRIL 2017 33


control spinning. The vehicles hold eight passengers seated in pairs, four on each side of the track. The three layers of vertically stacked track feature speed bumps and two beyond vertical raven drops. Depending on the weight, spoon position and rider interaction, Free Spin provides a different ride experience every time. The park can also make easy adjustments to make the experience more or less extreme. The 4D Free Spin occupies a parcel of land measuring 259 by 28 feet (79 by 8.5 m). Being developed by Ride Engineers Switzerland, the


Roller Ball is a compact innovative family coaster. The Roller Ball gondola carries up to four passengers and is lifted up to 19 meters (62 feet), where the gravity run starts. The gondolas travel over 99 meters (325 feet) of track at an average speed of 11 kph (7 mph). They are smoothly decelerated before entering the curve. In the curve, the gondola accelerates nearly free fall down and drives in the other direction. While the gondola is accelerated and decelerated the seats swing freely side to side. Roller Ball stands 21 meters (69 feet) tall and occupies ground space of only 23 by 8 meters (75 by 26 feet). Hourly capacity is 300.


Going Loopy The Sky Rocket II by Premier Rides occupies a footprint only 213 by 62 feet (65 by 19 m). The first Sky Rocket went into California’s Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in 2012. Since then, the vertical coasters have shown up in Mexico, China, Germany and Virginia, and will soon debut at Connecticut’s Lake Compounce. The relatively short ride starts with a forward-backward-forward launch that whips through vertical twists and loops as well as a 154-foot-tall (47 m) barrel roll


The Larson Fireball


Polercoasters are now billed as the tallest in the world


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