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Ride Profile www.parkworld-online.com


Flying through Rookburgh!


One of the most anticipated rides of the year opened at Germany’s Phantasialand in September. In the weeks that followed, Park World editor, Becci Knowles spoke to Vekoma sales manager, Stefan Holtman and Park officials to get the lowdown on F.L.Y. and the new themed world it inhabits.


Stegan Holtman, sales manager, Vekoma.


Manufactured by Vekoma and part of the new highly themed area Rookburgh, F.L.Y offers a unique experience through different features such as rotating seats, dark ride sections and two launches. The world’s first flying launch coaster and the longest flying coaster in the world, F.L.Y was six years in the making. “We began working on F.L.Y with Phantasialand in 2014,” Stefan tells me, “and it took until 2017 to finalise the new train design and prototype testing.” Production of the track was completed in 2018. The installation of this ride was also a huge challenge. “Due to the heavy and exquisite theming, many different floor layers, complexity of the site and the lack of space, it has been one of the most complex building sites we have ever experienced,” says Stefan, but it was well worth it: “Finally, with the close cooperation of Phantasialand we were very proud that in September, the doors of this unique and amazing theme world of Rookburgh could be presented to the world.”


A close partnership Explaining why Vekoma was chosen for the project, Phantasialand officials reveal that the decision “was primarily based on their willingness to fully engage with us. We needed a partner with whom we could develop a completely new system - according to our specifications, requirements and wishes. As always at Phantasialand, we didn’t want to create an “off-the-shelf” coaster, but


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a completely new roller coaster experience; in the case of F.L.Y. a flying experience like no other flying coaster in the world. This required a completely new seating system, a new technology and a special track layout - we knew that and that was our declared goal. F.L.Y. should become a flying coaster on which the dream of flying becomes true. “Vekoma agreed to this requirement. They accepted the challenge to go in a completely new direction with us because they knew that the result could be something outstanding. They know and appreciate our commitment and expertise and what can come out of that, no matter how challenging our requirements in the development process may be sometimes. Hardly any other company is involved [in the development of a new ride] as intensively as Phantasialand, such a close cooperation is rare in the development of a roller coaster. Together we have created a completely new roller coaster experience, some even say a new kind of roller coaster. This was only possible because of our close cooperation.” Stefan agrees: “From the initial idea up to the final opening of the ride it has been a close cooperation to develop this new generation flying coaster.” So much so in fact, that no other partners were involved.


A journey rather than a ride “F.L.Y.’s track layout was designed with an uncompromised focus on sensation of flight,” says


AUTUMN PART 2 2020


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