As you approach Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, it's hard to miss the
park's latest attraction. Standing at 115 feet tall, X-Flight soars through its 3340
foot course at 51mph.
X-Flight, which opened on May 26th 2001, was an instant hit; people from
around the country came to SFWoA to ride the newest addition to the flying coaster
As you approach the entrance to X-Flight, themeing - yes, you heard
correctly - themeing is evident. A nicely constructed entrance sign, built with a
cool industrial style, welcomes you to the main "concourse" of the ride.
The main walkway is themed to an aircraft runway and has signs describing flight
statistics of both the ride and real life aircrafts.
The path then continues up to what appears to be a small queue line; if the
line is here, it's about a 2 hour wait. Waiting in line can be quite
interesting because the horseshoe turn and other parts of the coaster come very close to
the queue. In the line, Worlds of Adventure has a vender selling popcorn and ice
cold lemonade for $2 each. Personally, I think that the park needs to take the
profits from this and buy some good rotating misting fans - or at least a canopy or two
to help cool the guests in line.
After waiting in line for two hours, I finally reached the stairs to enter
the station. I have to say, one of the coolest parts of X-Flight is the switch
track between each side of the double station. It's a piece of track with
rails on both sides of the spine, which rotates 180 degrees to allow the other side of
the station to be used. The only flaw in this system is that when it is hot out -
85 degrees or more - the rails tend to expand, which makes it very hard for the track to
rotate all the way without human "assistance".
So after being impressed with the simple, yet effective transfer table, I
made my way up into the open air station, and out of the heat. As I boarded the
front car in station #1, one thing was clearly evident...
Have you ever heard people talking about how comfortable B&M seats are?
Well, I could've fallen asleep in the X-Flight restraints. The lap bar folds
down on your ankles, shins, and waist, and the over the shoulder restraints are made of
soft padded rubber and are side locking, so head banging is not a possibility on this
Once latched in, the familiar "Stand clear" came over the loud
speakers, interrupting the cool techno music in the station. We then reclined and
began to head backwards out of the station.
On the way up the lift hill the trains are supposed to be able to recline,
but apparently Six Flags isn't satisfied with that feature yet, since I only saw it
perform this action in early morning test runs. So we rode up the lift hill in the
"on your back blinded by the sun" position. Unless you are in one of the
front two rows it's fairly obvious when the lift is going to crest by the screams of
the first 8 people over the top. As you crest the hill, you quickly gain speed and
twist over into the flying position and around the 180 degrees turn towards the first
drop. Before long, you began to dive straight towards the ground.
Now, if you've never been on a flying coaster before, the first drop is
very impressive; it's not very steep or very tall, but it's still one of the
best drops out there.
After the drop, you curve up and around a large horseshoe turn. This
element is definitely one of the highlights of the ride, as it puts the flying position
to its full potential.
Next up, you head down a dip and then climb up into another turn that flips
you onto your back, in a setup for the vertical loop. The loop provides about 4.3
G's, making it incredibly fun and intense.
After the loop, you head through another turn over the lift hill, which
sends you into the flying position once again. You then travel a short distance
with varying dips, until you reach the next turn which sends you soaring into the "flying
corkscrews", as Vekoma calls them.
Getting whipped around at 40 mph on the outside of these rolls is very
enjoyable and fairly disorienting. It is a great setup for the mild, yet
impressive flying helix.
The further you make your way around the helix, the closer you get to the
ground. The positive G's continue to build up until you finally exit the helix
and make your way onto the final brake run. The helix is an impressive conclusion
to an equally impressive ride.
X-Flight provides riders with a fun and unique flying sensation that should
not be missed. The ride features high G's and impressive elements.
We'll just have to see how Vekoma's design holds up against the new
B&M Flying coaster, dubbed "AIR", which debuts in March of 2002 at Alton