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Now taking off from Six Flags Great America: X Flight

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Published: May 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM
Thursday, Six Flags Great America, right outside of Chicago, unveiled its newest roller coaster: X Flight.

X Flight

"X Flight is unlike any other coaster in the world" said Great America President Hank Salemi. "Soaring through 3,000 feet of twisted steel with no track above or below you is an amazing experience."

X Flight joins the other 13 coasters of Great America, greatly increasing the span and thrills of the park. Here's video of the opening ceremony:

X Flight is one of the first coasters of its kind in the United States - a Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Coaster, which means that there is no track above or below the rider. The guests are seated in pairs on the left and right side of the car, hanging over the sides of the track, which allows guests to feel as if they are flying though the air. The attraction begins with a 12-story drop and various inversions, and a breathtaking vertical flip though the keyhole in the control tower. Check out the closeup video.

I got to ride this roller coaster in all four possible seats (inside and outside). No matter where you sit, you are in the front seat of thrills since there is literally nothing around you while riding this roller coaster. I found the right hand side to be a bit more thrilling because it gets closer to the small lake on the attraction, which is rigged with spray fountains as if the coaster is hitting the water.

There are many parts of this attraction that have guests either at a 90-degree angle or completely traveling upside down. I can’t recall another roller coaster that does this so often and so well. One of the bigger complaints by Theme Park Insider readers about Six Flags Great America has been the lack of scenery surrounding its roller coasters. This changes on X Flight with themed buildings, lakes, and soon-to-be impressive landscaping.

This coaster actually reminded me of another Six Flags Great America coaster: X Flight's Bolliger & Mabillard cousin, Raging Bull. X Flight is a very smooth ride that is like Raging Bull, except it inverts. I also was reminded of Disney's Soarin' - except the smells and wind are real. I was greatly impressed by this attraction and I predict it will be a very popular roller coaster for this season. If you happen to be in the Chicagoland area, stop by and ride this soon-to-be classic.

Readers' Opinions

From Alex Gamso on May 10, 2012 at 9:46 PM
I am riding it on Tuesday for physics day. I am so excited!
From Robert Niles on May 10, 2012 at 9:50 PM
Thanks, Anthony!

Too bad that Six Flags wouldn't let you in the video seat during the media day. Heaven forbid a complete on-ride video be on a theme park website where several hundred thousand theme park fans and potential customers will see it over the course of the summer, as a opposed to letting a local TV "celebrity" go on for a 10-second broadcast clip that will be immediately forgotten. But hey, that's just my view. ;^)

From James Rao on May 11, 2012 at 3:01 AM
Nice work, Anthony. I will be in Dollywood in a few weeks to ride their Wing Coaster, and I cannot wait. Thanks for wetting my appetite!
From 80.153.240.51 on May 11, 2012 at 5:37 AM
May I ask what is so brand new on this compared to X2 ? X2 even flips the individuals whereas X Flight has fixed seats, isn't it ?
From Robert Niles on May 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM
The fixed seats appear to be the main difference for this model, beyond the different manufacturers, of course.
From Anon Mouse on May 11, 2012 at 2:52 PM
"X Flight is unlike any other coaster in the world"

This is overselling. Roller coasters are not that unique in experience. I haven't ridden anything new for a long time. They all feel the same after awhile.

I would prefer they combine roller coasters with visual, music, and sensory experience. Universal's The Mummy is a good example of roller coasters that give us more to hightens the experience. Its too bad that there isn't a successor to The Mummy.

From 216.2.163.226 on May 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM
First of its kind i would say is wrong. Since X2 at magic mountain theres no track above or below the rider also.
From Brian Afdahl on May 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM
Last comment was mine.
From Anthony Murphy on May 12, 2012 at 8:28 AM
I will now add my comments and responses:

1. I was a bit disappointed that they did not allow me to ride in the front row and get an on ride video. They were bascially "reserved" for important VIPs such as news anchors and radio personalities. I asked my repstresentative if I could go or get an on ride video and she simply said "No". I felt that if they would have given me the guy that I had for all the other press events, I would have been in that front row. Its ok though since there were many angles for me to get great pictures and video

2. I still worry that Six Flags Great America is making over exaggerated claims about this attraction, and others. For example, they advertised this one as the "first of its kind" which, if you check, is not true. Dollywood has a very similar version of this attraction. This was told to me when the park Representative assigned to me corrected me when I repeated the claim that I only heard last Saturday from their Ads.

4. Getting all the negatives out of the way, this is simply an amazing roller coaster. Six Flags Great America has greatly improved with this addition (opposed to the Dark Knight). It is smooth, thrilling, and full of scenery and stuff for you to almost run into. This attraction also has water and fog effects which, if they can keep it maintained, will be my favorite roller coaster in the park.

5. I think this kind of roller coaster would also be a good addition at Disney since the theming can be customized and the roller coaster pushes the envelope for inverted travel. I could see X Flight, in its SFGA form, as a perfect addition to DCA next to Soarin. Like I mentioned, it has that old aviation vibe.

Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks to Robert for letting me cover it!

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