Kennywood's Steel Curtain), Maxx Force opened to the public at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois on July 4. It stands in the space previously occupied by an IMAX theater, the Pictorium, and sets a new record for 1) fastest launch in North America, 2) fastest inversion, and 3) tallest double inversion.One of two record-breaking coasters from S&S to debut this year (the other being
Although it doesn’t launch as quickly as S&S’s Do-Dodonpa in Japan — at 0 to 78 mph in 1.8 seconds — it’s faster than Kingda Ka (0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds) or Top Thrill Dragster (0 to 120 mph in 4 seconds). Unlike KK and Dragster, which use a hydraulic launch, Maxx Force uses a compressed air launch.
This coaster operates with two trains containing four cars seating two across for a total capacity of 16 riders. And the trains look very sleek. The restraint consists of a lap bar with a seat belt as a secondary restraint. Once loaded and dispatched, the train moves forward onto the launch track, where it’s held for some seconds, and then boom! This thing takes off like a rocket. The launch is accompanied by a sonic boom which resonates throughout the nearby areas of the park.
Once at the top (175 feet in the air), the train takes the riders through two inversions (the aforementioned tallest double inversion), including a zero-g roll and what resembles a corkscrew but feels more like a barrel roll. It then dives down and turns right into a section of track which includes inversion number three, a corkscrew, and rises to complete inversions number four and five before diving down and returning to the station. I must admit that despite studying the track while waiting to ride, I had some difficulty in identifying the inversions. There was nothing straightforward about them.
Maxx Force is very aptly named, as the force of the launch was enough to take my breath away. I would go as far as to say that it’s the most exciting launch I’ve ever experienced on a coaster, a real adrenaline rush. Getting rolled over twice right after the launch was a blast, as was going through a total of five inversions in 23 seconds. It’s a dynamic, thrilling ride and I was sorry to have it end so quickly although I don’t know what could be added to enhance the overall experience. I should add that it’s exceptionally smooth, the restraint is super comfortable and ride operations were stellar. I rode it three times, twice during the day and once at night; the night ride was the most spectacular although all three were exhilarating. Maxx Force is a good addition to a park which already had a very interesting collection of coasters.
Let’s go for a ride. Video courtesy of Six Flags Great America.Tweet
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