A Thrust Air 2000 (commonly known as a thrust air coaster) is a unique form of launched roller-coaster created by S&S Worldwide, Inc., that uses refrigerated, compressed air to shoot a rubber-wheeled car down a steel track. Do-Dodonpa, located at Fuji-Q Highland, is the only production model in existence. It was built by S&S Worldwide of Logan Utah. It was once the fastest roller coaster in the world and still holds the record of the world's fastest acceleration on a roller coaster. Another model, the Hypersonic XLC, was opened at Kings Dominion in 2001, but it was later closed and put up for sale in 2007. Both models were fabricated by Intermountain Lift, Inc.
The prototype Thrust Air 2000 was made in 1999 at the S&S Power plant in Utah.
A roller coaster is a type of amusement ride that employs a form of elevated railroad track designed with tight turns, steep slopes, and sometimes inversions. People ride along the track in open cars, and the rides are often found in amusement parks and theme parks around the world. LaMarcus Adna Thompson obtained one of the first known patents for a roller coaster design in 1885, related to the Switchback Railway that opened a year earlier at Coney Island. The track in a coaster design does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters demonstrate. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.
Kings Dominion is an amusement park located in Doswell, Virginia, 20 miles (30 km) north of Richmond and 75 miles (120 km) south of Washington, D.C.. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, the 400-acre (1.6 km2) park opened to the public on May 3, 1975, and features over 60 rides, shows and attractions including 12 roller coasters and a 20-acre (81,000 m2) water park. Its name is derived from the name of its sister park, Kings Island, and the nickname for the state of Virginia, "Old Dominion."
Top Thrill Dragster is a steel accelerator roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Manufactured by Intamin, it was the sixteenth roller coaster to be built at the park since Blue Streak in 1964. It opened in 2003 as the tallest roller coaster in the world and the first full-circuit roller coaster to exceed 400 feet (120 m) in height. Its height record was later surpassed by Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2005. Top Thrill Dragster, along with Kingda Ka, are the only strata coasters in existence. It was the second hydraulically launched roller coaster built by Intamin, following Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm. The tagline for Top Thrill Dragster is "Race for the Sky".
The launched roller coaster is a modern form of roller coaster. A launched coaster initiates a ride with high amounts of acceleration via one or a series of linear induction motors (LIM), linear synchronous motors (LSM), catapults, tires, chains, or other mechanisms employing hydraulic or pneumatic power. This mode of acceleration powers many of the fastest rollercoasters in the world.
Wicked Twister is an inverted roller coaster located at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. Designed by Werner Stengel, it is a second-generation Impulse model manufactured by Intamin. The ride was marketed as the tallest and fastest double-twisting impulse coaster in the world when it opened to the public on May 5, 2002.
Superman: Escape from Krypton is a steel shuttle roller coaster located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. When it opened in 1997, it was the tallest roller coaster in the world, and its speed of 100 mph (160 km/h) was tied for the fastest with Tower of Terror II, a similar roller coaster which opened two months earlier at Dreamworld in Australia. These two coasters were the first to utilize Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) technology to propel vehicles to top speed. As of November 3, 2019, it is the only reverse freefall coaster left in operation after the closure of Tower of Terror II.
Do-Dodonpa (ド･ドドンパ), formerly known as Dodonpa (ドドンパ), is a steel roller coaster located at Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. Manufactured by S&S – Sansei Technologies, the launched coaster uses compressed air to propel its trains. It opened on 21 December 2001 as the fastest roller coaster in the world with the fastest acceleration, reaching a top speed of 172 km/h (106.9 mph) in 1.8 seconds. The fastest speed record was previously held by Superman: The Escape and Tower of Terror, both of which accelerated to 160.9 km/h (100 mph) in 7 seconds. The ride was refurbished in 2017, removing the top hat element in favor of a vertical loop and increasing its speed and acceleration to 180 km/h (111.8 mph) in 1.6 seconds. Steel fabrication was provided by Intermountain Lift, Inc.
Stealth is a launched roller coaster in the Amity area of Thorpe Park located in Surrey, England. Built and designed by Intamin of Switzerland for £12 million, the Accelerator Coaster model opened in 2006, a year after another Accelerator, Rita, opened at sister park Alton Towers. It reaches a height of 62.5 metres (205 ft) and accelerates from 0 to 80 mph (129 km/h) in 1.9 seconds. It is the fastest roller coaster in the UK, and the second tallest after the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Hypersonic XLC was a roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Hypersonic was built by S&S – Sansei Technologies, a company specializing in air-powered rides, and was the first compressed air launch coaster in the world. Hypersonic was S&S – Sansei Technologies's actual prototype for an air-launched coaster, called Thrust Air 2000.
An Accelerator Coaster is a hydraulically launched roller coaster model from Intamin. The model usually consists of a long, straight launch track, a top hat tower element, and magnetic brakes that smoothly stop the train without making contact. The technology was developed by Intamin engineers as an alternative to electromagnetic launch systems, such as the Linear Induction Motor (LIM) and Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM), that are found on earlier launched roller coasters like the Flight of Fear and The Joker's Jinx. Unlike the earlier linear induction motors, the Accelerator Coaster's launch system exhibits constant acceleration and is capable of reaching greater speeds.
The Joker's Jinx is a steel roller coaster at Six Flags America in Prince George's County, Maryland. The ride utilizes linear induction motor technology to launch the train from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in just over three seconds.
Desperado is a hypercoaster located in Primm, Nevada, United States at the Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino, a part of the Primm Valley Resorts complex. As of February 2020, Desperado is closed with no plans of operating in the future.
Speed – The Ride is a roller coaster currently in storage at Akita Plaza. It was located on the Las Vegas Strip at the Sahara Hotel and Casino. The coaster operated from April 28, 2000, to May 1, 2011.
Roller coaster amusement rides have origins back to ice slides constructed in 18th-century Russia. Early technology featured sleds or wheeled carts that were sent down hills of snow reinforced by wooden supports. The technology evolved in the 19th century to feature railroad track using wheeled cars that were securely locked to the track. Newer innovations emerged in the early 20th century with side friction and underfriction technologies to allow for greater speeds and sharper turns. By the mid-to-late 20th century, these elements intensified with the introduction of steel roller coaster designs and the ability for them to invert riders.
Intimidator is a steel roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina. The roller coaster is located in the Celebration Plaza section of the park. Intimidator is the thirteenth roller coaster installed at Carowinds and is located on the site of the former Carowinds River Adventure near the entrance of the theme park. It is currently one of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coasters in the Southeast with a 232-foot (71 m) lift hill, a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and a track length of 5,316 feet (1,620 m). It was announced on August 26, 2009 and opened March 27, 2010. The roller coaster's name comes from the nickname of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.
Formula Rossa is a launched roller coaster located at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Manufactured by Intamin, Formula Rossa is the world's fastest roller coaster with a top speed of 240 km/h (149.1 mph).
Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast, previously known as Mr. Freeze, is a shuttle roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas and Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, Missouri. The steel coasters feature a linear induction motor (LIM) launch system that accelerate riders from 0–Batman & Robin prior to a conversion in 2012 to operate backwards.
SkyLoop is a type of steel roller coaster manufactured by Maurer Söhne. There are currently 10 SkyLoops operating worldwide, nine of which are identical XT 150 models, and one of which is an extended XT 450 model. The first SkyLoop to open was Sky Wheel in 2004 while the sole X 450, Abismo, opened in 2006. There are also three other models available—XT 900, Custom, and Launch—which have not seen any installations as of 2020.
Yukon Striker is a steel roller coaster located at Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario. Designed as a dive coaster from manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride opened to the general public on 3 May 2019 in place of SkyRider, a roller coaster that was removed from the park in 2014. Featuring a height of 68 metres (223 ft), a length of 1,105 metres (3,625 ft), and a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph), Yukon Striker is the world's tallest, longest, and fastest Dive Coaster, sharing its height record with Valravn at Cedar Point. Its four inversions and drop length of 75 metres (245 ft) also set world records among Dive Coaster models.
Maxx Force is a launched steel roller coaster at Six Flags Great America amusement park in Gurnee, Illinois United States. It opened on July 4, 2019, and was manufactured by S&S - Sansei Technologies. The ride holds the record for fastest accelerating launch in North America at 78 miles per hour (126 km/h) in 1.8 seconds, as well as the fastest inversion in the world at 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), and the tallest double inversion in the world at 175 feet (53 m).