Thunderbird (Holiday World)

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Thunderbird
Thunderbird Holiday World Logo.png
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Location Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Park section Thanksgiving
Coordinates 38°07′27″N86°54′32″W / 38.124246°N 86.908957°W / 38.124246; -86.908957 Coordinates: 38°07′27″N86°54′32″W / 38.124246°N 86.908957°W / 38.124246; -86.908957
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateApril 24, 2015 (2015-04-24)
Opening dateApril 25, 2015 (2015-04-25)
Cost$22 million
General statistics
Type Steel  Wing Coaster  Launched
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Model Wing Coaster
Lift/launch system LSM
Height140 ft (43 m)
Length3,035 ft (925 m)
Speed60 mph (97 km/h)
Inversions 4
Duration1:18
Capacity1,140 riders per hour
Acceleration0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds
Height restriction52–78 in (132–198 cm)
Trains2 trains with 5 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 20 riders per train.
Thunderbird at RCDB
Pictures of Thunderbird at RCDB

Thunderbird is a steel roller coaster in the Thanksgiving section of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari amusement park in Santa Claus, Indiana. Designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride opened in 2015 as the eighth Wing Coaster in the world and the fourth in the United States.

Contents

Thunderbird is B&M's first launched coaster in sixteen years and their first launch coaster built in-house (The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure uses a launch system supplied by the park). The Wing Coaster reaches a speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds and features the tallest vertical loop on a Wing Coaster. [1] Thunderbird had its first test run on March 8, 2015 and opened to the public on April 25, 2015. [2]

History

On July 24, 2014, Holiday World announced that they would be opening Thunderbird for the 2015 season. It would be the park's first major steel coaster, as well as the first launched wing coaster in the United States. Thunderbird would also be the first roller coaster at the park to go upside down. [3] The track and supports began arriving at the park the following week. [4] By October, the first two inversions were topped off. [5] The new trains were shown off during IAAPA 2014. [6] Then, the track layout was completed on December 2, 2014. [7]

Thunderbird officially opened on April 25, 2015.

Ride experience

After loading in the station, the train moves forward and stops. Mist blows in front of the train and thunder sounds as the train launches to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds by linear synchronous motors. The train immediately goes into a 140 feet (43 m) Immelmann loop. After the first element, the train then goes down its first drop into a 125 feet (38 m) vertical loop, the tallest vertical loop on a Wing Coaster, surpassing Wild Eagle at Dollywood. [8] After the vertical loop, the train crosses over the valley between The Voyage's second and third hills, goes through an overbanked turn, and then an overbanked elevated spiral in the mirrored direction. The train then goes through a zero-g-roll parallel to The Voyage. After several curves next to The Voyage's triple-down drop and spaghetti bowl, the train dips down into a barn (which is the keyhole) where it then curves left back into the barn by doing an inline twist, crossing over The Voyage's underground tunnels. Once the inline twist ends the train enters the brake run. From the brake run, the track makes a right turn to another set of brakes before entering the station. One cycle of the ride lasts about 1 minute and 18 seconds.

Characteristics

Location

Thunderbird's first two inversions. Thunderbird (Holiday World) 3.jpg
Thunderbird's first two inversions.

Thunderbird is located in the Thanksgiving theme section of the park along with The Voyage and it runs parallel and crosses over The Voyage twice: after the vertical loop and during the inline twist. [8]

PGAV Destinations is the theming designer for Thunderbird. The designers took the Thunderbird name and coaster design and created a visual theme of the legendary bird’s powerful flight through farms and forests of southern Indiana. [9]

Manufacturer

Thunderbird is a Wing Coaster model manufactured by Swiss roller coaster firm Bolliger & Mabillard. It is Holiday World & Splashin' Safaris first major steel roller coaster. Thunderbird is the eighth Wing Coaster to be built and the fourth in the United States, the others being X-Flight at Six Flags Great America, Wild Eagle at Dollywood and GateKeeper at Cedar Point. [10] [11] Thunderbird is the first Bolliger & Mabillard coaster to utilize an LSM launch. An earlier launched coaster, The Incredible Hulk roller coaster at Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, utilizes a pinch-wheel drive system that was designed exclusively for Universal Studios by Universal Creative. [12]

Trains

Thunderbird operates with two open-air steel and fiberglass trains, each with five cars of four seats each, with two on each side of the track. Each train holds 20 riders and the ride has a capacity of about 1,140 riders per hour. Because the seats are on the side of the track, a cantilevered steel arm is used to support the wings. [13]

Track

Thunderbird's steel track is 3,035 feet (925 m) long and the tallest part of the ride is the first inversion, an Immelmann loop at 140 feet (43 m).

Launch system

Every launch requires 2.5 megawatts of power, with the energy being stored in electric generators with two massive 24,000-pound flywheel assemblies. [14] The launch system mechanics are located in a separate building known as Will Power. The name came from the park's former president Will Koch, who died in 2010. [15]

Reception

Thunderbird was ranked in the Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards for best new ride of 2015 with 9.5% of the vote, to come in fifth place. [16]

Golden Ticket Awards: Best New Ride for 2015
Ranking
5 [16]

Related Research Articles

Inverted roller coaster

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Bolliger & Mabillard, officially Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers, Inc. and often abbreviated B&M, is a roller coaster design consultancy based in Monthey, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1988 by Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard, both of whom had worked for Giovanola.

Launched roller coaster Modern form of roller coaster

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Holiday World & Splashin Safari Amusement park in Santa Claus, Indiana, U.S.

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari is a combination theme park and water park located near Interstate 64 and U.S. 231 in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States. The theme park is divided into four sections that celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July with rides, live entertainment, games, and attractions.

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Kumba (roller coaster) Ride at Busch Gardens Tampa

Kumba is a steel roller coaster located at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride opened in 1993. It stands 143 feet (44 m) tall and has a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). Kumba features a total of seven inversions across the 3-minute ride.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster Roller coaster at Islands of Adventure

The Incredible Hulk Coaster is a launched roller coaster located at Universal's Islands of Adventure within the Universal Orlando Resort. Designed by Werner Stengel and manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), the roller coaster is themed after Marvel's Hulk and opened to the public on May 28, 1999. It is the first B&M coaster themed to a Marvel Comics superhero character and the first to feature a launch design, a system that was primarily implemented by Universal Creative and MTS Systems Corporation.

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The Voyage (roller coaster)

The Voyage is a wooden roller coaster located at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. Designed and built by The Gravity Group with the help of designers Mike Graham, Korey Kiepert, Larry Bill, Chad Miller, and former park President Will Koch, the roller coaster is themed to the famous voyage of the Mayflower by Pilgrims to North America in 1620. It opened to the public on May 6, 2006. It is widely considered the best wooden roller coaster ever built, and was awarded by TIME Magazine as the Best Roller Coaster in the world in 2013.

T3 (roller coaster) Roller coaster at Kentucky Kingdom

T3 (stylized as T3; pronounced "T-three", "T-cubed", or "Terror to the third power") is an inverted roller coaster at Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky. Previously named T2, the Suspended Looping Coaster model manufactured by Vekoma opened in 1995. The amusement park closed in 2010 due to financial difficulties, but later reopened under new ownership in 2014. The roller coaster was refurbished and renamed T3, which reopened to the public on July 3, 2015.

Dive Coaster Roller coaster model

The Dive Coaster is a steel roller coaster model developed and engineered by Bolliger & Mabillard. The design features one or more near-vertical drops that are approximately 90 degrees, which provide a moment of free-falling for passengers. The experience is enhanced by unique trains that seat up to ten riders per row, spanning only two or three rows total. Unlike traditional train design, this distinguishing aspect gives all passengers virtually the same experience throughout the course of the ride. Another defining characteristic of Dive Coasters is the holding brake at the top of the lift hill that holds the train momentarily right as it enters the first drop, suspending some passengers with a view looking straight down and releasing suddenly moments later.

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Wing Coaster Type of roller coaster

Wing Coaster is engineering firm Bolliger & Mabillard’s designation for its winged roller coaster designs. Winged roller coasters are a type of steel roller coaster where pairs of riders sit on either side of a roller coaster track in which nothing is above or below the riders. B&M began development on the first Wing Coaster between 2007 and 2008 leading to the opening of Raptor at Gardaland on 1 April 2011. There are currently sixteen B&M-designed Wing Coasters either under construction or operating worldwide as of December 2020.

SheiKra Bolliger & Mabillard steel Dive Coaster roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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Wild Eagle Steel Wing Coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard at the Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

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OzIris Rollercoaster in Parc Astérix in France

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Sky Scrapper Roller coaster

Sky Scrapper is a flying roller coaster at World Joyland in Wujin, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China. Sky Scrapper was one of World Joyland's opening day attractions, officially opening on April 30, 2011. The 2,805.1-foot-long (855.0 m) ride stands 131.3 feet (40.0 m) tall, and features a top speed of 54.7 mph (88.0 km/h). Designed by Swiss firm Bolliger & Mabillard, Sky Scrapper restrains riders in the prone position and features five inversions.

Banshee (roller coaster) Inverted roller coaster at Kings Island

Banshee is an inverted roller coaster located at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. Designed and built by Bolliger & Mabillard, it was the biggest investment in park history at the time, costing $24 million to construct. With 4,124 feet (1,257 m) of track, Banshee opened to the public on April 18, 2014, as the longest inverted roller coaster in the world. The ride also became the third fastest inverted coaster at 68 miles per hour (109 km/h), matched by Steel Venom at Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minnesota. It was also well-received, ranking every year in the top 50 of Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards since its opening.

Nitro (Imagicaa) Floorless coaster at Imagicaa in India

Nitro is a steel Floorless Coaster at Imagicaa amusement park in Khopoli, Maharashtra, India. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, the roller coaster reaches a maximum height of 132 feet (40 m) and a maximum speed of 65.2 miles per hour (104.9 km/h). The coaster also features five inversions. Nitro opened to the public in October 2013.

References

  1. McCleery, Bill (July 24, 2014). "Holiday World takes flight with $22M Thunderbird wing coaster". Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  2. Thunderbird Official Test Video
  3. "Holiday World adds $22M Thunderbird wing coaster".
  4. ""Orange is the New Track!..." - Holiday World Facebook post".
  5. "Two Inversions Now Complete on Holiday World's Thunderbird Launched Coaster".
  6. "Scott And Carol Present - Holiday World Unveils Thunderbird's Train".
  7. "Holiday World Completes Thunderbird's Track - NewsPlusNotes".
  8. 1 2 Adams, Matt. "Holiday World announces new $22 million roller coaster 'Thunderbird'". Fox 59 . Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  9. "Thunderbird: Holiday World Reveals New Launched Wing Coaster". Blooloop. July 25, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  10. "Recap of Cedar Point's GateKeeper announcement". Sandusky Register . August 14, 2012. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  11. Black, Lisa (September 3, 2011). "Six Flags gets in line for more thrill rides". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  12. Seifert, Jeffrey (2015). "Willpower brings B&M launched coaster to Holiday World". Amusement Today. 19 (3): 30.
  13. Main, Dalton. "Holiday World unveils park's first major steel roller coaster". WDRB . Archived from the original on August 4, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  14. "Thunderbird: Out To Launch - Dubois County Herald".
  15. "Thunderbird: All it takes is Will Power".
  16. 1 2 "Park and ride winners". Amusement Today . September 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015.