Thunderbolt (Six Flags New England)

Last updated
Thunderbolt, Six Flags New England Entrance.jpg
Ride Entrance
Six Flags New England
Coordinates 42°2′20″N72°36′48″W / 42.03889°N 72.61333°W / 42.03889; -72.61333 Coordinates: 42°2′20″N72°36′48″W / 42.03889°N 72.61333°W / 42.03889; -72.61333
Opening date1941
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Joseph E. Drambour
DesignerHarry C. Baker, Harry G Traver
Track layoutFigure Eight
Height70 ft (21 m)
Length2,600 ft (790 m)
Speed40 mph (64 km/h)
Inversions 0
Height restriction48 in (122 cm)
Fastpass availability icon.svg Flash Pass Available
Thunderbolt at RCDB
Pictures of Thunderbolt at RCDB

Thunderbolt is a wooden roller coaster located at Six Flags New England. Opened in 1941, it was designed by Harry Baker and Harry Traver, and built by Joseph Drambour. [1] Thunderbolt is the oldest roller coaster at Six Flags New England. It is also the oldest roller coaster in any Six Flags park (the Wild One at Six Flags America was built in 1917, but it was relocated from Paragon Park and has only been at Six Flags America since 1986). The single PTC train has 4 cars, and an individual lap bar and seatbelt for each person. An attendant has to manually unlock each car's lap bars by stepping on and pushing down a release bar at the front of each car. [2] Thunderbolt was dedicated an ACE Coaster Landmark on August 2, 2008.

Roller coaster Ride developed for amusement parks

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.

Six Flags New England Theme park in Agawam, Massachusetts

Six Flags New England is an amusement park located in Agawam, Massachusetts, a western suburb of Springfield, Massachusetts. Dating to the late 19th century, it is the oldest amusement park in the Six Flags chain. Superman the Ride is among the park's most notable rides having appeared in every Golden Ticket Awards publication by Amusement Today, ranking first or second in the Top Steel Roller Coasters category from 2001 to 2015 and third in 2016.

The Wild One (roller coaster) Roller coaster at Six Flags America

The Wild One is a wooden roller coaster at Six Flags America in Prince George's County, Maryland. It features a 450° spiral helix and a series of bunny hills that produce a significant amount of air time. The wooden coaster was previously known as Giant Coaster when it was located at Paragon Park in Hull, Massachusetts. It operated there from 1917 to 1984.



The track, train and plans for Thunderbolt were purchased by park owner Edward Carroll Sr. from the 1939 New York World's Fair. [3] When it opened in 1941, it was called Cyclone; the ride was renamed Thunderbolt in 1964. [2]

1939 New York Worlds Fair

The 1939–40 New York World's Fair, which covered the 1,216 acres (492 ha) of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, was the second most expensive American world's fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis's Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people attended its exhibits in two seasons. It was the first exposition to be based on the future, with an opening slogan of "Dawn of a New Day", and it allowed all visitors to take a look at "the world of tomorrow". According to the official pamphlet:

The eyes of the Fair are on the future—not in the sense of peering toward the unknown nor attempting to foretell the events of tomorrow and the shape of things to come, but in the sense of presenting a new and clearer view of today in preparation for tomorrow; a view of the forces and ideas that prevail as well as the machines.

To its visitors the Fair will say: "Here are the materials, ideas, and forces at work in our world. These are the tools with which the World of Tomorrow must be made. They are all interesting and much effort has been expended to lay them before you in an interesting way. Familiarity with today is the best preparation for the future.

Thunderbolt has recently been refurbished and given a new coat of paint.

Related Research Articles

Wooden roller coaster type of roller coaster

A roller coaster works by the forces of gravity keeping the train and rider on the track. These forces are applied when in a sharp turn or loop. A wooden roller coaster is most often classified as a roller coaster with running rails made of flattened steel strips mounted on laminated wooden track. Occasionally, the support structure may be made out of a steel lattice or truss, but the ride remains classified as a wooden roller coaster due to the track design. The type of wood typically used in the construction of wooden coasters is Southern Yellow Pine, usually grown in the USA and the rest of North America. Because of the limits of wood, wooden roller coasters, in general, do not have inversions, steep drops, or extremely banked turns. However, there are exceptions; the defunct Son of Beast at Kings Island had a 214-foot-high (65 m) drop and originally had a 90-foot-tall (27 m) loop until the end of the 2006 season, although the loop had steel supports. Other special cases are Hades 360 at Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The coaster features a double-track tunnel, a corkscrew, and a 90-degree banked turn. There is also The Voyage at Holiday World featuring three separate 90-degree banked turns. Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer Park has a 90-degree banked turn, T Express at Everland in South Korea with a 77-degree drop, and Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City which has 3 inversions and 120-degree overbanked turn.

Stand-up roller coaster type of roller coaster

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Flying roller coaster

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Kingda Ka Roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure

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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, with Bolliger as president and Mabillard as vice-president. B&M has built over a hundred roller coasters around the world and pioneered several new ride technologies, most notably the inverted roller coaster. In North America, B&M coaster designs have been manufactured by Ohio company Clermont Steel Fabricators since 1990. B&M has grown significantly since its founding, originally employing four to as many as 37 in 2012, consisting primarily of engineers and draftsmen. In 2016, the company completed its 100th roller coaster.

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Tonnerre de Zeus is a roller coaster at Parc Astérix in Plailly, France. Opened in 1997 and built by Custom Coasters International, it is as of today the 2nd longest wooden coaster in Europe, after Colossos, with a track length of 1230m (4044 feet). This coaster is also the second wooden roller coaster built in France after Walygator Parc's Anaconda, and the second massive roller coaster of the park after Goudurix, which was built since the park's opening in 1989. These two roller coasters were followed by la Trace du Hourra in 2001, and OzIris in 2012. No other wooden roller coaster was built in the hexagon until Walibi Rhône-Alpes' Timber in 2016.

American Coaster Enthusiasts organization

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Wicked Cyclone roller coaster

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  1. Roller Coaster Database,
  2. 1 2 Commemorative plaque at park from American Coaster Enthusiasts,
  3. Cecchi, David. Images of America Riverside Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2011, pg. 81