By Brady MacDonald
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
8:30 AM EDT, April 11, 2012
The X-Flight coaster coming in May to Six Flags Great America will take riders seated in a winged formation through a near-miss keyhole fly-through that serves as the new ride's signature element.
Themed to look like a stealth fighter jet, the new wing coaster at the Chicago-area amusement park will feature trains with seats that straddle the track, giving riders the sensation of having nothing above or below them.
After ascending a 120-foot-tall lift hill, X-Flight will immediately descend at 55 mph into a half loop called a dive drop before making a ground-hugging pass through an airplane hangar.
Traveling over a 3,000-foot-long track, X-Flight completes a series of inversions, including a pair of weightless zero-g rolls, an inline twist and an Immelmann loop. The ride will include water jets and fog special effects.
The three-minute ride concludes with a near-miss pass through a keyhole slot in an air traffic control tower followed by a series of sharp turns that return riders to the station.
Scheduled to open May 16, X-Flight will be the second coaster of its kind in the United States following the March debut of the $20 million Wild Eagle at Dollywood in Tennessee. Great America season passholders will get a preview of X-Flight on May 12 and 13.
X-Flight brings Six Flags Great America's coaster count to 13 after the removal of Iron Wolf in 2011. The 1990 stand-up coaster will be relocated to Six Flags America in the Washington, D.C., area where the ride will be renamed Apocalypse.
Located in the County Fair section of the park, X-Flight replaces the 1987 Splashwater Falls shoot-the-chutes ride and the 1976 Great America Raceway antique car ride.
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