Why Not Take a Flight?

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Photo by John Patterson

Firehawk at Kings Kings Island is one of three of Vekoma’s Flying Dutchman roller coasters in the U.S.  Originally painted green and black and named X-Flight, this flying coaster once lived in northeast Ohio at the now defunct Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (or that park’s more familiar name, Geauga Lake).  Now in southwest Ohio, Firehawk still provides plenty of white-knuckle rides.

What do you think about flying roller coasters?

Bolliger & Mabillard’s flying coaster design may have proven to be a superior rival as evidenced by sales, but do you think Vekoma should get credit for producing theirs first?  If you’ve ridden both variants, which do you prefer?

John is a proud Clevelander, and lifelong fan of roller coasters and amusement parks.

2 Comments

  1. I rode the Batwing at Six Flags America years ago, and like most Vekoma efforts it was a painful experience. I’ll take Tatsu or Superman Ultimate Flight over a Vekoma flyer any day.

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  2. X-Flight at Geauga Lake was my first flying coaster. I have ridden it as FireHawk, as well as it’s sister coasters, NightHawk and Batwing. I have also ridden Manta (SeaWorld, Orlando), Superman Ultimate Flight (6 Flags Over Georgia) and Superman (6 Flags Great Adventure). Manta is the winner as far as theming … great queue line!! Other than that, I’d love to go back to the good ol’ days of X-Flight at Geauga Lake. Wait time in the queue line was tolerable (take note, NightHawk!). Ride ops were pleasant and helpful with fastening restraints. The loading platform had 2 sides that, except for dispatch, operated independently, allowing for faster turnaround time with less waiting in an awkward position. FireHawk may be the same ride structure, but things are handled less efficiently on the loading platform. Both trains are loaded at the same time, and then the waiting game begins. While the first train completes its run, riders on the second train wait on their backs. Upon return, riders on the first train must wait while the second train completes its run. Both trains are then unloaded at the same time. At least its better than NightHawk which has a single loading platform!

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