Mind Bender (Six Flags Over Georgia)

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This article is about the roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia. For the roller coaster at West Edmonton Mall, see Mindbender (Galaxyland) .
Mind Bender
Mind Bender (Six Flags Over Georgia) 04.jpg
Mind Bender's second drop
Six Flags Over Georgia
Park section Gotham City
Coordinates 33°46′13″N 84°32′51″W / 33.77028°N 84.54750°W / 33.77028; -84.54750Coordinates: 33°46′13″N 84°32′51″W / 33.77028°N 84.54750°W / 33.77028; -84.54750
Status Operating
Opening date March 31, 1978
Cost $2.8 million
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Anton Schwarzkopf
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Custom design
Track layout Terrain
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 80 ft (24 m)
Length 3,253 ft (992 m)
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Inversions 2
Duration 2:33
Max vertical angle 62°
Capacity 1200 riders per hour
Height restriction 42 in (107 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Flash Pass Available
Mind Bender at RCDB
Pictures of Mind Bender at RCDB

Mind Bender is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta, Georgia. Billed as "the world's first triple-loop roller coaster" when it opened on March 31, 1978, Mind Bender maintains its popularity some three decades after it opened. In its 30th anniversary season in 2008, Mind Bender was ranked #15 by Amusement Today magazine in its annual Golden Ticket Awards, and was one of only two roller coasters built before 1980 on the list; the other was its "fraternal twin," Shockwave, at Six Flags Over Texas.[1]

Attraction history[edit]

Designed by Werner Stengel and built by Anton Schwarzkopf, Mind Bender would be the last original roller coaster the park would construct until the arrival of Georgia Scorcher in 1999. Since its debut, Mind Bender has had three different color schemes and been counted within three different sections of the park. In its inaugural season, the attraction was part of the USA section and was silver in color. In 1979, Mind Bender became part of the new Jolly Roger's Island, itself an offshoot of the USA section. The structure was painted brown during the 1980s. Throughout its first two decades, the trains were silver in color, with a rainbow-colored stripe along both sides.

In 1997, when Jolly Roger's Island was converted into Gotham City, Mind Bender was painted green to suggest that it was the creation of Batman's arch-enemy, The Riddler. Even a waterfall within the attraction's site was dyed green, and occasionally still is (although at times it retains a more natural color). The trains were painted black, and sprinkled with green question marks, another hallmark of the Riddler. In the September 2009 floods, parts of the park including Gotham City and sections of the Mind Bender, were submerged under muddy water for long amounts of time. The park was able to clean up and open the weekend after the floods.

Because Mind Bender is a relatively mild looping coaster with a low height restriction (42"/107 cm), it is marketed to families with children who are too short to ride bigger coasters like Batman: The Ride and Georgia Scorcher.

Design and operations[edit]

Like almost all modern roller coasters, Mind Bender operates on the block system. The attraction has 5 blocks: station, transfer table, lift hill, reduction brake, and ready brake, after which it reenters the station block. The bulk of the attraction's layout lies between the lift hill and the reduction brake. These blocks are controlled by a program running on a programmable logic controller to ensure trains do not collide with each other. To assist in the movement of trains through the brakes, station, and transfer table, a series of feed motors can move a train at a slow speed from a full stop.

The ride opened with three trains. However, at no time was the ride control system equipped to handle all three on the track at once. One train was used as a spare should another be taken out of service. In normal operation, two trains are utilized, although at times only one has been used for regular operation. In the 1990s, one trainset was cannibalized to supply parts for the remaining two. More recently, the park obtained trainsets from the former Six Flags Astroworld's Schwarzkopf-designed Viper. Each train has seven cars with four seats per car (two seats per row) for a total of 28 riders. Passengers are restrained with a single ratcheting lapbar.

The transfer table is used to move trains to and from the maintenance building. The table is located between the station and the lift hill, sliding across to adjacent tracks in the nearby maintenance shed. It has one brake on it but they are unused in normal passenger operations, instead only functioning to hold trains in place as the table itself moves. There is also one feed motor located on the transfer table.

The primary set of brakes that stops the trains' movement at the end of the ride are known as the reduction brakes. Because there is no covering over these brakes, rainfall causes unwanted slipping. Because of this, the Mind Bender will typically suspend operations during mild rainshowers, while others within the park that have covered brake runs continue normally.

There are two sets of trim brakes on the course of the ride. These brakes reduce the speed of the train. The first is before the horizontal loop, after exiting the first vertical loop. The second is located before the second vertical loop. The attraction is placed on the side of a ridge, and portions of the track—including the second and third loops—are located in an adjacent ravine, thus increasing the attraction's overall elevation change. Of the advertised "triple loops," only the first and third loops send the train upside-down; the middle loop is actually a diving circular helix into the ravine.

1984 accident[edit]

On June 3, 1984, a mechanical problem caused a train to stop abruptly, sending four people to a hospital. The ride was repaired and put back into service with no more problems.[2]

Awards[edit]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 1998 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ranking 12[3] 16[4] 17[5] 22[6] 26[7] 21[8] 21[9] 19[10] 21 (tie)[11] 15[12] 16[13] 14[14] 17[15] 20[16] 19[17] 20[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2008 Golden Ticket Awards". Amusement Today. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  2. ^ "4 Injured on Six Flags Ride". The New York Times. 1984-06-05. Retrieved 2006-07-28. 
  3. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1998. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ "2014 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 18 (6.2): 46–47. September 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2013.