X2 (roller coaster)

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X2
X2-firstdrop.jpg
X2's first drop
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Park section Baja Ridge
Coordinates 34°25′16″N 118°35′34″W / 34.421005°N 118.592885°W / 34.421005; -118.592885Coordinates: 34°25′16″N 118°35′34″W / 34.421005°N 118.592885°W / 34.421005; -118.592885
Status Operating
Opening date January 12, 2002
Cost $46,000,000
General statistics
Type Steel – 4th Dimension
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer Alan Schilke, Renato Manzoni
Model 4th Dimension Coaster
Lift/launch system Chain Lift
Height 175 ft (53 m)
Drop 215 ft (66 m)
Length 3,610 ft (1,100 m)
Speed 76 mph (122 km/h)
Inversions 2
Duration 2:00
Max vertical angle 88.8°
Capacity 1600[1] riders per hour
G-force 4Gs
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 28 riders per train.
Gold & Platinum Flash Pass only available
Must transfer from wheelchair
X2 at RCDB
Pictures of X2 at RCDB

X2 (formerly known as X) is a steel roller coaster operating at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. It is the world's first 4th Dimension roller coaster and was the final roller coaster conceived and installed by ride manufacturer Arrow Dynamics. The ride is unique in that the trains' seats pitch 360 degrees forwards and in reverse independent of the main chassis. The coaster initially opened to the public on January 12, 2002; numerous malfunctions delayed it from debuting in 2001 as was originally anticipated. On December 2, 2007, the ride closed for its transformation into X2. It was completely repainted, received new third generation vehicles, and featured new special effects including a pair of flame throwers. The ride reopened on May 24, 2008, following the upgrades. The ride's moniker is pronounced X-two by the amusement park; however, due to the '2' being in superscript, the ride is sometimes referred to as X-squared, or Xtreme to the Second Power.

The ride, along with Tatsu and Full Throttle, are considered to be Six Flags Magic Mountain's signature coasters.[citation needed] The ride is one of the most popular in the park, with wait times often exceeding two hours.

Description[edit]

An overview of the track when the ride was known as X.

X2 is a unique prototype design in which the seats can rotate forward or backward 360 degrees in a controlled spin. This is achieved by having four rails on the track. Two of these are running rails while the other two are for spin control. The two rails that control the spin of the seats move up and down relative to the main track and spin the seats using a rack and pinion gear mechanism.

X2's lift-hill climbs 175 feet (53 m) into the sky with the ride's tallest point above ground at 190 feet (58 m). The first drop is 215 feet (65.5 m) and is sloped at 88.8 degrees, causing the train to reach a maximum speed of 76 mph (122 km/h) (faster than X, at about 70 mph). The 3,610-foot (1100 m) long layout features two inversions including a skydive, two "raven turns", one back flip, and a twisting front flip.

Although the ride has received mostly rave reviews from enthusiasts and is a huge hit among the general public, X2 has had problems. Due to design flaws, particularly with the trains, the ride's opening was delayed from Summer 2001 until January 2002. In June 2002, the ride closed to modify the trains. In August 2002, the ride reopened and has been running smoothly ever since, except for a train in the summer of 2005. The ride also closed down sometime in mid-August 2006 due to a blown gear box part and reopened on February 3, 2007.

Redesigning X[edit]

One of the new trains during testing

On November 1, 2007, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced a redesign to the already popular thrill ride. X closed on December 2, 2007, to be redesigned and to have completely new trains with a pneumatic operated restraint system (an improvement over the original mechanically operated restraints that would frequently jam), a new color scheme of red track and black supports (originally pink track and yellow supports), and an all-new, innovative state-of-the-art visual, audio and sensory effects. In a projected $10 million investment, X reopened on May 24, 2008, as .[2] Six Flags Magic Mountain hired S&S Arrow to build new trains for X².[3] The new trains are lighter and intend to reduce the amount of downtime the ride experiences. X2 also took on a new load/unload method to increase the ride capacity by 50%, and allowed the addition of a third train into operation. Testing of the trains began on March 6, 2008.[4]

Similar roller coasters[edit]

Eejanaika is a similar roller coaster to X2, located in Japan

S&S Arrow opened the second roller coaster of this type, Eejanaika at Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. Eejanaika has several meanings, but "Ain't it great" is believed to be the relevant meaning in this situation. This second 4th Dimension coaster is very similar to X2, but differs in height (Eejanaika is 250 feet (76 m) tall), and some elements are altered, such as the first 'half-half' element, in which the trains rotate on the track one half turn as the seats also rotate one half turn, has now been replaced with a 'full-full' element, in which the train rotates on the track for one full turn as the seats rotate one full turn. The turn back towards the lift hill on Eejanaika is a true overbanked turn, while on X2 this turn was not. Dinoconda, a third 4th Dimension coaster, opened at Dinosaur Valley in Shanghai, China in May 2012.[5]

Awards[edit]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 20[6] 15[7] 15[8] 32[9] 30[10] 17[11] 16[12] 13[13] 15[14] 16[15] 18[16] 16[17]
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[18]
Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking 7 14 14 41 53 57 28 44 32 No poll 25

How it works[edit]

A) Rotation of Seats
B) Seat on Axle
C) Rack Gear
D) Rails

The prototype vehicle design on X2 allows riders to spin 360-degrees forward and backward, independent of the trains primary movement. Weighing 5 tons, each vehicle has a wing-shaped design that spans 20 feet (6.1 m). Riders sit on the outside of the coaster track in pairs. Four, 1-foot (0.30 m) tall rack gears move up and down following the profile of the seat rotation rails below the vehicle. This gear rotates the seats forwards and backwards throughout the ride. Unlike traditional roller coasters, 4th Dimension roller coasters, like X2, have four rails. The seat rotation rails bend up and down slightly pushing the rack gear up and down which in turn rotates the seats.[19] These "rotation" rails don't support the train. The other two rails are for the weight-bearing wheels, capable of supporting these heavy trains.

References[edit]

  1. ^ X Facts Sheet Roller Coaster Database Retrieved 2007-11-04
  2. ^ X launches into a new galaxy, becoming X2. Six Flags Retrieved 2007-11-02
  3. ^ "YouTube - X2 Trains (Theme Park Review)". 
  4. ^ X is taken to the next dimension with the first test ride of X2 Six Flags Retrieved 2008-03-30
  5. ^ http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/themeparks/la-trb-dinoconda-4d-coaster-dino-land-china-05201210-pg,0,5604322.photogallery
  6. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 1, 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 1, 2013. 
  18. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 13 Year Results Table (1999–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  19. ^ How X2 Rotates

External links[edit]