Firebird (roller coaster)
Previously known as Iron Wolf (1990–2011)|
|Six Flags America|
|Six Flags Great America|
|Park section||County Fair|
|Opening date||April 28, 1990|
|Closing date||September 5, 2011|
Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America at RCDB|
Pictures of Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America at RCDB
|Type||Steel – Floorless Coaster|
|Manufacturer||Bolliger & Mabillard|
|Lift/launch system||Chain lift hill|
|Height||100 ft (30 m)|
|Drop||90 ft (27 m)|
|Length||2,900 ft (880 m)|
|Speed||55 mph (89 km/h)|
|Capacity||1220 riders per hour|
|Height restriction||54 in (137 cm)|
|Trains||2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 24 riders per train.|
Flash Pass Available
Firebird at RCDB|
Pictures of Firebird at RCDB
Firebird is an upcoming floorless roller coaster located at Six Flags America in Prince George's County, Maryland. The roller coaster had originally debuted in 1990 as a stand-up roller coaster named Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America. It was later relocated to Six Flags America in 2012 and renamed Apocalypse, under which it operated until 2018. It will reemerge as Firebird when it reopens in 2019.
The roller coaster was the first to be built by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard. When known as Iron Wolf, the roller coaster briefly held world records among stand-up roller coasters for height (100-foot or 30-metre) and speed (55 miles per hour or 89 kilometres per hour) before being surpassed several years later.
Six Flags Great America (1990–2011)
On April 28, 1990, Apocalypse opened as Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America on the former site of Z-Force (the only Intamin Space Diver ever manufactured). At its debut in 1990, it was the tallest and fastest stand-up roller coaster in the world until 1992 when TOGO built Milky Way which stands at 125 feet (38 m) and 1996 when Bolliger & Mabillard built Mantis at Cedar Point which has a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).
On August 5, 2011, Six Flags Great America announced on their official Facebook page that the Iron Wolf would be closed on September 5, 2011: "After a long 21 year history at the park, we will be removing Iron Wolf. Make sure to get your last rides in – Iron Wolf’s Last Stand is September 5". 'The Last Stand' is also a reference to the slogan afforded to Apocalypse. Iron Wolf's former site would be taken over in 2014 by a custom RMC wooden roller coaster.
Six Flags America (2012–present)
On August 22, 2011, Six Flags America announced on their Facebook page that they would be adding a new attraction in 2012. From this day, the park began to slowly remove burnt pieces from an envelope each days leading up to the official announcement on September 1, 2011. On September 1, 2011, Six Flags America announced that they would be adding Apocalypse in 2012.
Iron Wolf closed on September 5, 2011, and work began on preparing it for transport to its new location. The new owners planned to add the roller coaster to the Skull Island section of their park, but before the relocation could take place, the Skull Mountain ride at Six Flags America had to be closed and demolished to make room for the new attraction. Construction for the coaster continued until the end of March 2012 when the final piece of track was installed.
On August 16, 2018, the park announced on their social media platforms that Apocalypse would close on September 8, 2018. On August 30, 2018, instead of being demolished, it was announced that Apocalypse would be converted into a floorless coaster and renamed Firebird for the 2019 season. It is the third Bolliger & Mabillard stand-up coaster to be converted into a floorless coaster, after Cedar Point's Rougarou (previously known as Mantis) and California's Great America's Patriot (previously known as Vortex).
After departing the station, the train makes a 180 degree turn leading to the 100-foot (30 m) chain lift hill. Once at the top, the train goes through a pre-drop before making a sharp left hand turn leading into the first drop. Once the train is at the bottom of the first drop, it immediately goes through the first of two inversions, a vertical loop. The train then makes an upward right turn before making a left turn back down to the ground. The train continues to go left before going through an upward helix. After, the train makes a downward right s-bend leading into the second and final inversion, a corkscrew. The train makes a left turn back up before going through another s-bend, small over-banked turn which leads to the brake run. One cycle lasts about 2 minutes with riders reaching a top speed of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h).
Apocalypse operates with two steel and fiberglass trains. Each train has seven cars with four seats each for a total of 28 riders per train. When the roller coaster was known as Iron Wolf, both trains featured the face of a wolf on the front of the train. After the ride was relocated to Six Flags America, the wolf was removed and the word "Apocalypse" replaced it.
The steel track is approximately 2,900 feet (880 m) in length and the height of the lift is approximately 100 feet (30 m). The first drop is 90 feet (27 m). When the coaster was known as Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America, the track was brown. Today, the coaster features orange and grey track with black supports to match the apocalypse theme.
Between 1990 and 2011, when Apocalypse was known as Iron Wolf, there was no theme for the roller coaster. After its relocation to Six Flags America, to match the new name of the coaster, an end of the world apocalypse theme was added with fire, crashed planes and zombies located in the queue line and along the layout of the roller coaster. As guests go further in the queue line to the end at the station, it mimics an end of the world apocalypse scenario. The skull from Skull Mountain also serves as a backdrop to the ride.
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