Flight of Fear
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|Flight of Fear|
Former entrance to the ride at Kings Dominion
|Previously known as The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear|
|Park section||Safari Village|
|Opening date||June 18, 1996|
|Park section||Coney Mall - X-Base|
|Type||Steel – Launched – Enclosed|
|Lift/launch system||LIM Launch|
|Height||74.2 ft (22.6 m)|
|Length||2,705 ft (824 m)|
|Speed||54 mph (87 km/h)|
|Capacity||600 riders per hour|
|Acceleration||0-54 mph in 4 seconds|
|Height restriction||54 in (137 cm)|
|Trains||2 trains with 5 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 20 riders per train.|
|URL||Flight of Fear at RCDB|
Flight of Fear (previously known as The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear) is an enclosed launched roller coaster at two Cedar Fair parks, Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia and Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. Both Flight of Fear roller coasters first opened in 1996 and were the world's first roller coasters to feature a linear induction motor (LIM) launch. Flight of Fear has won three awards from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, including one for Major Theme/Amusement Park Ride/Attraction and two for Technology Applied to Amusements.
Flight of Fear is located in the Safari Village section of Kings Dominion. It is one of three launched roller coasters at the park.
For most of the 2006 season, the Flight of Fear at Kings Dominion had been standing but not operating, possibly awaiting removal and relocation to another Paramount park. However, on August 18, 2006, Flight of Fear reopened, under the park's new owner, Cedar Fair, which now intends to keep the ride at Kings Dominion. The track is a duplicate of The Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America, with the exception of Flight of Fear's mid-course brake run.
Flight of Fear is located in the X-Base section of Coney Mall at Kings Island. For years it was the only ride on the other side of The Racer. With the addition of Firehawk in 2007, the area took on its own theme centered on flight and propulsion.
During the 2007 season, the ride was equipped with cameras that recorded video of riders that were available for purchase. The in-car video cameras were removed for the 2008 season. It has an identical layout to Kings Dominion's Flight of Fear, with four inversions.
At 5:33 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, 1996, Premier Rides and Paramount's Kings Dominion performed the first test launch of a Linear Induction Motor Catapult Coaster under the supervision of rides manager Don West. For the first time ever, a train was accelerated from 0 to 54 mph in less than four seconds. It proved that linear induction motors could be used to accelerate a train using only magnetic waves with enough force to complete a full circuit.
After boarding Flight of Fear, riders are launched through a narrow launch tunnel into a "spaghetti bowl" of track which contains a cobra roll, a sidewinder, and many twists and turns. After reaching the ride's mid-course brake run, riders spiral downward and to the left, and after more twists and turns they pass through a corkscrew before arriving at the ride's final brake run.
Premier Rides built other LIM Catapult roller coasters from 1996 to 1999, including Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America, Poltergeist at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and Crazy Cobra at Discoveryland. The two Flight of Fear rides are the only indoor versions. All share a similar layout and have the same technical specifications.
Flight of Fear initially had over-the-shoulder restraints, but those were replaced with individual ratcheting lapbars at the beginning of the 2001 season. The over-the-shoulder restraints, combined with the curving track, caused riders' heads to bounce back and forth between the restraints. The main difference between the rides is that Kings Dominion's coaster has 3 trains with 5 cars per train and Kings Island has 2 trains with 5 cars per train.
Originally, the ride was themed to the television show The Outer Limits and was called The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear. Because the license for using the The Outer Limits name and theming expired, the ride's name changed to Flight of Fear at the start of the 2001 season.
The ride's queue still contains UFO-related theming, although it is no longer based on a television show or film. The ride's building is designed to represent a military installation, and has a sign outside informing riders, "You are entering a government security zone. Area under constant surveillance." The original Flight of Fear queue contained several distinct stages. Riders entered the Flight of Fear building through a "Press Area" which included queue switchbacks under an awning. They were then led down a narrow tunnel into the interior of the hangar (where if you look through a "crack" in the wall, you can see a pile of alien bodies), where a mockup of one half of a UFO appears to be sitting in the middle of the room by the use of mirrors. The UFO includes strobe lightning effects. The queue winds around inside of the building before entering the underside of the UFO up a short flight of stairs. Inside the interior queue area, a video played over multiple monitors that explains how the UFO was recovered not far from the park. While some of the personnel of the base are running tests on it, other personnel are convinced it's a hoax and decide to allow the public inside the hangar to view it.
The queue takes a right turn inside the UFO and then sharp left turn into the boarding area. The loading and unloading sections are separate, so riders in the loading side of the station see an empty train returning. Inside the loading station there are pods which contain mannequins dressed in the park's souvenir clothing and wrapped in plastic to look like they've been captured by the aliens. While the train is loading and waiting to be dispatched, a sound effect is played that imitates a jet engine warming up. As the train was dispatched, a sound effect similar to a take off was played and the lights in the launch tunnel flickered in a wave pattern. In addition, the two stations are the only parts of the ride which had much lighting; most of the ride is in the dark. As such, the Flight of Fear buildings at Kings Dominion and Kings Island have also been used to store trains and parts for other rides; the Kings Island Flight of Fear building formerly held the trains for that park's defunct stand-up coaster, King Cobra and still holds some of the seats removed from The Crypt.
Some of the theming includes hidden references to real places and names. The outside of the hangar is marked with the number 18, a reference to Hangar 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where the Roswell crash site evidence is supposedly stored. A sign above the entrance to the queue reads "Fort Kinzel Press Area," referring to the former Cedar Fair Entertainment Company CEO, Richard Kinzel. At Kings Dominion, the area was renamed "Fort Zimmerman Press Area" after the retirement of Richard Kinzel, now referencing Cedar Fair's Chief Operating Officer and Kings Dominion's former General Manager Richard Zimmerman.
Statistics and awards
The Flight of Fear rides at Kings Island and Kings Dominion were the world's first linear induction motor roller coasters, both holding press/media days on June 17, 1996, and opening to the public on June 18, 1996. The highest peak of each ride is 74 ft (23 m); and the total length is 2,705 feet (824 m). The maximum speed, which is attained in less than four seconds during the launch, is 54 mph (87 km/h). The launch requires 3 megawatts of electric power. When the rides opened, both had the fastest acceleration of any roller coaster in the world. Flight of Fear won awards at the November 1996 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show for the best new Major Theme/Amusement Park Ride/Attraction and Technology Applied to Amusements.
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- "Square D solves a Roller Coaster’s Voltage Sag Problem". Schnieder Electric. Archived from the original on September 23, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
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- Flight of Fear page at Kings Dominion
- Flight of Fear page at Kings Island
- Flight of Fear at Kings Dominion at the Roller Coaster DataBase
- Flight of Fear at Kings Island at the Roller Coaster DataBase
- COASTER-net Ride Gallery
- Premier Rides - ride specifications for all of the LIM Catapult roller coasters