The launch section
|Park section||The Grove|
|Opening date||March 24, 2001|
|Closing date||October 28, 2007|
|Type||Steel – Launched|
|Model||Thrust Air 2000|
|Height||165 ft (50 m)|
|Drop||133 ft (41 m)|
|Length||1,560 ft (480 m)|
|Speed||80 mph (130 km/h)|
|Max vertical angle||90°|
|Capacity||1,380 riders per hour|
|Acceleration||0-80 in 1.8 seconds|
|Height restriction||54 in (137 cm)|
|Hypersonic XLC at RCDB
Pictures of Hypersonic XLC at RCDB
Hypersonic XLC was a roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Hypersonic was the first compressed air launch coaster in the world. In 2007, Hypersonic XLC was closed and later dismantled. The platform is all that remains at the ride's former location between the Hurler and Grizzly roller coasters.
Hypersonic was built by S&S Worldwide, a company specializing in air-powered rides such as Skyhawk and Power Tower, both located at Cedar Point. Hypersonic was S&S Worldwide's actual prototype for an air-launched coaster, called Thrust Air 2000. The ride was originally fabricated by Intermountain Lift, Inc. It was reconstructed at Kings Dominion after being moved from its original location in Utah. S&S Worldwide also greatly modified the section following the 90° drop to accommodate Kings Dominion's landscape and to properly bank the turn. Hypersonic XLC suffered extended downtime, and was closed for nearly three months at the beginning of Kings Dominion's 2002 season.
After a launch from 0 to 80 mph (130 km/h) in 1.8 seconds up a 90° incline, the ride crested a 165-foot (50 m) hill, and without fully slowing, plummeted down an 90° dive. Next, the coaster performed a banked left turn, went through a smaller banked right turn, and skirted a small hill before heading into the brake run.
The launch system
Hypersonic XLC's launch system was comparatively new technology utilizing compressed air to launch the ride train. It is very similar to the launch system used to launch Space Shot rides, also developed by S&S Worldwide. Characteristics of compressed air launches are shorter runways and quicker acceleration, when compared to hydraulic and LIM/LSM launch platforms.
The compressed air launch system is used on the world's fastest accelerating ride, Dodonpa, which accelerates to 107 mph (172 km/h) in just 1.8 seconds. It was also used on ring°racer. Rides such as Kingda Ka and Top Thrill Dragster have a higher top speed than Dodonpa, but Dodonpa is the ride with the quickest acceleration.
During the 2006 off-season, Kings Dominion put Hypersonic XLC up for sale. In January 2008, the park removed Hypersonic from its web site. On the park's opening day on March 22, 2008, Hypersonic XLC had been disassembled and was placed in its current laydown yard, along part of the park's back road. In May 2009, Kings Dominion marketing representative John Pagel stated that the coaster is still available for sale, either to another amusement park or as scrap metal.
The ride is now fully removed from Kings Dominion and has been recycled into something else. The ride's station, storage area, and some footers are still at the park to this day.
- "Amusement". Intermountain Lift, Inc. July 30, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- Press Release (Hypersonic XLC, The Xtreme Launch Coaster- Designed to thrill!)
- Kings Dominion | Virginia's Premier Themed Amusement Park (Richmond)