Posted Tuesday, August 1, 2000 9:20 AM | Contributed by Jeff
The rumors are indeed true. Paramount's Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia will be the first to receive an Air Thrust model coaster by S&S Power of Utah (known for their space shot and turbo drop tower rides).
From the press release... Description: HyperSonic XLC is the world's first compressed-air launch coaster. Unique acceleration, zero gravity airtime and free-fall sensations combine to make HyperSonic a one-of-a-kind coaster experience. Pneumatic tires and specially designed shock absorbers provide an unbelievably smooth ride that must be experienced.
Debut: Spring 2001.
Location: Candy Apple Grove.
Ride Manufacturer: S&S Power, Utah
Track Length: 1,560 feet
Number of Passengers: 8 per cycle
Top Speed: 80 m.p.h.
Acceleration: 0 - 80 / 1.8 seconds!
Track Elevation: 165 feet
Tires and Guide Wheels: Pneumatic
Angle of Ascent: 90 degrees vertical
Angle of Descent: 90 degrees vertical
Air Compressors: 4 / 2 at 250 Hp each. And 2 at 200Hp
What a shame, Stan said he wanted who ever built the TA2K to go over 100 mph. At 1560 ft., it'll be pretty short also. I would expect massive lines for this one as the capacity sounds very low also. Just remember the lines that Volcano had when it had only 1/2 the seats installed the first season. Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited as PKD is only 2 1/2 hours from home.
You know what the worst thing is? I'll put money its pretty much the same layout as the prototype. And, im afraid, we are cursed with a brake run after the drop! That might have a strange feel to it, and its not that tall. Although, 80 mph over a 165ft hill IS going to give some air!
Thats a little strange for me, they should've made it longer. No less, im glad these things are hitting the states!
------------- Steel Phantom Pleasures: 150 total, 60 one day
The one big question that comes to mind is capacity. Yes, each train will only have eight passengers, but how many trains will the circuit have? The prototype (I'm assmuming that what this is) only has the one. Will the sale to PKD include alterations for two or three trains? If this is the case I can see a similar setup to that on MF, where you have one train on the launch/course, one unloading, and one loading. If S&S makes the necessary changes for multiple trains, capacity shouldn't be an issue. Of course, I don't know if the launch system can reset in time for rapid fire launches needed for multiple train operation. What's the minimum cycle time on a single Space Shot tower? All necessary info will come in time.
Oh Lord. And I thought Face Off was bad for capacity. Silly me. Paramount strikes again, but, lets see how long before they have an SOB fiasco on their hands (oops...forgot about Volcano).
Anyway, I'm glad to see ONE of the Paramount parks getting this ride. (Paramount: Where you can ride the Prototypes!)
Also, does anyone know how (besides gravity) the ride slows down to a crawl before going over the top. It seems 0 to 80 in 1-2 secs is going to be a rush, but a very short rush, seeing you decelerate all the way up the tower. Are the black strips going up the tower brakes or sensors? Mostly curious.
As for 80mph over a 165' hill, you probably won't be going very fast when you get to the top. If anyone noticed on the coaster special that was on Disc. channel(forget exactly which one) there appear to be brakes on the hill going up. I would guess these will be used heavily if the ride is actually going 80mph after the launch so as to control the speed at the top of the hill. I could be wrong but time will tell.
I first heard about PKD getting a Thrust Air 2000 a couple of weeks ago. Here is my original reaction posted on another coaster website on July 21: I don't know a whole lot about the TA2K although I have seen some video tape footage. It certainly looks interesting but I can't get too excited about it right now. I'm just not sure if this is the type of coaster PKD needs right now. They need a full-fledged 4000+ feet hyper coaster from B&M, Intamin, or Morgan or maybe a floorless. They need a new flagship ride that isn't over in under 2 minutes. PKD is always spouting off in their commercials at the beginning of the summer how they're innovators in bringing thrills to the area. I wish they would stop trying to be innovators for a while and bring at least one outstanding established design of coasters. Two years ago we got the inverted "blast coaster" Volcano which may have been revolutionary but from what I hear, isn't half as good as Alpengeist. Two years before that we got the headbanging nightmare Outer Limits, which was also "innovative" but a pretty [bad] ride in the process. Two years before that we got the underperforming Hurler. In 1986 we got the first stand-up roller coaster on the East Coast, the Shockwave, which I remember being all the rage 14 years ago but was kind of underwhelmed when I first saw how short it was. If I'm not mistaken, the new Thrust Air will probably go where that ride currently sits. So for 2001 PKD will be able to hype how they're one of the first to have one of these new innovative rides. They might add another kiddie coaster so they can still claim to have the most coasters on the East Coast. So next year we'll all "ooh" and "ahh" about this new innovation. Lines will be exceedingly long just so we can have what will probably amount to a less than a minute ride. Undoubtedly for me however, my favorite rides will remain 3 highly un-innovative coasters in the park. The underrated Anaconda, an Arrow multi-looper, the wild Grizzly, and the Rebel Yell, a racer that's still more fun for me forwards than backwards. These are all rides that were firmly established to some degree at other parks beforehand and then KD offerred their own unique flavor to them. They remain in my and my friends' opinions the best of PKD. Take a look at what nearby parks Six Flags America and BGW are doing for next year. SFA will probably be getting a B&M floorless or stand-up (according to rumors running amok on the web). Smart money says that Busch Gardens will take a break from their dominance in the steel coaster market and bring out a superb woodie. I think it just goes to show that Paramount doesn't think in terms of what's good for the long term. They just want "the next big thing" before it gets proven. I'd much rather ride more established types of rides than a 1st generation ride that will be new and exciting but will probably underperform 3 or 4 years from now. And all you Virginia riders, before you get excited about this new ride, the TA 2000 will most likely go where the Shockwave currently is and that plot of land does not offer much room for any coaster much longer than 2500 feet. I think the real innovation of PKD is how they're able to get so much out of their land because they seem unable to expand. The Volcano knocked out 3 rides from the mountain. Outer Limits ate up part of the animal monorail area (I think). They had to knock out half the forest around the Grizzly to construct the Hurler. Anaconda replaced the King Kobra shuttle looper and was built out over the already existing lake. The Shockwave replaced the Galaxii. PKD needs to buy more land and give us a new flagship coaster to rival Apollo's Chariot and Superman: RoS.
WOW! tell me how you REALLY feel lol! Truthfully, I don't know if many of you know this, but this protoype was originally intended for PGA in Nothern California. They already had teaser signs(0-80)up and everything. The project got cancelled for precisely that reason, low capacity. Anyone who has been to PGA knows this, most of their rides fall into the innovative but short category. I can only hope that PGA has decided to go with a full fledged coaster now that PKD has gotten the prototype.
Perhaps Paramount Parks figures that (a) they'd rather have new and exciting that are worth the long wait -- high capacity be d----d, or (b) if they just get enough great rides in the park, the lines will eventually calm down so capacity won't be a problem. That didn't seem to work for Cedar Point, though . . . .
*** This post was edited by Merri Sedai on 8/23/2000. ***