Six Flags Great America announces X-Flight

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 12:40 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Get ready to take flight! Six Flags Great America announces plans to add a state-of-the-art roller coaster for the 2012 season. X-Flight is a ground-breaking wing coaster featuring cutting-edge technology. The Gurnee theme park is the first to announce plans for a wing coaster in the U.S.

X-Flight will take riders on a flight that defies gravity, with no track above or below them. Riders sit in pairs, suspended on either side of the track with their feet dangling, as they begin their climb up a 12-story plunge launching them into speeds of 55mph through 3,000 feet of intense drops and five inversions, including a barrel roll and zero-g roll. One of the most adrenaline-pumping moments on the ride is an extreme fly-through where the coaster speeds straight toward a structure, before making a last-minute vertical flip to fit through a keyhole cut-out.

“Six Flags Great America has a long history of introducing legendary rides and first-of-its-kind roller coasters,” said Hank Salemi, Six Flags Great America Park President. “What makes X-Flight so unique is soaring through 3,000 feet of high-speed drops, loops and turns, with nothing above or below you. The coaster’s train actually looks like a plane with seats suspended on either side of the track. It’s like nothing you have ever experienced before. We are thrilled to bring this revolutionary wing coaster to our guests for the 2012 season.”

X-Flight is designed by acclaimed Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, who also designed Six Flags Great America favorites: Raging Bull, SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight and BATMAN: The Ride. The wing coaster will make its home in the County Fair section of the park. Construction begins this Fall. X-Flight is scheduled to open Spring of 2012.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011 12:46 PM

I absolutely can't wait to ride this coaster! It looks like an incredible, Cutting-Edge, high thrill coaster, which is exactly what SFGAm needed. People will flock to this like mad. Hopefully this drives a big increase in attendance so we can see more high capacity rides in the near future! AWESOME!

Thursday, September 1, 2011 1:15 PM


Thursday, September 1, 2011 1:16 PM

Who doesn't love an "extreme fly-through?"

Thursday, September 1, 2011 1:20 PM

This is an enthusiast site. I'm sure someone will hate it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 1:26 PM

I see nothing to hate.

My word, I am so thoroughly impressed with SF's installations.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 1:35 PM

This ride will be the reason I will finally drive my butt over to Chicago (or fly) to go to this park. I always wanted to, just needed another reason... Perfect!

Six Flags has some awesome installations this year.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 1:35 PM

GO BIG! GO SIXFLAGS! Couldn't be more true right now!

Thursday, September 1, 2011 1:56 PM

How far out of touch can Six Flags be? Ground breaking 400 ft drop rides? A first of its kind Wing Coaster with extreme key hole fly through? Sheesh! Don't they know where the future is? Two words.... Animatronic Dinosaurs (some that even burst into flames)!

Last edited by SLFAKE, Thursday, September 1, 2011 2:00 PM
Thursday, September 1, 2011 3:08 PM

Wow, I about peed my pants when I saw that fly through. That element alone makes this ride worth riding.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 3:43 PM

Wow! This may force the hand as far as what Cedar Fair's next move may be. This ride looks out of sight incredible.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 4:53 PM

WildStangAlex said:
Hopefully this drives a big increase in attendance so we can see more high capacity rides in the near future! AWESOME!

Huh!? The park is almost always packed!

It does look like a nice ride :) Not super impressed (I am THAT enthusiast - I guess) but I realize this is not a Busch park.

People are gonna love it, I'll probably love it, and I think it's a great addition to the park.

Last edited by CoasterDemon, Thursday, September 1, 2011 4:55 PM
Thursday, September 1, 2011 5:10 PM

GA has been packed every time I've been there too. Though, admittedly, I have only been there on summer weekends.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 5:42 PM

The park can be dead at the start of the season, when school is still in. But it's always been a packed park once school is out. Great America is the most packed, during the smallest amount of time, of all the parks in the chain (per Hank Selemi, park president).

Thursday, September 1, 2011 6:45 PM

James Whitmore said:
This is an enthusiast site. I'm sure someone will hate it.

While I'm sure somebody somewhere isn't happy, so far it seems that the excitement for X-Flight is pretty consistent across the online coaster world. Six Flags seems to have a "buzz-worthy" ride on its hands.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:19 PM

Looks like B and M has captured the 4D market....Back to the drawing boards for S and S

Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:27 PM

How? The seats still dont rotate?

Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:46 PM

Who cares if the seats rotate or not...there are 3 SS 4D's built in the course of a decade. BM has 3 built in year. Do the math.

Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:50 PM

If the seats don't rotate, there's no 4th D.

These aren't 4D coasters. That's the point.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:51 PM
Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:53 PM


Intamin built a similar (launched) wing coaster years ago, and now B&M is. But the seats don't rotate, so they're not 4D because that's the whole point of a 4D coaster.

So, doing the math, B&M still hasn't built their first 4D, while S&S (and Intamin too) have built several in a decade.

But thanks for playing.


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