Sky Rocket topped off at Kennywood

Posted Saturday, May 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited press release from Premier Rides. -J]

Premier Rides’ newest multi-million dollar installation, the Sky Rocket at Kennywood Park, was successfully topped off by ironworkers this week. The final 70 foot track section weighing over 8 tons was carefully installed ten stories up in the air at the highest point of the ride.

Jim Seay, President of Premier Rides commented, “We are extremely proud to reach this milestone and extra proud that we are providing an attraction that has generated hundreds of manufacturing and ironworker jobs right here in the United States.”

Sky Rocket’s magnetic launch technology makes this coaster one of Kennywood’s most exciting attractions in the park. Kennywood’s new launch coaster will feature many exciting and unique elements including three inversions and a 0-80km/hr (50mph) launch in two seconds. After the high-speed launch, riders will experience a vertical ascent to 95 feet before a brief cliffhanger pause at the top and a 90-degree drop into a maximum G-force pullout. The riders will then enjoy extended airtime as the train races into an inverted top hat element, passes into a barrel roll, and goes vertical again through a twist up leading to another pause. Riders experience a second vertical free fall followed by another maximum G-force pullout on the way into a highly banked fan curve. After a twisted corkscrew, a curve to a zero gravity hill, and a series of wave turns, riders finally return to the station.

See also: Sky Rocket at Kennywood in the CoasterBuzz database.

Kennywood's Sky Rocket, topped off

Kennywood's Sky Rocket, topped off

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Thursday, June 10, 2010 4:17 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Ever since day one they've been shooting for getting this open by ACE's convention which begins on fathers day. It's looking like that could still happen. I may just have to make a trip there on Fathers Day if it does in fact open. :)


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Thursday, June 10, 2010 5:33 PM

kpjb said:
All the steel, design, controls, etc. are American made. The LSM system itself was subcontracted to a German company.

Interesting. Is Power Superconductor Applications still in business? They have built LIMs for Premier rides in the past, and as I recall they are (were?) practically in Kennywood's back yard!

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Thursday, June 10, 2010 6:53 PM
kpjb's avatar

Not sure. I think the company doing the LSM's is IntraSys. Don't quote me on that, though.


Hi

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Thursday, June 10, 2010 7:27 PM

Test run video

I have to say, any kinks that need to be worked out aside (the 30 second pause on the MCBR for example), this more or less confirms my fears about the ride. It'll be fun, sure, but the 'surf curves' at the end look like filler slow boring filler (do we still use the term 'Raptoring around'?) and the air hills that follow aren't much better. Whatever happened to Kennywood coasters ending with a bang?

And I just don't get the first hill. How Premier ever settled on that over a traditional, non-braked hill I'll never understand. Oh well. The inversions look fluid and fun though, and again I'm sure it'll be a fun ride, but with the 'wood as my home park and knowing the space premiums they face, I just look at the layout and see SO much room for improvement.


Bill
ಠ_ಠ

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Thursday, June 10, 2010 8:51 PM
Jeff's avatar

It never ceases to amaze me how much people can diss a ride before a single human has ever been on it.


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Thursday, June 10, 2010 8:58 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Seriously. Let's get out of the testing phase before judging it!


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Thursday, June 10, 2010 9:17 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Yeah, I doubt that the stop on the MCBR was a 'kink'. They're testing the ride. Testing the MCBR is part of it. Most of the time you'll probably not be going quite as slow as that train was at the end, because the 2nd half was hampered by a stop on the MCBR, which normally shouldn't happen.

And I'm not going to complain about the brakes at the top. That could be a fun aspect of the ride.

I haven't met a launched Premier that I didn't like yet. I don't think I'll be disappointed with this one either.


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Thursday, June 10, 2010 10:23 PM
kpjb's avatar

There is no MCBR. The train can't stop there. Just some fins to slow it down. Not sure why they didn't make it more of a "cliffhanger" like the first one.

Probably gonna remove some of those fins until it loosens up a bit. Too slow through the second half was a common comment today.

But seriously, it's only made it around the course 5 or 6 times. It'll take a few more until it's in proper form.


Hi

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Friday, June 11, 2010 3:42 AM

I like it!
The second half of the ride will probably be a litter quicker in operation, it basically stalled on the block and hasn't been tuned yet.
Does anyone know the projected hourly capacity?


"Raptoring around" that's a funny analogy

Last edited by JoshuaTBell, Friday, June 11, 2010 3:47 AM
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Friday, June 11, 2010 7:39 AM

There's no MCBR in the sense that there are no brakes capable of stopping the ride, but there is very definitely a Mid-Course Brake Run. Why a ride designed to run two trains and only two trains has a flat, non-block-creating brake run in the middle of its layout is one of those things I file under design decisions that I just don't understand.

And I don't see how my assessment of the design decisions is unreasonable, having ridden the ride or not. If you study roller coaster designs for long enough, it's really quite easy to predict what certain parts of a ride are going to feel like, well before a populated train ever runs on the course. Obviously I can't know for sure and will reserve final judgment until I get to ride it, but I stand by what I said. It looks like it'll be fun, but I think that with very minor tweaks to the layout there could have been a significantly better ride on its footprint. Simple as that.


Bill
ಠ_ಠ

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Friday, June 11, 2010 8:00 AM
kpjb's avatar

You can consider it a MCBR if you wish, but I've never heard trims referred to in this way.

What do you consider the brakes on Magnum, Thunderbolt or Beast? I've never heard of them referred to as anything other than trims.


Hi

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Friday, June 11, 2010 8:16 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm going to refer to it as "the kpjb slide"..


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Friday, June 11, 2010 8:29 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar

JoshuaTBell said:
The second half of the ride will probably be a litter quicker in operation

Does that mean the length of the ride will be shortened by the amount of time it takes to deliver a litter of kittens? ;)

it basically stalled on the block and hasn't been tuned yet.

I don't think that's a block. It's just a trim.


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Friday, June 11, 2010 9:56 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

kpjb said:
There is no MCBR. The train can't stop there. Just some fins to slow it down.

Now that's interesting. Any reason they put a long strip like that as a trim? I always thought it had a mid course.

Too slow through the second half was a common comment today.

Yeah, and if I were to judge the ride based on a few early test shots, I'd think that second half sucked, but seeing as how knowing it was slowed down on that long trim, it looked like it was going slower than intended. If it goes thru the second half a little faster, and those bunny hops give nice little pops of air, I'll be happy.


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Friday, June 11, 2010 11:24 AM
kpjb's avatar

No idea why it was designed like that. I was under the impression that it was supposed to be a cliffhanger element going over the edge. Doesn't make much sense where it is, I agree.

On the same page there, as well.


Hi

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Friday, June 11, 2010 12:14 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Now that looks like something I would enjoy. After riding Top Thrill dragster and Maverick, these launch coasters are really growing on me. I also like the new inverted shuttles like Wicked Twister. It sure would be cool to have one at Michigan's Adventure. But, from what they have built lately, that is like wishing for a million dollars to arrive on your front porch incased in gold, with two angels hovering over it to protect it until you can get it safely to the bank.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 1:38 AM

I think it's cool that the launch runs parallel to the highway. Hope the train outruns traffic. (Also hope no idiots on the road decide to race the train and cause accidents.)

The one thing that makes me go "huh" is the drop after the flat section looks really shallow to me, almost like a drop on a Wild Mouse. Seemed like there was more to it in the schematics.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:54 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Kennywood just posted on Facebook a few minutes ago that they're looking at a June 25 opening to the public.


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:58 PM

Wow, that's still ten days away. StR might make it yet....


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 4:04 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Well ACE's last ERT session at the park will be the morning of the 23rd. I guess they won't have it open before they move on to the other host parks. That is unless it will be ready earlier and they aren't opening it to the GP until Friday. Though I wouldn't count on it.

Was there a first rider auction on this?


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