It starts out like any loading process but when your ready to "take off" your row gets laid on its back and you leave the station. Yeah, it's a vey neat experience. I especially love the first drop, it still makes me scream. :)
------------- "I’m more than a bird..I’m more than a plane...More than some pretty face beside a train...It’s not easy to be me"-Five for Fighting "Superman" dedicated to all of the hardworking rescuers of the WTC...
The trains come into the station and the seats incline to about a 45% angle for loading. The seats are facing backwards. You are first strapped in an over the shoulder harness which is not like a typical harness on a roller coaster. It has some flexibility to it. The ride op then tightens this up. They then move a knee and lap bar up(I think lap, only rode X-Flight once) up to you. When the trains are all checked out, they recline the seats even a little past the horizontal position so that your legs are higher than your head and your blood rushes to your head. You come out of the station head first. Going up the hill isnt all that bad because you are lying on your back and you are at a decent incline to see around the park if the sun isnt in your eyes. At the top it goes over a little hump and then the fun begins. I love the ride myself. It honestly felt like you were going to come out of the harness on some of those helixes. You are not even on your seat during any of the time that you are flipped over. You are hanging into your harness and lap and knee bars. A real sensation of flying. If you can find one of these Flying Dutchmen, ride it. It is well worth it.
Cheers, ------------- Bob Hansen
"Excuse me while I kick the sky!" email@example.com
If Flying Dutchmens are such cool rides, why are there only a couple? And why do people always put them down? ----------------- "We're not done yet, don't take it to seriously, its just life will win in the end" -superchick[k]
Got one ride on Stealth last year (next to last ride of the season). It was worth the 3,000 mile flight and the 6 hour drive. Of course, who knew THEN that there'd be more flyers. I guess in retrospect the popularity of the ride demanded more of 'em. Well, fast forward to this season, and there's TWO copies of an improved layout of the ride. Siiting, inclined, on the way up the lift was weird, but you CAN NOT be prepared for that "flip" at the top of the lift. Of the three of them, I'll take Batwing over X-Flight based solely on location... ----------------- the buzzer formerly known as gatorwoodie Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
In answer to your queries, the reason there are only three Flying Dutchmen currently in operation is twofold. First, the design was just introduced last season at PGA as Stealth. They modified the layout slightly for this year's installations of X-Flight at SFWoA and Batwing at SFA. The second reason, and why you probably won't see more any time soon, is that the manufacturer, Vekoma, declared bankruptcy. Probably because of the delays and general fiasco with their other new ride design, Deja-Vu.
I don't KNOW why people bash them, but I suspect it has to do with the fact that the more common Vekoma SLC's are notorious head-bangers.
IMHO, the Flying Dutchman is a great ride, an experience you can't get anywhere else (except when B&M's AIR come out). My favorite part is the loop. Ain't nuthin' like it!!!
------------- "Just remember, wherever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Banzai
I think it may be because many people's only experience with a dutchmen is X-Flight at SFWOA. X-Flight's capacity is so slow, it's painful...and it doesn't help that the ops were screwing around when I rode it.
----------------- A bad day at Cedar Point is better than a good day at work.
If and when they ever get X-Flight and Batwing working properly, SF plans on having the riders leave the station upright and have the seats recline as you go up the lift hill. That should be an added bonus.
Does anyony know if either SF installation operated with 3 train operation yet??
One of the biggest advances in the Flyers' design was the added ability to have the seats recline as it made its way up the lift hill. This was supposed to boost capacity and allow up to three trains to run simultaneously. Unfortunately, the design was flawed and the seats were unable to recline after train departure as percieved. Rather than keeping the rides closed for the entire summer season trying to rectify the seat proiblem, the Flyers were opened with a traditional loading scheme where the seats tilt back prior to departure. Because of this, capacity is slowed and multi-train operation is hampered. Hopefully, they will correct this problem during the off-season and have them running as planned for 2002.
I, myself, made a trip to SFWoA last May with hopes of riding X-Flight. Unfortunately, the rides opening day was pushed back two weeks and wasnt open while we were there. The Flying Dutchman is one of a very few styles of rollercoaster I have NOT ridden, and I look forward to hitting one someday (soon).
Batwing at SFA, as of the last time I went, only one or two train operation. Mostly one, but two every now and then. They don't have the seats recline while going up the lift, but they do have it set so the seats incline back to upright position while still moving into the station. Therefore, the seats don't have to be inclined after the train stops completly.
SFWOA is my homepark (along with CP) and X-Flight (IMO) is overated. I wouldn't drive a long distance or certainly fly to ride it. I can understand why some people would love it, but to me it would be better if you stayed in the "Flying" position. There's too much shifting back-and-forth from the lying down position to the flying position. It gets disorienting. That's why I am anticipating B&M's version because it seems as though they correct this problem...i.e. you don't lie down to enter the coaster or climb the lift.
X-Flight is a great ride. It's a ride that every enthusiast HAS to experience. It seriously feels like you're soaring through the sky. I would love for my homepark to get one, if only the lines didn't move so incredibly slow. ----------------- Webmaster-Amusement Park Central
*** This post was edited by scanz on 11/13/2001. ***
For me it was worth the wait every time....It is also worth juggling your scedule so you can go on a Monday or Tuesday....hard I know......but the lines are SOOOO much smaller....Then it's all good! :-)
Bat-Flight are NOT low capcacity rides! They have a capacity comparable to any 3-train B&M coaster. The problem is that Bat-Flight are in two parks with notoriously substandard operations. If they were run to designed capacity, they would bang people through. However, that has yet to happen, hence the terrible lines. jeremy --who only ended up riding the SFA Bat-Flight like 20 times on the year...10 of those media day! (crummy lines...)
The problems with Batwing and X-flight are not just the parks that operate them. These are the most complex coasters ever built, and Vekoma has not been able to get them working as designed. I lived with Bawing for 2 days during the Discovery Channel shoot and learned quite a bit about it.
There are 88 safeties that must be satisfied before each train can leave the station. Each train has 6 on board mini PLCs (Tiny Computers) that have to operate as a network of sorts plus the master PLC for the ride. No one has yet been able to get these trains operating as designed, lowering on the lift hill, or three train operation. The operators have to get the passengers in unfamiliar complex seats, and then almost always have to go around jiggling things to get all the limit switches to close. I don't know how many times I've heard the cry of "Knee bar, row 6" followed by the operator going down to jiggle the knee/lap bar on the row called.
The main problems are not with the operators at this point. The primary blame has to go to the designers and start up engineers who have not been able to get the trains functioning properly. If there is any blame to go to the park it is in the engineering and maintenance end, but I would sure hate to be on of the park maintenance people stuck with trying to get one of these things to operate and keep operating.
i agree with a few of you....i dont think its Vekomas fault that they dont run at capacity, its Six Flags. i mean, i love SFA(have not yet been to SFWoa), but they really have some SERIOUS operational issues. every ride op ive seen on Batwing barely knew what they were doing....i mean they look like they might have gotten an hour of training. i for one, dont have the slightest clue as to why they couldnt have run on at least two train operation most of the time....trust me, im SURE its possible..:)
also, EchoVictor...the Vekoma Flyers have been out for a few years...Stealth at PGA opened in 1998 if im not mistaken...now i dont know why there was 3 years between Stealth and its new siblings, but im sure there was a good reason. probably because they introduced that ride right about the same time as the Invertigo design if im not mistaken, so maybe they were just extremely busy..who knows...im rambling.... :)
----------------- ROLLERCOASTERS....BETTER THAN OXYGEN BABY!!!!!!