Flight Deck (Kings Island)
|Previously known as Top Gun (1993–2007)|
|Park section||Action Zone|
|Opening date||April 9, 1993|
|Type||Steel – Suspended|
|Lift/launch system||Chain lift hill|
|Height||78 ft (24 m)|
|Drop||70 ft (21 m)|
|Length||2,352 ft (717 m)|
|Speed||51 mph (82 km/h)|
|Max vertical angle||45°|
|Capacity||1200 riders per hour|
|Height restriction||48 in (122 cm)|
|Trains||2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.|
|Flight Deck at RCDB
Pictures of Flight Deck at RCDB
Flight Deck is an Arrow Dynamics steel suspended roller coaster opened in 1993 at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. It is Kings Island's second suspended coaster following The Bat, an early prototype from the same manufacturer that operated for several seasons in the early 1980s. Flight Deck is themed to a jet fighter that gives riders the illusion they are narrowly missing track supports and other elements while swinging through sharp turns.
The 660-short-ton (600 t) structure was planned years in advance before Paramount Communications purchased the park in 1992. Originally, the ride was going to be called Thunder Run. However, under new ownership the ride opened as Top Gun in 1993, named after the Paramount Pictures film. Under Paramount's operation, the loading platform was designed to resemble the deck of an aircraft carrier by John DeCuir Jr., a production designer that worked on the film. The line queue area featured music from the motion picture as well as an aircraft carrier control room exhibit that guests would pass through immediately before reaching the loading platform above. The control room exhibit was blocked off from the line queue years later, long before Cedar Fair purchased the park in 2006.
Top Gun was renamed Flight Deck in 2008 following the sale of the park to Cedar Fair two years earlier. The theme music and sign were changed to remove all references to the movie. Cedar Fair had rights to continue using the theme through 2016 but made the decision to remove all Paramount themes from the park early.
The ride begins with an ascent up a 90-foot (27 m) chain lift. At the top, the train dips slightly and turns roughly 225 degrees to the right. The train then drops 70 feet (21 m) into a valley banking right at the bottom as it begins to climb into the horseshoe element. The cars swing up and around to the left exiting the horseshoe parallel to same position during entry. Dropping back into the same valley, the train makes another banked turn to the right followed by a slight turn to the left as the it passes by the observation area located near the exit.
The last part of the ride takes riders through a final series of sharp turns, each sending the train swinging quickly from one side to the other. At the ride's furthest point from the initial drop, the track makes its sharpest turn sending the train back toward the loading station. Afterwards the train navigates two more inclining turns before stopping abruptly at the brake run. The sudden brake right out of the last turn causes the cars to swing briefly even after the train has stopped moving forward.
Flight Deck's design is relatively unique among suspended roller coasters from Arrow Dynamics in that it features only one lift hill, though Vortex at Canada's Wonderland is another example. Others typically feature two.
- Sloan, Gene (13 April 1993). "Movies set stage for theme parks". USA Today (FINAL ed.). p. 6D.
- Tate, Skip (April 1993). "The Shape of Kings To Come". Cincinnati Magazine (Emmis Communications) 26 (7): 82. ISSN 0746-821. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Flint, Donald. "The Bat". KIExtreme.com. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "CBS Corporation To Sell Paramount Parks To Cedar Fair, L.p. For $1.24 Billion In Cash". CBS Corporation. May 22, 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Sloan, Sam (2006-06-01). "Paramount Parks Sold to Cedar Fair". www.sliceofscifi.com. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- "Vortex". COASTER-net.com. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
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