Skycoaster

Skycoaster is an amusement park ride produced and managed by Skycoaster, Inc., a division of Ride Entertainment Group.[1] On the Skycoaster, riders in groups of 1 to 3 are harnessed in specialized suits, winched to the top of a launch tower, and then dropped towards the ground, swinging from a cable tether back and forth until brought to a rest.[2] The attraction is often compared to a combination of skydiving and hang gliding.[3]

Skycoaster
Xtreme Skyflyer (Arch Tower).JPG
A typical Skycoaster arch tower.
General statistics
ManufacturerRide Entertainment Group
DesignerWilliam Kitchen & Ken Bird
ModelSingle Swing
Dual Swing
Height100 ft – 300 ft
A typical Skycoaster's entire structure, including the lifting towers and the main arch
The A-frame tower of the world's tallest SkyCoaster in Kissimmee, Florida

There are currently over 80 Skycoasters in operation all around the world, ranging in heights from 100–300 feet (30.5–91.4 m).[4][5] The ride can be found on every continent but Antarctica.[6] Most locations operate as upcharge attractions with an additional fare charged to riders who have already paid general admission to the park.

Many installations use a variation of the Skycoaster model name, whereas others use a custom name like Dare Devil Dive (found at several Six Flags parks) or Xtreme Skyflyer (found at several Cedar Fair parks).

HistoryEdit

William Kitchen, founder of Sky Fun 1 Inc., and Ken Bird originally came up with the idea of the Skycoaster in 1992.[7] They wanted to find a way to let others experience the thrill of jumping out of a plane or the thrills of bungee jumping, but with the safety factor of a merry-go-round. By January 1994, there were four portable models of the ride and 16 permanent fixtures in the United States.[8]

In 1998, Bill Kitchen sold his patents for Skycoaster and most of the Sky Fun 1 Inc. company to ThrillTime Entertainment International Inc. for $12 million.[9][10][11] Skycoaster, Inc. was then sold to the Ride Entertainment Group in 2005.[10][6]

Ride Entertainment introduced Sky Sled in 2017, a new method of riding a Skycoaster.[12][13] The Sky Sled replaces the flying position with a sitting one. It was first introduced at Fun Spot America in Kissimmee, Florida.

Ride Entertainment has partnered with KCL Engineering to offer lighting systems for the Skycoasters and JoyTech AS to offer automated video systems.[14][15]

ProductionEdit

The company is based in Stevensville, Maryland. Parts are manufactured throughout the United States, with the attractions assembled on site.

The two most common types of Skycoasters are lattice and monopole. Lattice Skycoasters were manufactured in a variety of sizes, but the 173-dual arch and 100-foot single arch were the most common. Monopole Skycoasters were manufactured in a variety of sizes, 100-foot single, 100-foot dual, 180-foot single, 180-foot dual, and one 300-foot unit.[15] Earlier Skycoasters have some unique tower structures that do not fall within these categories.

Flight cables are made of 516 inch (7.9 mm) galvanized steel, which supports 9,800 pounds (4,445 kg), or stainless steel, which supports 9,000 pounds (4,082 kg).[2] However, the maximum weight for a flight is 850 pounds (386 kg), mainly due to the winch. The 3-ring release system used on the Skycoaster is the same kind used on parachutes. The flight suits worn are similar to hang gliding suits, and are made by a parachute company to support weight of up to 10,000 pounds (4,535 kg).

There are two types of Skycoaster loading systems:

  • Rolling boarding platform: A cart is rolled out to and from flight line in order to help the flyers on and off the ride
  • Scissors lift: An elevator-like platform is raised up and down to allow flyers on and off the ride.

Skycoaster InstallationsEdit

Skycoaster Name Park Location Height Opened Closed Details
Skycoaster Fun Spot America - Kissimmee Kissimmee, Florida 300 feet (91.4 m) 1997 Open World's tallest Skycoaster.[16][17] Opened on Saturday, November 22, 1997 with an appearance by 82-year-old George A. Blair.[18]
Sydney Skycoaster Raging Waters Sydney (Formerly Wet'n'Wild Sydney) Sydney, Australia 251 feet (76.5 m) 2013 Open Dual Skycoaster and the first with a new design with less steel than other Skycoaster designs.[4][6][19] Second Skycoaster with the Village Roadshow group.
Skycoaster Fun Spot America - Orlando Orlando, Florida 250 feet (76.2 m) 2013 Open World's second tallest Skycoaster.[20] Relocated from MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park.[21] Only uses one of two former towers.[22]
Sky Screamer MGM Grand Adventures Las Vegas 250 feet (76.2 m) 1996 2001 Relocated to Fun Spot Orlando.[21][23] After closing to the public, the ride was originally retained on property and available for rent by companies.[24]
VertigoXtremo Parque de la Costa Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina 213 feet (64.9 m) 1999 Open [25]
Skycoaster Skyborne London 200 feet (61.0 m) Open
Skycoaster The American Adventure Ilkeston, Derbyshire 200 feet (61.0 m) Closed [26]
X-Flight Six Flags Mexico Mexico, Mexico City 197 feet (60.0 m) 2015 Open Tallest Skycoaster in Mexico at over 180 feet (55 m) tall.[27][5]
Skycoaster PlayCenter São Paulo 197 feet (60.0 m) Closed [28]
RipCord Worlds of Fun Kansas City, Missouri 189 feet (57.6 m) 1996 Open [29][30]
Skycoaster Kennywood West Mifflin, Pennsylvania 189 feet (57.6 m) 1994 Open Single Lattice A-Frame.[4] First permanent Skycoaster installation in an amusement park.[31][32]
SkyCoaster State Fair of Texas Dallas 189 feet (57.6 m) Closed
RipCord Michigan's Adventure Muskegon, Michigan 183 feet (55.8 m) 2002 Open [33]
SkyCoaster Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort New Braunfels, Texas 183 feet (55.8 m) 2002 Open [34]
Skycoaster Lake Compounce Bristol, Connecticut 180 feet (54.9 m) 1998 Open [35]
RipCord Valleyfair Shakopee, Minnesota 180 feet (54.9 m) 1996 Open [4][36]
Geronimo Skycoaster Wild Adventures Valdosta, Georgia 180 feet (54.9 m) 1999 Open [37]
Red Hawk Six Flags Darien Lake Darien, New York 180 feet (54.9 m) 1995 Open Opened as Skycoaster.[38]
Sky Coaster Six Flags Over Georgia Austell, Georgia 180 feet (54.9 m) 1996 Open [39]
Ultimate Rush Grand Adventure Land Reno, Nevada 180 feet (54.9 m) 1998 Open [40]
Unknown United Entertainment & Tourism Company Shaab Park, Kuwait 180 feet (54.9 m) Open
Skycoaster Kentucky Kingdom Louisville, Kentucky 180 feet (54.9 m) 2001 2010 [41]
Screamin' Skycoaster Six Flags Fiesta Texas San Antonio 180 feet (54.9 m) 1995 2001 Relocated to Texas State Fair.
Sky Coaster Six Flags New Orleans New Orleans 180 feet (54.9 m) 2000 2005 Attraction still standing at abandoned park.[42]
Dare Devil Dive Great Escape Lake George, New York 175 feet (53.3 m) 2001 Open [43]
Hadikali Hopi Hari Vinhedo, São Paulo, Brazil 174 feet (53.0 m) Open [44]
Catapulte La Ronde Montreal, Quebec, Canada 173 feet (52.7 m) 2008 Open [45]
Skycoaster Opryland USA Nashville, Tennessee 173 feet (52.7 m) 1995 1997 Originally opened in park's State Fair area before being relocated within park for 1997 season.[7]
Xtreme SkyFlyer Canada's Wonderland Vaughan, Ontario, Canada 173 feet (52.7 m) 1996 Open Dual Skycoaster.[4][46]
SKY-X Seoul Land Seoul, South Korea 165 feet (50.3 m) 2000 Open [47]
Sky Coaster Superland Rishon LeZion, Israel 165 feet (50.3 m) 1998 Open [48]
SkyCoaster Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast Gold Coast, Australia 164 feet (50.0 m) Open [49]
XLR8R Elitch Gardens Denver 160 feet (48.8 m) 1996 Open [50]
Xtreme Skyflyer Kings Island Mason, Ohio 153 feet (46.6 m) 1995 Open Opened as Drop Zone, named after Paramount movie Drop Zone.[51] Renamed in 1996 to Xtreme Skyflyer.[52]
Dive Devil Six Flags Magic Mountain Valencia, California 153 feet (46.6 m) 1996 Open [53]
Xtreme SkyFlyer Kings Dominion Doswell, Virginia 153 feet (46.6 m) 1996 Open [54]
RipCord Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina 153 feet (46.6 m) 1995 Open [55]
Xtreme SkyFlyer California's Great America Santa Clara, California 153 feet (46.6 m) 1997 Open [56]
Dare Devil Dive Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, New Jersey 153 feet (46.6 m) 1997 Open [57]
Dive Bomber Alley Six Flags Over Texas Arlington, Texas 153 feet (46.6 m) 1996 Open [58]
Dragon's Wing Six Flags St. Louis Eureka, Missouri 152 feet (46.3 m) 1996 Open [59]
Barnstormer Six Flags AstroWorld Houston 151 feet (46.0 m) Closed [60][61]
Sky Coaster Lagoon Amusement Park Farmington, Utah 143 feet (43.6 m) 1995 Open [3][62]
Vertigo Oakwood Theme Park Pembrokeshire, Wales 140 feet (42.7 m) 1997 Open [4][63]
I-5 Sky Dive Wild Waves Theme Park Federal Way, Washington 125 feet (38.1 m) 1998 Open [64]
Dare Devil Dive Six Flags Great America Gurnee, Illinois 125 feet (38.1 m) 1997 Open [65]
Skycoaster Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe Greensboro, North Carolina 125 feet (38.1 m) Closed Involved in an August 2003 accident where an operator, testing the ride, collided with the rolling board platform that had not been moved out-of-the-way.[66]
Professor Delbert's Frontier Fling Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio 123 feet (37.5 m) 1996 Open Originally opened as Ripcord in Cedar Point's Challenge Park.[67] Relocated in 2017 to Frontier Trail and renamed.[68]
Skycoaster South Pier, Blackpool Blackpool 120 feet (36.6 m) 1994 Open [69]
Skycoaster Six Flags America Prince George's County, Maryland 115 feet (35.1 m) 2001 Closed
Sky Shark Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Hot Springs, Arkansas 115 feet (35.1 m) 2014 Open [70]
Geronimo Skycoaster Frontier City Oklahoma City 113 feet (34.4 m) 1995 Open [71]
Dive Devil Bell's Amusement Park Tulsa, Oklahoma 113 feet (34.4 m) Closed
Skycoaster The Track Family Fun Center Gulf Shores, Alabama 110 feet (33.5 m) 1995 Open [72]
Skycoaster Zero Gravity Dallas 110 feet (33.5 m) 1994 Open [73]
Sky Coaster Indiana Beach Monticello, Indiana 110 feet (33.5 m) 1995 Open [74]
Skycoaster Big Kahuna's Destin, Florida 110 feet (33.5 m) 1993 Open [75]
Skycoaster Tusenfryd Oslo, Norway 110 feet (33.5 m) 1996 Open [76]
Skycoaster Parque Mundo Aventura Bogotá D.C., Colombia 110 feet (33.5 m) Open [77]
Skycoaster Six Flags New England Agawam, Massachusetts 110 feet (33.5 m) 1992 2013 Formerly known as Taz's Daredevil Dive. Featured a unique curved tower. [78]Replaced with Star Flyer.[79]
Sky Coaster Funtown Pier Seaside Heights, New Jersey 110 feet (33.5 m) 1995 2012 Demolished after Hurricane Sandy destroyed most of the pier.[80]
Boardwalk Flight Luna Park, Coney Island Coney Island, New York 110 feet (33.5 m) 2012 2014 [81]
Skycoaster Casino Pier Seaside Heights, New Jersey 109 feet (33.2 m) 2015 Open [82][83]
The Skycoaster El Rollo Waterpark Acapulco, Mexico 100 feet (30.5 m) 2015 Open 109 feet (33 m) single tower.[5]
Skycoaster Broadway Grand Prix Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 100 feet (30.5 m) 1996 Open [84]
Skycoaster Ozark Mountain Skycoaster Branson, Missouri 100 feet (30.5 m) Open [85]
Skycoaster Extreme World/Mt. Olympus Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 100 feet (30.5 m) Open [86]
Skycoaster Andy Alligator’s Fun Park and Water Park Norman, Oklahoma 100 feet (30.5 m) 2016 Open
Sky Coaster Morey's Piers – Adventure Pier Wildwood, New Jersey 100 feet (30.5 m) 1994 Open [87]
Sky Coaster Adventure Park USA Monrovia, Maryland 100 feet (30.5 m) 2018 Open [88]
Royal Rush Skycoaster Royal Gorge Bridge and Park Royal Gorge, Colorado 100 feet (30.5 m) 2003 Open Positioned over a 1,200-foot (370 m) canyon.[4][89]
Sky Swing Seacoast Adventures North Windham, Maine 100 feet (30.5 m) Open [90]
Skycoaster Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Vallejo, California 100 feet (30.5 m) 2001 Open [91]
Drop Zone Playland Vancouver, Canada 100 feet (30.5 m) 1998 Open [92]
Ripcord Geauga Lake Aurora, Ohio 100 feet (30.5 m) 1999 2007 Sold at auction for $85,000, then put up for sale by third party company ITAL International LLC for $105,000.[93]
The Slingshot Ratanga Junction Century City, Cape Town 100 feet (30.5 m) 1999 Closed
Sky Coaster Joyland Park Wichita, Kansas 100 feet (30.5 m) Closed
Sky Coaster Morey's Piers – Surfside Pier Wildwood, New Jersey 100 feet (30.5 m) 2015
Skycoaster Kissimmee, Florida Kissimmee, Florida 100 feet (30.5 m) 1994 Closed Located one mile east of Old Town (amusement park).
Parachute Drop Mitsui Greenland Arao-shi, Japan Unknown Open
Flying Carpet Tokyo SummerLand Tokyo, Japan Unknown Open
Skycoaster Orlando, Florida Orlando, Florida Unknown Closed Formerly known as Bungee Mania.[94]

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External linksEdit