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A suspended roller coaster is a type of steel roller coaster in which the car hangs from the bottom of the rolling stock by a pivoting fulcrum or hinge assembly. This allows the car and riders to swing side to side as the train races along the track. Due to the swing designs, these roller coasters cannot invert riders.

Suspended roller coaster
Iron Dragon Cedar Point.JPG
Trains swinging on an Arrow Development manufactured suspended roller coaster Iron Dragon at Cedar Point
StatusIn Production
First manufactured1902
No. of installationsAbout 37
ManufacturersArrow Development, Aerial Tramway Construction Co., Big Country Motioneering, Caripro, R&C Entertainment, Setpoint, and Vekoma



One of the earliest suspended roller coasters was known as Bisby's Spiral Airship, built in Long Beach, California in the early 1900s.[1] Riders on Bisby's Spiral Airship rode in square gondolas suspended from the track above, which were then carried via lift hill to the top of a tower. The gondolas then rolled down the track, which spiraled down the tower back to the loading platform. The attraction operated at least until the mid 1910s.[1]

In 1975, German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt debuted Alpenflug at the annual Oktoberfest fair in Munich, Germany.[2] Featuring multi-car trains and a 2700-foot twisting, spiraling layout, Alpenflug was a hit during the 16-day fair.[2] However, the design was scrapped after analysis revealed significant stress in the track, whose curves were not banked, and in the wheel assemblies, as the train's brake fins were located at the bottom of the train's gondolas instead of near the track itself.[2]

The first permanent modern suspended roller coaster was The Bat at Kings Island. Built by Arrow Development, The Bat opened April 21, 1981, but it was soon plagued with problems. The problems included: excessive stress on the support springs due to the unbanked curved track sections and stress on the wheels because the brakes were mounted at bottom of the swinging cars. Kings Island's US$3.8 million ride closed in 1983 and was later scheduled for demolition. The Bat's former site is now occupied by the Arrow designed looping coaster Vortex. The suspended coaster would return to Kings Island in 1993 with the addition of Top Gun which after a period of being called Flight Deck was renamed The Bat in 2014, a reference to the original 1981 coaster.

Arrow-Huss refined its suspended roller coaster designs, culminating in the debut of The Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and XLR-8 at Six Flags Astroworld in 1984. After 1984, as Arrow Dynamics, they manufactured ten suspended roller coasters, including Iron Dragon at Cedar Point, Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Vampire at Chessington World of Adventures, and Vortex at Canada's Wonderland.

Other manufacturers have also constructed their variations on the suspended roller coaster. Before contacting Arrow-Huss for The Big Bad Wolf, Busch Gardens contacted Anton Schwarzkopf to design a suspended coaster, dubbed the "Flugbahn". However, Schwarzkopf went bankrupt, completing only a model and the footers of the actual coaster.[3] Dutch designer Vekoma manufactured a suspended model dubbed "Swinging Turns," of which three copies were constructed. Vekoma offers both Arrow-style traditional car designs as well as floorless cars where the riders' feet dangle, similar to Vekoma's inverted coasters but the cars are able to swing. In 2001, Vampire at Chessington World of Adventures was modified to use Vekoma's floorless trains. Caripro, another designer based in The Netherlands, manufactured twelve suspended roller coasters and American designer Setpoint manufactured four.


A former Arrow Huss suspended roller coaster, Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
A Setpoint suspended roller coaster, Roller Soaker at Hershey Park
Trains swinging on an Arrow Dynamics manufactured suspended roller coaster The Bat at Kings Island
Incomplete list of suspended roller coaster installations
Name Park Manufacturer Open Status
Aerial Glide Shipley Glen Pleasure Grounds 1900s Removed
Bisby's Spiral Airship Queens Park 1902 Removed
Aerial Coaster Riverview Park Aerial Tramway Construction Co. 1908 Removed
Alpenflug Oktoberfest (Munich) Messerschmidt 1975 Removed
The Bat Kings Island Arrow Development 1981 Removed
Big Bad Wolf Busch Gardens Williamsburg Arrow Huss 1984 Removed
XLR-8 Six Flags AstroWorld Arrow Huss 1984 Removed
Iron Dragon Cedar Point Arrow Dynamics 1987 Operating
Dream Catcher Bobbejaanland Vekoma 1987 Operating
Ninja Six Flags Magic Mountain Arrow Dynamics 1988 Operating
Centrifuge World Expo Park Vekoma 1988 Removed
Vampire* Chessington World of Adventures Arrow Dynamics 1990 Operating
Vortex Canada's Wonderland Arrow Dynamics 1991 Operating
Eagle Fortress Everland Arrow Dynamics 1992 Removed
Hayabusa Tokyo SummerLand Arrow Dynamics 1992 Removed
The Bat (Kings Island; opened 1993) Kings Island Arrow Dynamics 1993 Operating
Sky Coaster Dream World Vekoma 1994 Relocated/Operating
Batflyer Lightwater Valley Caripro 1996 Removed
Batflyer** Duinrell Caripro 1997 Removed
Scooby's Ghoster Coaster Kings Island Caripro 1998 Removed
Clone Zone Milky Way Caripro 1997 Operating
Pteranodon Flyers Islands of Adventure Caripro/Setpoint 1999 Operating
Flying Super Saturator Carowinds Setpoint 2000 Removed
Spellbreaker Legoland California Caripro 2000 Removed
Vleermuis Plopsaland De Panne Caripro 2000 Operating
Hydra Fighter II Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe Caripro 2001 Removed
Boramae Coaser Wonder Zone R&C Entertainment 2001 Removed
Sky Rider Skyline Park Caripro 2001 Operating
Batflyer Hamanako Pal Pal Caripro 2001 Operating
Batflyer Nasu Highland Park Caripro 2001 Operating
Roller Soaker Hersheypark Setpoint 2002 Removed
Aeroplanes Aerocity Parc Big Country Motioneering 2003 Removed
Batflyer World In Miniature Caripro 2003 Removed
Unknown Dreamland Park 2006 Operating
Vertigo Walibi Belgium Input 2007 Removed
Slippery When Wet Hard Rock Park Caripro 2008 Removed
Canopy Flyer Universal Studios Singapore Setpoint 2010 Operating

* Operates with Vekoma trains[4]
** Never operated[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Bisby's Spiral Airship". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  2. ^ a b c James Kay. "Lost Legends: Alpenflug". Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  3. ^ Flying Coaster at Schwarzkopf Coaster Net
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]

External linksEdit