By Ryan Shrout
This summer, Kennywood, a park steeped in tradition, will debut one of the most technologically advanced coasters in the world. Taken the place of the old and much beloved Turnpike ride, Skyrocket will be the first coaster featuring inversions at the park since the Arrow looper Steel Phantom was transformed into a world class hypercoaster by Morgan in 2000.
After a u-turn left out of the station Sky Rocket will launch riders from 0-50 mph in a mere 3 seconds before rocketing up a vertical hill. At the top of that hill though the train will be grabbed by a holding break in what Kennywood is describing a "cliff hanger pause" at the top of a 95 foot vertical drop.
But the innovative elements don't stop there. Also included in the ride is an inverted top hat that looks more like an old Arrow cutback, a second cliffhanger element at the top of another vertical drop, a corkscrew, some "surf curves" and a couple of 0-g hills.
While Premier is known almost exclusively for their launch coasters, this will actually be the first time that they will use Linear Synchronous Motors (LSMs) instead of the more traditional Linear Induction Motors (LIMs). These don't offer quite as fast an acceleration but are more efficient.
But for all of the firsts of this ride, there is one thing that I am fairly certain of though and that is that this will not stray from the absolute brilliance and greatness that their rides are known for. And I for one cannot wait until I get the chance to ride this spectacular new addition to the Premier Rides family.