Last Update: January 4, 2013
© Kings Dominion
The world saw a number of breakthroughs in the technology of thrillrides - particularily rollercoasters - throughout the final decades of the twentieth century with rides becoming more innovative with each year. In 1996, there was one leap forward in coaster technology that left the theme park world in awe. Outer Limits: Flight of Fear
opened at Doswell, Virginia's Paramount's Kings Dominion
and Kings Mill, Ohio's Paramount's Kings Island
on June 18th of that year as the planet's first duo of coasters to utilize the force of magnetic Linear Induction Motor propulsion to launch a train at what was then the fastest rate of acceleration for any ride - 54 miles per hour in 3 seconds. From there, the train enters a 2,705-foot-long mess of twisted track featuring four high-speed inversions. But that wasn't all that was special about the Outer Limits coasters - Flight of Fear featured a track layout completely enclosed and experienced in darkness, with a science-fictional theme surrounding the experience.
© Kings Dominion
In the year 2001, the coasters were renamed simply Flight of Fear
and received even more uniqueness with trains going under the knife and being fitted with a simplistic lap / leg restraint system doing away with former shoulder restraints.
This new LIM technology paved the way for future launch coasters, including outdoor versions of Flight of Fear
, as seen in Poltergeist
at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
and Jokers Jinx
at Six Flags America
, shuttle coasters such as Speed the Ride
at the Nascar Café at Las Vegas, and the Mr. Freeze's
at Six Flags over Texas
and Six Flags St. Louis
, and the new LSM technology found on Maverick
at Cedar Point
at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
The Flight of Fear
experience begins from the moment the queue line is entered - guests in line make their way into a building passed off as an aircraft hanger. Inside, a glowing alien spacecraft greets queuing thrill seekers. Entering into the UFO, guests proceed through an array of rooms and corridors before finding themselves face-to-face with the sleek ride craft. Once on-board, the sound of Linear Induction Motors coming to life grows more and more evident... Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the train is launched down a black hole to begin the ride, accelerating faster by the second. Seconds later, riders reach the end of the launch and head vertical through the double-inverting 180-degree course-reversing Cobra Roll and dive down the maneuver's conclusion to immediately
© Kings Dominion
begin the third 360-degree vertical twist - the Sidewinder. The pace slows momentarily as the track wraps around to Flight of Fear's highest point, around 540 degrees of curves leading to a set of mid-course block brakes. Speed begins to pick up again as the train plunges back down into the mayhemic curvature with a spiraling dive to the left. The train quickly navigates through a second dive and begins changing direction again with a Figure-Eight formation to ground level. After another banked curve, the final Corkscrew flips the track over once more and sends the train into the unloading station.
From beginning to end, Flight of Fear is truly out of this world.