Specific Type: Launch Coaster
While Liseberg’s collection of roller coasters has never been huge by any means, it’s always had just enough variety to give everyone the right thrill factor they’re looking for. The current lineup consists of two kiddie coasters (Rabalder, Stampbanan), an lengthy, terrain hugging Schwarzkopf coaster (Lisebergbanan), a towering modern wooden coaster (Balder), and a tight, twisted little launch coaster (Kanonen). But with the last major roller coaster addition in 2005, Liseberg decided it was time to add something else.
The concept for the ride began back in 2009 when the park decided it wanted a new roller coaster to add to its lineup. Of course, as with many things, the most important aspect was “location, location, location!” It was decided that the coaster had to be built on the eastern side of the hill, the same hill that is home to Lisebergbanan. The park then had to decide on a company to design the new ride, and in 2011 came to the conclusion that Mack was the way to go. Going through the creative design process, the resulting layout could almost be described as the love child of Lisebergbanan and Kanonen, featuring a sprawling, twisted layout that makes use of the hilly terrain around it, with a lot of tight twists, turns, and inversions along the way. In May 2012, the contract with Mack Rides was signed, and in October that year, the announcement of the ongoing Projekt Helix was made. At 239 million SEK (approx. $36M), Helix would instantly become the biggest single-attraction investment in the park’s history.
With the station located on the site of the former Maxxima 3D cinema, near the foot of the Atmosfear drop tower, passengers load up into one of the five brilliant green, two-row, four-passenger cars and prepare for the ride of a lifetime. The ride wastes no time getting started, immediately dropping down out of the elevated station towards ground level where it then rolls up and to the right through a corkscrew, exiting with a roll to the left through a stretched, swooping lefthand turn. At the end the turn tightens drastically, dropping and leveling out as it heads for the first LSM launch crossing below the pre-drop. Blasting up to speed, the track rises up and banks ride, sending riders soaring through another corkscrew over the covered escalator leading to Atmosfear. Dropping to the ground and curling around left, the train rolls up and over the covered escalator once again, then peaks and twists back down to the right in a “Stengl-dive”-like element.
Rolling down the side of the eastern hillside as it goes through another turnaround back over the escalators once again, the track rises and banks left, inverting riders before dropping them down into a trench, then rising up and inverting them once again, exiting right through the “Pretzel Loop” element. Crashing down into a trench, narrowly missing a small waterfall, the train then rockets over a large airtime hump that is followed up directly by a rising zero-g roll. A shimmy to the right and hop that banks heavily to the left yanks riders downward, then upward through a 360-degree helix that interacts with Lisebergbanan.
A right-handed turnaround scrapes right up against a jagged cliff wall that aims riders for the second LSM launch. Blasting up to a top speed of 62 mph, the track ahead pulls up hard and sends the train hurtling through an inverting top hat element, which twists them upside down and under at the top before rolling them back to the upright position as it falls back down. Back at ground level the track bends slightly to the right, sending the train careening over another large airtime hill. Shifting back left away from the pretzel loop, the track rises to the left through a half-helix, then swings riders right, left, and right again through a set of quick S-curves. After turning around to the right and over Lisebergbanan once again, the track simply curls over through a barrel roll that slides into the final brake run.
In all, riders go through 2 LSM launches, 7 inversions, and traverse 4,500 feet of track in a nearly 2-minute-long ride. The biggest investment in the park’s history, it will also be the longest and fastest coaster at the park, and the first multi-launch coaster in Europe.
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