Flight of Fear Launched Riders
& Industry into a New Frontier
You can’t tell what you’re in for as you walk up to the Area 54-esque military testing facility that houses Flight of Fear. For Flight of Fear Kings Dominion took a stab at theming for a change. A considerable amount of theming. The station and ride itself are all enclosed in a building designed to look like a UFO government testing facility. The line always seems pretty short now that it’s an older attraction and it’s worth the wait if you’ve never been on this coaster or its clone at Kings Island.
Flight of Fear Launches an Era
The ride is propelled by a linear induction motor launch system. When it was introduced in 1996 by Premier Rides, it was revolutionary. It might be safe to say that Flight of Fear started the launch coaster genre. Instead of the traditional lift hill, the ride uses Linear Induction Motors basically magnets that propel the train down the track. The result is a rocket-ship like launch that rivals the adrenaline felt at the crest of the initial drop of traditional coasters. More on launch coasters…>>
Waiting for the ensuing launch and then accelerating is definitely the high point of the ride. The energy in the station is always high as waiting riders are hyped up by the rocket-like launch. The train almost disappears before your eyes as its catapulted from 0 to 54 mph in a matter of seconds. After the launch, the train is shot down a dark tunnel. There’s a bright flash as the onride photo captures your picture. Then you enter the tall cylindrical building where you find a literally “tangled knot” of track including 30 vertical curves, 25 horizontal curves, four inversions, and oh yeah semi-darkness. To see what this tangled mess looks like check out Joker’s Jinx at Six Flags America. It would’ve been better if it was darker or they used some other type of theming like stars. But for Kings Dominion some theming is better than no theming at all. Out of the inversions, the corkscrew on the way out is my favorite.
Head banging on the shoulder harnesses used to be pretty heavy and made Flight of Fear nearly unrideable as it guaranteed riders headaches. Fortunately, in 2001 the park replaced the stiff shoulder harnesses with lap bars remedying the head banging. So if you rode Flight of Fear or its clone in Ohio before 2001, it’s worth the re-ride. Most of the points here go to the launch, the immediate cobra roll inversions, and the weird “Area 51″-esque theming. At Kings Dominion this is a must ride. Final Rating – 7.5 (Good-Approaching Great)
Posting an onride video of Flight of Fear is pretty pointless because it’s so dark. I found a video showing the inside of Flight of Fear with the lights on. During the last minute you can see the train run through the spaghetti bowl of steel track. Check out the video here.
Photo courtesy of CoasterImage.com
Any questions or comments about Flight of Fear? Leave a comment below.