SUSPENDED COASTERS

Big Bad Wolf Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia, USA.

 

Similar to the Inverted Coaster,  Suspended coasters also utilize trains that hang from the track above rather than sit on top of it. However, instead of the seats being directly attached to the wheel carriage, the seats on Suspended Coasters are secured via hinge assemblies on the wheel carriage that allow the trains to freely swing side to side throughout the coaster’s circuit. However, this design prevents the coaster from going upside down.

The Original

ARROW DYNAMICS SUSPENDED COASTER

Iron Dragon Cedar Point
Iron Dragon at Cedar Point in Ohio, USA.

Arrow Dynamics developed the modern Suspended Coaster in the early 1980s although earlier one-off versions existed, including a traveling model developed by German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmidt called Alpenflug that only operated for three weeks during the 1975 Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
Arrow’s first suspended coaster – The Bat at Kings Island in Ohio, USA – also suffered from excessive stress forces similar to its German predecessor and was closed in 1983 after only two years in operation.
However, improvements were made culminating in the 1984 debut of The Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia and XLR-8 at Six Flags Astroworld in Texas. Arrow went on to manufacturer 10 Suspended Coasters over the following decade accumulating in 1992 with Eagle Fortress at Everland in South Korea, which has been SBNO (standing but not operating) since 2009 due to further excessive stress issues.

Operating example:

The Bat at Kings Island, USA
Vortex at Canada’s Wonderland
Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain, USA

 

Variations

VEKOMA SWINGING TURNS

Dream Catcher Bobbejaanland
Dream Catcher at Bobbejaanland in Belgium.

Vekoma counteracted Arrow with their Swinging Turns Suspended Coaster – Dream Catcher at Bobbejaanland in Belgium, which opened in 1987. Only three were manufactured, all of which are still operational.

VEKOMA SUSPENDED FAMILY COASTER

Flight of the Pterosaur Paultons Park
Flight of the Pterosaur at Paultons Park in the UK.

Vekoma developed a smaller version for families to enjoy together. The first models opened at Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island in Ohio, USA, in 2001. The company went on to perfect the coaster by making the ride smoother and removing the over-the-shoulder restraints in 2006 when Kvasten opened at Gröna Lund in Sweden.

Operating examples:

Orkanen at Fårup Sommerland, Denmark
Flight of the Pterosaur at Paultons Park, UK
Freedom Flyer at Fun Spot America, USA
Kvasten at Gröna Lund, Sweden

CARIPRO BATFLYER

Vleermuis Plopsaland De Panne
Vleermuis at Plopsaland De Panne, Belgium.

Caripro’s Batflyers were created by the Dutch company in the late 1990s and the first was a one-of-a-kind indoor version – Clone Zone at The Milky Way Adventure Park in the UK. All subsequent outdoor versions feature elevator lifts for the 1-2 passenger vehicles. Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster at Kings Island in Ohio was the only one to operate in the USA (1998-2005). Vleermuis at Plopsaland De Panne in Belgium is a dueling version of the model.

SETPOINT

Pteranodon Flyers Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
Pteranodon Flyers at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Florida, USA.

Setpoint completed the suspended work on the Caripro designed Pteranodon Flyers at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Florida, USA, which opened in 1999. The company went on to use the design to manufacture three additional coasters, including Canopy Flyer at Universal Studios Singapore.

Operating examples:

Pteranodon Flyers at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Florida, USA

Roller Soaker Hersheypark
Roller Soaker at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania, USA.

Using the same basic design as their Flyer model, Setpoint created a water interaction version of the ride. Flying Super Saturator opened at Carowinds in 2000 with Roller Soaker at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania coming two years later. Both coasters suffered capacity issues as well as lengthy downtime and closed within a decade.

Examples:

Roller Soaker at Hersheypark, USA
Flying Super Saturator at Carowinds, USA

S&S WORLDWIDE FREE FLY COASTER

Tranan Skara Sommarland
Tranan at Skara Sommarland in Sweden.

On the S&S Free Fly model, a row of bench seats is suspended below each wing and can freely rotate 360° as the coaster travels along the track. Tranan at Skara Sommarland in Sweden opened in 2009 and is the first and only S&S Free Fly.

Operating examples:

Tranan at Skara Sommarland, Sweden

ZAMPERLA AIR FORCE

Zooom! Flamingo Land
Zooom! at Flamingo Land in the UK.

The Zamperla Air Force is a very child friendly coaster similar to the Vekoma line of Suspended Family Coasters (see above), only smaller and much slower.