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FOF Newspaper Announcement


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Here's the whole article.

The article (Janurary 13, 1996), writer- Linda Fish-Oda- 

KINGS MILLS- Visitors to Paramount's Kings Island this year will get to test ride a new technology that someday may become standard on U.S. aircraft carriers. 

Outer Limits--Flight of Fear, the first hill-less coaster in the world, will be powered by a motor system that is turning heads at the Pentagon.  The ride will propel visitors from 0 to 54 miles per hour in less than four seconds, said Jeff Gramke, manager of engineering and construction for Kings Island. 

Outer Limits is previewed today at the 160th annual Non Coaster-thon Coaster Con Conference in Chicago.  The ride will open in late spring in the Warren County amusement park. 

Navy officials have previewed it and liked what they saw.  The Navy wants to replace the steam catapult system used on aircraft carriers to launch planes with linear induction motors, similar to the ones used by the amusement ride. 

A linear motor system would reduce the weight of a carrier by more than 1,000 tons, said Paul Tolman, marketing manager of Kaman Electromagnetics Crop in Hudson, Mass.  Kaman is the company working with the Navy on the new technology.  "The Navy does have a need to reduce the weight of the ship" he said. 

The system would also increase the lifespan of an aircraft.  The steam catapult system cannot be adjusted to match factors such as aircraft type, weapons payload, or wind conditions.  As a result, all aircraft get the maximum thrust at all times. 

The linear motor system is controlled by computers and has the ability to adjust the power that launches an aircraft,  Mr Tolman said.  "That thrust puts stress on the frame of the aircraft.  If you can vary the profile, you can extend the life of the aircraft, which would save big money for the Navy."

At Kings Island, executives are simply looking for a "screaming meanie that will blast you out," said Ed Dangler, manager of rides, maintenance and technical service for the park. 

By that measure, Outer Limits has already won tow awards at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' annual industry trade show in November.  Premier Rides, the roller coaster's manufacturer, won in the Major Theme/Amusement Park Ride/Attraction category, as well as the Technology Applied to Amusements award. 

For park visitors who have experienced their fastest speed in a car, Outer Limits will push their limits.  There are only one or two automobiles in the world with acceleration like Outer Limits, said Jim Seay, executive vice-president of Premier Rides in Millersville, Md.  

"We're talking really exotic cars, like maybe the most expensive Ferrari," he said. 

Carolyn Boos, marketing director for Kings Island, said Outer Limits will look like a giant ball of yarn after a cat finishes with it. "Or a bowl of spaghetti." 

Taking up an acre at the amusement park, the ride will propel riders through the linear induction motor system and into a maze of loops and turns-- including 30 vertical curves and more than 25 compound horizontal curves.  the ride's special effects are patterned after the 1960s science fiction television series The Outer Limits

The coaster will keep riders in the dark, because Outer Limits will be completely enclosed, similar to the Space Mountain ride at Disney World.  

But there's one major difference, Mr. Dangler said. "This is a thrill ride, Space Mountain is a ho-hummer." 

The ride's cost may be its biggest secret.

David G Focke, vice-president of park maintenance and construction at Kings Island, is the man with the most say about what rides are bought for Paramount's five parks. 

He would not release the cost.  

"Let's just say that it costs more than $10 million," Mr Focke said.  "Its twice as expensive as the next most expensive coaster ever built."

A spokeswoman for Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, said that park is building its largest coaster this year for $12 million.  Outer Limits, she said, is "a really expensive roller coaster."

The cost of the ride is the reason admission will increase this year at the park.  Ms Boos said.  However, the $2-per-ticket price increase, to $28.95, largely is due to paying the park's 5,000 seasonal employees a higher wage, she said.  Kings Island attracted nearly 3 million visitors last year. 

Thanks to the hype the ride will receive today at the Chicago convention, there likely will be a crowd at the park when the ride is unveiled.  But coaster fans won't be the only ones there.

Premier Rides' Jim Seay says he expects the Navy to be present when Outer Limits takes off.

Caption under the photo- This is a model of the world's first hill-less roller coaster, which will debut at Kings Island this year.  The ride will be enclosed.

Side caption- How It Works- Paramount's Kings Island's Outer Limits--Flight of Fear is the first roller coaster in the world that will not depend on the long climb of a first hill to propel it through loops and turns.

Instead, it will gets its power electrically, through magnetic waves, said Jim Seay, executive vice president of Premier Rides in Millersville, Md.

"The system essentially creates a travelling magnetic wave and it's the magnetic wave that pushes the vehicles from a stationary standpoint to the high speeds," Mr Seay said.

The track leading to the ride is lines with 44 sets of grey boxes, each 3 to 4 feet long.  Each box is a linear induction motor. 

A laser beam behind the coaster shoots down the track and relays to two computers with motors to turn on or off.

The entire ride takes less than two minutes, and about 2,000 people can ride Outer Limits in an hour.

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A few notes- 

- How about the theoretical capacity of 2000/hr?

- I wonder why it mentions why its the first to not rely on a lift hill?  There were other launch coasters before this, they just didn't use magnets (somebody didn't do their research)

- I'm curious on the cost now, especially if CP reps are acknowledging its more expensive than Mantis. 

- The concept model of the restraints are too accurate

- I remember thinking holy **** when I saw the track model

Unfortunately, I was too short in 1996, so I didn't get my first ride until 1997. 

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The red rails were just for the model.  They were never painted red.  

I rode the ride in June or July of its first year.  The line at opening stretched past the Zephyr, with all queues open.  There was a also a lot of down time.  My cousin and aunt attempted to ride it a second time before leaving that day.  The ride broke down and by the time they got out it was 10:15 (they got in line around 8).  We then went to Skyline down the road from the park (Fields Ertel), and they ran out of chili!  They only had enough chili to make half of our order.

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Reading the news article was fascinating. I'm curious what the most expensive roller coaster was in 1995, so I can have some sense of what FOF cost.

Also, some things never change:

16 hours ago, silver2005 said:

Caption under the photo- This is a model of the world's first hill-less roller coaster, which will debut at Kings Island this year.  The ride will be enclosed.

Remember when Valravn was the tallest coaster in the world? Ah, news media.

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