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Kentucky Flyer facts for kids

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Kentucky Flyer
Kentucky Flyer - Spring 2019.png
Kentucky Kingdom
Coordinates 38°11′39″N 85°44′39″W / 38.194292°N 85.744271°W / 38.194292; -85.744271Coordinates: 38°11′39″N 85°44′39″W / 38.194292°N 85.744271°W / 38.194292; -85.744271
Status Operating
Soft opening date April 26, 2019
Opening date April 28, 2019
Cost $5,000,000
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Gravitykraft Corporation
Designer The Gravity Group
Track layout Out and back
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 47 ft (14 m)
Drop 44 ft (13 m)
Length 1,288 ft (393 m)
Speed 35 mph (56 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:00
Max vertical angle 52°
Height restriction 40 in (102 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 12 riders per train.
Kentucky Flyer at RCDB
Pictures of Kentucky Flyer at RCDB

Kentucky Flyer is a wooden roller coaster located at Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky. The coaster opened on April 28, 2019, to celebrate the Kentucky Kingdom's 30th anniversary.

History

Teasing for a new attraction began on September 14, 2018, hinting at a new aviation themed ride as well as a September 21 announcement date. As planned, the Kentucky Flyer junior wooden coaster was announced on September 21, 2018, with a planned 2019 opening date. This would be a family-sized wooden coaster from Cincinnati-based Gravitykraft Corporation, with plane-themed trains and a top speed of 35 mph (56 km/h).

Construction on Kentucky Flyer began soon after, but was quickly halted in mid-October by the park's landlord, the Kentucky State Fair Board, who stopped the park from preceding with any kind of work and payments done on the ride, placing the ride's future in jeopardy. In an October 16 press conference on the construction site, park CEO Ed Hart claimed that the Fair Board was withholding access in an attempt to strong-arm the park into dropping a lawsuit over breaking a paid parking lease, instead giving rented spots out to Kentucky State Fair vendors. The following day, after Governor Matt Bevin and his administration became involved, the Fair Board changed course and once again granted permission for the park to continue onwards, securing Kentucky Flyer's future.

In November 2018, Kentucky Flyer's plane-themed lead car was put on display at the IAAPA 2018 Expo in Orlando, Florida. Foundations would continue to be poured during that time, and the coaster structure would go vertical on November 30, 2018. Work would continue throughout the winter and be completed in late March/early April of 2019. On April 12, 2019, Kentucky Flyer reportedly began testing trains on the layout, and the coaster opened to the public later that month, on April 28.

Characteristics

Statistics

Kentucky Flyer's highest point of the ride is 47 feet (14 m) tall, its total length is 1,288 feet (393 m), and the ride maxes out at a top speed of 35 mph (56 km/h), which is achieved on the 52° 44-foot (13 m) first drop. There are 12 airtime moments along the ride, and a maximum side banking of 54°. Designed by The Gravity Group, the coaster is what many refer to as a modern junior wooden coaster, as it is very suitable for children, and similar to rides like Roar-o-Saurus at Story Land and Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement Park.

The coaster structure is mainly made of painted steel, although the track and handrails are wooden, thus it can be classified as such. The support structure is painted white while the track has no paint, with red being applied to the handrails.

Kentucky Flyer operates with a pair of 12 passenger Timberliner trains, which have airplane-spoofing lead cars and curved lap bars, the latter of which make the ride suitable and comfortable for guests of all sizes. Timberliners are also far lighter trains than most and can navigate very tight curves.

Location

Kentucky Flyer is located behind the Hurricane Bay waterpark, running in the background of the 2014 Hurricane Bay expansion. The coaster's turnaround is located on one acre of expansion land promised to the park by the Fair Board. The entrance is located near the Skycatcher tower swing ride.

Ride experience

Riders depart the station and immediately ascend the 47-foot (14 m) tall lift hill, before turning slightly to the right and plunging down the main 44-foot (13 m) drop at 52° steep. The ride twists into a pair of double ups before hitting the left-hand turnaround at a 54° banked angle. Several airtime hills are navigated on the way back before the train drops down into the final brake run. When allowed to do so, the train proceeds to make a right-hand hairpin turn back into the station.

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