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Kennywood Launches Sky Rocket Roller Coaster in 2010

Preview of the Launched Sky Rocket Coaster Debuting at Kennywood in Pennsylvania

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Kennywood's Sky Rocket coaster

Kennywood's Sky Rocket coaster, debuting in 2010, will feature two top hat towers.

Palace Entertainment, 2009.
Updated March 09, 2010
Kennywood's wonderful collection of roller coasters includes its classic Jazz-age woodies, Racer, Thunderbolt, and Jack Rabbit, the latter of which dates back to 1921. For its seventh thrill machine, however, the park will be going decidedly New Age. Set to debut in May 2010, the high-tech Sky Rocket will use Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) technology to launch passengers from 0 to 50 mph in 3 seconds.

Kennywood's Sky Rocket Coaster Stats

  • Type of coaster: LSM Magnetic Launch
  • Height: 95 feet
  • Ascent angle: 90 degrees
  • First drop angle: 90 degrees
  • Top speed: 50 mph
  • Track length: 2100 feet
  • Ride time: 65 seconds

See Kennywood's Sky Rocket Coaster

Kennywood's Magentic Attraction

As with many launched coasters, Sky Rocket will deliver its explosive acceleration at the start of the ride and tear out of the loading station onto a straight section of track. Like launched rocket coasters such as Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure and Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm, Kennywood's coaster will then shoot straight up a top hat tower, linger ever so briefly, and freefall 90 degrees down the other side. Unlike rocket coasters, which are all about the launch and typically head back to the station uneventfully after scaling their towers, the Kennywood ride will deliver some additional inversions and other elements.

Kennywood says that riders can expect some airtime and strong doses of positive G-forces as Sky Rocket navigates a zero gravity hill and a second 90-degree drop. The new coaster will also include a corkscrew, a barrel roll, and a series of wave turns. The whole thing will be over in a 65-second blur.

As opposed to the hydraulic systems that launch rocket coasters, Sky Rocket will use LSM magnetic induction to bring its trains up to speed. Among other rides that use LSM technology is the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Superman The Escape at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

With a top speed of 50 mph (compared to Kingda Ka's face-melting 128 mph), Kennywood's ride should fall into the family coaster category--albeit at the extreme end. The 90-degree ascent and drops along with the inversions, however, may have squeamish family members thinking twice before boarding the coaster.

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