RALPHO TOWNSHIP — The long wait is over for thrillseekers in central Pennsylvania.
Knoebels’ Flying Turns finally opened on Saturday after seven long years of construction and testing.
For the roller coaster fanatics who were some of the first riders ever, it was a ride worth the long wait.
The line for Knoebels Amusement Resort’s newest attraction was long, some folks having to wait two hours to ride it.
Considering how long it’s taken to get the roller coaster ready to roll, a couple hours was nothing.
Flying Turns has been seven years in the making. All that time, engineers have been tweaking and testing, making sure the throwback to a coaster without rails was safe.
“It’s a roller coaster without a track, probably closer to a luge or a bobsled, because the cars are on casters and they follow what physics tells them to do,” said Dick Knoebel, Knoebel’s Amusement Resort.
Flying Turns lives up to its name with “S” turns and a feeling like you’re flying.
“You go through your roll position to get into a turn. If you’re flying you pull back on your yoke. You would be on your side feeling vertical G’s that’s exactly what the ‘Flying Turns’ does,” said Mike Broodley, an engineer who helped build the roller coaster.
The folks at Knoebels said they set out to recreate a classic ride from the 1930s. It took three tries to get the right kind of vehicles for the wooden track. In this era of high-speed, great heights roller coaster, Flying Turns is the only one of its kind.
“This is the only one in the world like it. Nobody else has one, we’re so proud of it. We invite everyone to come and experience the thrill of flying turns,” said Knoebel.
Some have come to experience the new “old” ride, some who even rode a similar coaster a half-century ago.
“We’ve been waiting 7 .5 years for flying turns, having ridden one back in 1967 in Chicago at Riverview,” said Bonnie Bonchak of Illinois. “I love the swooping up in the trough, like you’re flying.”
“This was definitely something we were looking forward to. We’ve seen this built for the last five years now, been waiting for it to open,” said Kay Veschi of Walnutport.