This Vekoma Flying Dutchman coaster at Six Flags America is notable for its custom riding position and sudden changes of direction. The train consists of 6 cars seating 4 across, for a total capacity of 24 riders. After being heavily – and I mean heavily – restrained, the riders are tilted backwards as the ride ops rotate the train so that riders are a degree beyond being flat on their backs. Upon dispatch, the train makes a left turn from the loading station and ascends a 115-foot lift hill. After a short left turn the train goes into a twist (Lie to Fly element), flipping the riders over into a flying position and sending them down the initial 103-foot drop. This is followed by a horseshoe curve, Fly to Lie (lying down) element going into a vertical loop and Lie to Fly element leading into a turn and two consecutive in-line twists. Finally the train enters a helix and returns the riders to a Fly to Lie position so that they return to the station in the same position as the one in which they left it.
The highlights of the ride for me were the vertical loop in the lying position and the double in-line twist in the flying position. The loop was awesome and being flipped over twice during the consecutive in-line twists almost blew me away. Through much of the ride I had the sensation of flying close to the ground, perilously close to the supports, with no awareness whatsoever of the track. I also had the sensation of being about to pitch forward into nothingness and was thankful for the tight restraints. This was my first ride on a Flying Dutchman coaster and the only Vekoma coaster I’d ever ridden that I actually liked.
Batwing is a well-designed coaster that provides a novel and exciting ride. 4 out of 5 stars. Note: The author is the one with the leg tattoos in the photo taken from the loading station. For more information about rides at Six Flags America, visit www.sixflags.com/america.