3 Reasons Why Batman: The Ride will be Better than Green Lantern

Batman: The Ride will be opening at Six Flags Fiesta Texas this summer as the first 4D free fly coaster by S&S Sansei. The new coaster has been compared to the very similar looking Green Lantern at Six Flags Magic Mountain, a Zac Spin coaster by Intamin. While a rather unique ride experience, the reviews for Green Lantern have mostly ranged from average to not favorable with many complaining about the lack of comfort:

 

Because the two rides look similar, many coaster enthusiasts are already worried about the ride experience on Batman. But if we look closer we’ll see there are a few key differences and improvements in Batman’s favor. Here are three reasons why Batman: The Ride will be better than Green Lantern:

1. Track Design

Let’s start with the track. Batman is using Rocky Mountain Construction’s Iron Horse track (though it is a larger variation than found on the wooden makeovers). It’s easier to cut and weld flat pieces of steel than bending a round tube, as Rocky Mountain explains in their track patent:

“When steel rod or steel pipe is heated and bent into complex designs, the rod or pipe does not necessarily bend as desired. Metal will typically seek to bend at its weakest point or where the most force is applied over a span. As such, the end result of a fabricated steel structure may not exactly match the desired design, which either results in repeated attempts of fabrication or settling for a less than optimal result.”

iron horse track

So the Iron Horse track will be much more precise than a traditional steel coaster – something that takes on even more importance when you’re creating wide trains with seats sticking out away from the center of gravity.  I expect Batman to be much smoother as this type of track makes it easier to maintain plane resulting in no extra flapping or bouncing and less vibrations than the zac spins or previous 4D coasters.

batman-sfft-2

2. Axis of Rotation

Have you ever watched a gymnast while she’s doing a front flip? Where is the center of rotation at? The gymnast rotates somewhere around their midsection. Batman will use a similar center of rotation.

Compare that to a Zac Spin car where riders sit back to back and the axis of rotation is somewhere behind you. The positioning of the axis of rotation near rider’s midsections should result in more natural feeling flips.

zac spin vs free fly

 

Renderings by Patrick McGarvey of Waves Design

3. Controllable chaos

The way the spinning works on Batman is pretty much controlled chaos. The seat rotation design is pretty similar to the 4D trains Arrow patented and then S&S acquired when they took over the assets, just that they don’t have the rack and pinion mechanism that controls the rotation. The seats are free to spin but they also have a magnet and fin system that helps control the flipping. There are actually two sets of magnets: the first prevents the spinning from becoming too fast or too much while the second can be used to help induce spinning to flip the seats at the desired locations.

batman the ride fiesta texas

One of the problems with the free spinning Zac Spins is the spinning is totally dependent on weight distribution, and that can sometimes lead to bad rides. The magnets on Batman prevent this problem from happening. Alan Schilke, the renown coaster designer, also stated in an interview that if you get two passengers moving their limbs in tandem at the right moments, the riders can actually affect the spin of the seats – how cool is that?

Watch Theme Park Review ride the prototype – and look for the magnetic fins:

We won’t know for sure until the ride actually opens, but for these three reasons I believe Batman: The Ride will be superior to Green Lantern and the other Intamin Zac Spins. Are you excited for Batman? Your thoughts?

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5 Responses

  1. Jeremy Preston says:

    Love the post. Can we have a post about the history of Alan Schilke? I just learned last week that he was the lead track designer of this coaster too along with all the rocky mountain coasters coming out! There was a very good pod cast interview at IAAPA with season pass podcast.

  2. John says:

    This will be a great ride guaranteed. I am very impressed with the smooth ride this type of track allows. I expect this to have more of an X2 feel opposed to a the green lantern. I enjoy both though. The lantern is extreme but pays off as such. I loved it but not the long wait for the quick ride. X2 is pure awesome. Love it. I hope it feels like both combined. I only wish it was a longer track as I can never get enough.

  3. Hafiz says:

    Green Latern is just a bad ride. The floor doesn’t raise or lower for boarding (my mom had to use a step stool to get on) The Lift Is horrible, we stared straight down at the ground the entire way up. Its super rough and rickety, and litterly threw us out of our seat, into the harness mutliple times, to that point that when we got back in the station, I wasn’t in my seat, but I was sitting on the leg peg, and to make it worse, our side stayed upside down for 3 solid minutes.

  4. Mas says:

    sorry but i call BS on the “round tube is hard to bend”. B &M and many other do it with no problems

  5. CoasterMaster says:

    I rode Batman the ride. It is at my home park. I rode it twice and that was it. I was going in with a “natural spin” feeling. I was definitely wrong. It forces you to spin. Not just free spinning. I have been on so many rides. I never get sick. This thing made me really nauseous the first time around. Closer to the end of the day, I went back to give it another chance. I knew what was coming. We completed the course and I felt kinda sick but not as near as the first time. Those seats are really comfy BTW. Our final ride was on Iron Rattler and that kinda straightened out my stomach.

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