Steel Phantom

Click here to watch the on-ride POV
Steel Phantom
Steel Phantom.jpg
Steel Phantom in 1996.
roller coaster
USA.png
Kennywood
Location West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA
Status Defunct
Operated May 10, 1991 to September 4, 2000
Statistics
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer / calculations Ron Toomer
Type Steel - Hyper - Terrain
Model / product Custom Looping Coaster
Riders per train 28
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height160 feet
Drop225 feet
Top speed80 mph
Length3000 feet
Inversions4
Duration2:15
HELP
A postcard with Steel Phantom's first drop.

Steel Phantom was a steel hyper terrain roller coaster located at Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA.

History[edit | edit source]

The idea for Steel Phantom came from Henry Henniger, president of Kennywood Entertainment Company, who wanted a record-breaking steel coaster. Henniger was unsure how to fit the ride into the park, however a layout was worked out in conjunction with Arrow Dynamics.[1] On July 27, 1990, Kennywood announced the name for their new steel roller coaster would be Steel Phantom and that it would use the same station as the out-going Laser Loop.[2] The ride opened in May 1991 as the fastest and steepest roller coaster in the world. It was also the first hyper roller coaster to feature inversions.

A few days after Steel Phantom's debut, the ride shut to allow a trim brake to be installed, as the train was going faster than it should through the inversions, causing riders to experience pain in their necks.[3] Prior to the brake, a speedometer in the station that recorded the train's speed listed speeds approaching 88 mph, or even higher.

Despite adding the trim brake, the ride was still rough. Ride operators would not dispatch the train once they checked to see if riders had their earrings removed.[4]

In March 2000, Kennywood announced that Steel Phantom would close at the end of the 2000 season.[5] Following its closure, the roller coaster was heavily re-profiled by Morgan, which involved the removal of the four inversions, and reopened in 2001 as Phantom's Revenge.

Some pieces of scrap from Steel Phantom have been re-purposed as scenery for the Diesel Drivers ride. The track is the same color as Phantom's Revenge.[6]

Design[edit | edit source]

Elements

Steel Phantom started its run by ascending a 16-story lift hill that provided views of the surrounding Pennsylvania hills. The train entered a drop that turned to face the opposite direction, into a straight section of track where the train reached speeds of 66 mph. It then rose into a second hill, turning slightly to the right at the top before dropping 225 feet through Thunderbolt's support structure into a valley next to the Monongahela River. These first two hills were later reused by Morgan for Phantom's Revenge. After reaching the ride's top speed of 80 mph (up to 88 mph prior to the trim brake's installation), riders roared into the vertical loop, followed immediately by the batwing, or boomerang. The train made a left turn and flipped through a corkscrew, then made a series of tight turns surrounding the station and the Intamin drop tower ride Pitt Fall (now defunct) before hitting the brake run and returning to the loading area.

Trains[edit | edit source]

7 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.

References[edit | edit source]

Tallest roller coaster drop
tied with
Desperado

May 1991 - July 1996
Preceded by
Magnum XL-200
Tallest roller coaster drop
tied with
Desperado

May 1991 - July 1996
Succeeded by
Fujiyama
Fastest roller coaster
tied with
Desperado

May 1991 - July 1996
Preceded by
Magnum XL-200
Fastest roller coaster
tied with
Desperado

May 1991 - July 1996
Succeeded by
Fujiyama