American Eagle

Roller coaster
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American Eagle
American Eagle (Six Flags Great America) 2007 01.jpg
Six Flags Great America
Location Gurnee, Illinois, USA
Coordinates 42°21′52″N 87°55′56″W / 42.364491°N 87.932344°W / 42.364491; -87.932344
Park section Country Fair
Status Operating since May 23, 1981
Cost $10,000,000[1]
Rider height 48 inch minimum
Statistics
Manufacturer Intamin[2]
Designer / calculations Curtis D. Summers, Inc, Jim Figley, Leonard Wright[3]
Type Wooden - Twin
Track layout Out and Back
Hourly capacity 1800
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 127 feet
Drop 147 feet
Top speed 66 mph
Length 4650 feet
Inversions 0
Drop angle 55°
Duration 2:23
Rolling stock
Manufacturer Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters
Riders per train 30
HELP
American Eagle logo.png

American Eagle is a twin wooden roller coaster located at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, USA. First opened in 1981, the ride contains a helix and several large drops. It is the second roller coaster from Intamin and the company's first wooden coaster.

History

American Eagle in 2004, with one train facing forwards and the other facing backwards

Construction of the attraction began in June 1980.[4] American Eagle opened on May 23, 1981.[5] It was advertised as the longest roller coaster in the world. However, this is only true if the length is considered to be that of both sides added together.

After the ride's opening, the park discovered design and construction defects and required Intamin to make repairs. Intamin sough compensation from the design and construction companies it contracted, Curtis D. Summers, Inc. and Figley-Wright Contractors, Inc., respectively. Intamin entered a settlement agreement with Summers on July 10, 1984 in which Intamin released all present and future claims against Summers in return for a payment of $203,820.49.[6]

During the 2002 season, one half of the ride operated backwards.[7]

The tent that housed the original American Eagle queue line from 1981 to 2006 was used as a circus tent from 1976 to 1980. In 2007, it was converted into a children's area named Kidzopolis. The current entrance is located to the right of Kidzopolis, utilizing part of the entry building for the adjacent Dare Devil Dive skycoaster. The old entrance was demolished in 2006. The original bald eagle that was on the roof of the old entrance is being used again on the new entrance.[8]

For the ride's 30th anniversary in 2011, the ride operated with backwards trains.[9]

Sometime during the 2016 or 2017 season, the park stopped racing American Eagle around this time and only extremely rarely will it occur. In more recent years, only one side would be open while the ride operates with the other side not or occasionally both sides will run but one side will dispatch while the other unloads as the process alternates between both. The official reason for why the coaster no longer races is unknown. For the 2021 season, only the red side of the ride would operate as the blue side would remain closed for refurbishment and small retracking. In the 2022 season, the blue side would return to operation while the red side would be closed for similar reasons as blue the year prior.

Design

Elements
Red
Blue

American Eagle has an out and back layout. The ride begins with several hills and a turnaround consisting of a large downward helix. More airtime hills follow and it concludes with a helix.

Trains

4 trains with 5 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows, for a total of 30 riders per train.

Incidents

  • 9/9/1984: Three guests were hospitalized after two trains collided in the station.
  • 9/7/1997: Four guests were slightly injured after the second and third cars on the blue train separated and collided on the brake run.[10]

Images

References

External links

Tallest wooden roller coaster
May 1981 - July 1985
Preceded by
Colossus
Tallest wooden roller coaster
May 1981 - July 1985
Succeeded by
Le Monstre
Tallest roller coaster drop
May 1981 - June 1988
Preceded by
The Beast
Tallest roller coaster drop
May 1981 - June 1988
Succeeded by
ShockWave
Tallest wooden roller coaster drop
May 1981 - May 1989
Preceded by
The Beast
Tallest wooden roller coaster drop
May 1981 - May 1989
Succeeded by
Hercules
Fastest roller coaster
May 1981 - March 1988
Preceded by
The Beast
Fastest roller coaster
May 1981 - March 1988
Succeeded by
Bandit
Fastest wooden roller coaster
May 1981 - April 2000
Preceded by
The Beast
Fastest wooden roller coaster
May 1981 - April 2000
Succeeded by
Boss


Articles on Six Flags Great America
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