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Katapul spike alternative.jpg
Katapul in 2011.
roller coaster
Hopi Hari
Location Vinhedo, São Paulo, Brazil
Status Operating since 1999
Alton Towers
Location Alton, Staffordshire, England, UK
Operated 1990 to November 3, 1996
Jolly Roger Amusement Park
Location Ocean City, Maryland, USA
Operated 1987 to 1989
Kings Dominion
Location Doswell, Virginia, USA
Operated 1977 to 1986
Manufacturer Schwarzkopf
Designer / calculations Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Type Steel - Launched - Shuttle
Model / product Shuttle Loop (Weight Drop)
Riders per train 24
Propulsion Weight drop launch
Height137.8 feet
Top speed53 mph
Length722 feet
Track inversions1
Rider inversions2
Steepest drop70°
Weight: 40 T - HELP
King Kobra at Kings Dominion in 1979.
Thunderlooper at Alton Towers

Katapul is a steel launched shuttle roller coaster located at Hopi Hari in Vinhedo, São Paulo, Brazil. It was one of the first Shuttle Loop models built by Schwarzkopf and used a weight drop launch to propel riders to a speed of 53 mph. It is also the most traveled, having operated at four parks in its 43 year history.

History[edit | edit source]

The ride was installed at Kings Dominion, Virginia, USA, and opened in 1977 under the name King Kobra. It was the first Schwarzkopf Shuttle loop model along with White Lightnin' at Carowinds and Greased Lightnin' at Marriott's Great America, both of which opened in the same year. It closed in 1986 and was sent to Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Maryland, USA.

It reopened under the same name at Jolly Rodger Amusement Park in 1987 and operated for two seasons, closing in 1989.

The ride was then sent to Alton Towers in England, UK. It opened in 1990 and was called Thunderlooper. Thunderlooper was situated across from where Nemesis is now in a newly created area called Thunder Valley (now Forbidden Valley). During its operation, planning regulations on Alton Towers were tightened, allowing nothing to be built higher than the treeline. Due to its height and noisy operation, Thunderlooper had to be closed - it ceased operation on November 3, 1996. Maintenance had also become an issue with cracks appearing on the track and trains. It was replaced with flat rides Ripsaw and Blade.[1]

After being removed from Alton Towers, the ride was sent to Hopi Hari in Brazil. It was repainted blue with red supports and opened in 1999 under the name Katapul. It was closed in February 2012 and was repainted red with blue supports. It was also given a Superman theme. It reopened on December 14, 2012.

Design[edit | edit source]


Ride experience[edit | edit source]

The train is launched out of the station at a speed of 53 mph before passing through a vertical loop with a diameter of 46 feet. It then travels up a 148 feet tall vertical rollback, slowing to a halt as it loses its momentum. The train then traverses the track backwards, passing through the vertical loop and station and up the second, smaller spike. After stalling a second time, the train rolls forwards into the station.

Trains[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • RCDB text.png
    Katapul on the Roller Coaster DataBase.
Tallest roller coaster
tied with
White Lightnin'
Tidal Wave

1977 - 1978
Preceded by
Giant Coaster
Tallest roller coaster
tied with
White Lightnin'
Tidal Wave

1977 - 1978
Succeeded by
Montezooma's Revenge