Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Location Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Status Operating since March 20, 2004
Rider height
  • Minimum: 54 inch
  • Maximum: 81 inch
California's Great America
Name Stealth
Location Santa Clara, California, USA
Operated April 1, 2000 to September 2, 2003
Cost $17,000,000
Replaced by Boomerang Bay
Manufacturer Vekoma
Product Flying Dutchman (843m Prototype)
Type Steel - Flying
Riders per train 24
Hourly capacity 1,000
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 115 feet
Top speed 51 mph
Length 2766 feet
Inversions 5
Duration 1:50
G-Force 4.3

Nighthawk is a Vekoma flying roller coaster located at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. The ride is one of the two remaining "Flying Dutchman" models in the world. It originally opened in 2000 at California's Great America as Stealth.[1]


Nighthawk at its original location.

"Project Stealth" was announced on June 22, 1999. It was marketed as the "world's first true flying coaster". However, two flying coasters had already been built by this time (Skytrak and Komet). At the time, California's Great America said the official name would be revealed later, but it was never announced.[2] Construction of the attraction had started before the announcement in early 1999.[3]

The ride initially opened on April 1, 2000 as Stealth. A soft opening was held on March 26, 2000.[4]

During its run at California's Great America, Stealth would suffer numerous maintenance issues. One of the issues was the electric box. Instead of being located in the mechanical room, it was located on the trains. As a result, an amount of stress was put on the components and ride vehicles. The system monitored the restraints and locking devices that allowed the cars to raise and lower.[5]

On August 21, 2003, it was announced that Stealth would be relocated to Carowinds. It closed on September 2, 2003 and was removed to make room for a new water park.[6]

In January 2004, Carowinds announced that the ride would be called BORG Assimilator and have a Star Trek theme.[7] It reopened on March 20, 2004.

After Carowinds was acquired by Cedar Fair in 2006, the name was changed to Nighthawk for the 2008 season. The Star Trek theming would have to be removed as a result.



Color scheme

When the coaster originally operated at California's Great America as Stealth, it had a white track with a red spine and gray supports. When it moved to Carowinds as BORG Assimilator, the track was repainted black, while the spine was repainted green apple. In 2009, a year after the attraction was renamed Nighthawk, it was repainted with a yellow track and blue supports.[8]


2 trains with 6 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 4 across in a single row, for a total of 24 riders per train.



  1. "Lost Coasters of California - Part 9: Stealth - The Coaster Kings".
  2. Paramount's Great America Unveils "Project Stealth" World's First True Flying Coaster For 2000 - Ultimate Rollercoaster
  3. "New Roller Coaster Takes Shape At Paramount's Great America". Ultimate Rollercoaster.
  4. Great America Launches Stealth First Flying Coaster - Ultimate Rollercoaster
  5. "20 in 2020: Stealth at California's Great America". Coaster101. November 25, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  6. "Stealth Roller Coaster To Close After Only 3 Years". Ultimate Rollercoaster.
  7. Vekoma Flying Coaster to sport Borg theme at Paramount's Carowinds - Amusement Today (Wayback archive)
  8. "Nighthawk's New Colors". NewsPlusNotes.

External links

Articles on Carowinds
Articles on California's Great America