Review: Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Great Adventure

Roller Coaster Reviews

Overview

Superman: Ultimate Flight is a B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard) flying coaster located at Six  Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Great America.  The first installation was at Six Flags Over Georgia in 2002; installations at the other two parks followed in 2003.  This was the second flying coaster model designed by B&M, preceded by Air (now known as Galactica) at Alton Towers.  I’ve ridden only the installation at Six Flags Great Adventure so will confine the remainder of my review to that.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Layout, Elements and Theming

Overlooking the parking lot and themed after the DC Comics superhero, Superman: Ultimate Flight features an out and back layout with 2, 759 feet of twisting track.  It incorporates two inversions, a pretzel loop and in-line twist.  It operates with two trains, suspended from the track, containing eight cars seating four across for a total capacity of 32 riders.  The restraints consist of over the shoulder harnesses plus restraints to secure the riders’ legs/ankles.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Ride Experience

Once the restraints are locked, the train is pronated so that riders are facing down, in a position intended to simulate the sensation of flight.  For a first time rider this position is likely to feel somewhat awkward and uncomfortable.  That’s certainly how I felt when I first rode Superman. When the train is dispatched it makes a right turn out of the loading station and ascends a 106-foot chain lift hill.  The ascent had me squirming, as I felt as if I was going to pitch forward and be ejected.  From the top of the lift hill the train plummets 100 feet to the right and goes up into the pretzel loop, an element unique to this coaster model when it opened but subsequently incorporated into other B&M flyers. For me this was by far the highlight of the ride because the train accelerates suddenly, reaching its maximum speed of 51 mph, and plunges to the ground while the riders are on their backs.  This is followed by a sweeping left turn and drop through the pretzel loop.  The remainder of the course consists of two horseshoes, helix and in-line twist. And I must say that the in-line twist was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I could not get a photo of that which didn’t come out as a blur.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Final Thoughts and Rating

It’s a very long walk from the entrance of Superman to the loading station and I’m not at all convinced that it’s worth the walk.  Apart from the pretzel loop and in-line twist the ride struck me as meh.  I found Galactica at Alton Towers, which features the lie to fly and fly to lie elements found on Vekoma flyers, far superior.  Also, because the loading process is somewhat slow, I found myself stuck outside the station in the prone position, hair hanging down over my face, for several minutes while waiting for the loading train to be dispatched.

Final Rating – 5 out of 10 (Average)

Roller Coaster Ratings Reviews

What’s your take?  Have you ridden Superman at Great Adventure and if so, what did you think of it?

(Video courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure — always receive permission before filming on rides!)

This was a part of our 12 Days of Coasters special! Every day from Christmas until January 5th, we gave away a roller coaster review for you to enjoy. You can check them all out here. We thank you for reading, hope you’ve had a merry holidays, and wish you a happy New Year!

Hi! I took up roller coasters late in life, 8 years ago at the age of 59 and am trying to make up for lost time. Most of my favorite coasters were made by Intamin and lately, Rocky Mountain Construction. I love Hersheypark not only because it's the sweetest place on earth but because the three major coasters are Intamins. In real life I work in the legal profession.

3 Comments

  1. Yep, I have to agree with you on the 5.0 rating. I’ve ridden the “other” two Supermen flyers @ SFOG and SFGAm. The one in Chicago was built over a parking lot and only uses a single loading station, which sucks. The Atlanta version benefits from a duel loading station for better rider throughput, plus there’s some sweet rock formation fly-bys and a tunnel which adds to the overall experience. I’d do this one just for the coaster credit.

    Reply
  2. I’m a B&M fan in general, and as I’ve said in the past, I much prefer B&M flyers to Vekoman Flying Dutchmen. When I first rode Superman at Great Adventure, I thought it was the most incredible coaster I’d experienced to date. Since then, I’ve ridden Tatsu and Manta, and they’re both superior rides. As Eric notes, the original version of Superman at SFOG is superior because of how it fits in the terrain. Basically, I love B&M flyers, but Great Adventure’s is the least of them.
    I’ve concluded that if you’re riding a coaster where you’re face-down, and the ride is going to swoop close to the ground, you need to have something to look at. Tatsu and Manta have that, as does Flying Dinosaur at Universal Japan (which has the bottom of the pretzel loop in a tunnel — how cool is that?) Great Adventure’s model flies over…grass. Better than parking lot, but just barely.

    Reply
  3. We rode at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2016. Having ridden Tatsu previously, we found Superman very underwhelming. Obviously it’s smaller and shorter, and as mentioned above flies over just grass. We rode just once as the line was quite long and from memory not very shaded. It was good to tick it off the list though, as it’s unlikely we’ll get back to SFGAdv on any future US holidays.

    Reply

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