Maxx Force launch coaster: 0 to 78 mph in less than 2 seconds

Forrest Brown, CNNUpdated 4th July 2019
(CNN) — To achieve maximum speed on most roller coasters, you slowly pull out of the loading station and ascend to the crest of that first hill with the assist of a chain lift -- and then take a dramatic first drop.
That's not good enough for Maxx Force. Straight out of the station, this new, high-tech launch coaster blasts you from 0 to 78 mph (125 kph) in less than two seconds. All before you ever reach the first hill or inversion.
To get that kind of startling initial speed, travel to the coaster's home at Six Flags Great America outside Chicago in Gurnee, Illinois.
The launch coaster opened to the public on the Fourth of July. Six Flags pass holders got early access to Maxx Force during a Membership Appreciation Day celebration on Wednesday.
"Maxx Force is absolutely revolutionary, taking Six Flags innovation to an all-new level of extreme," said Six Flags Great America Park President Hank Salemi in a news release.
Maxx Force is scheduled to open to the full public on July 4.
Maxx Force is scheduled to open to the full public on July 4.
Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging/Six Flags Great America

Maxx Force's record-setting features

Maxx Force's breathtaking takeoff makes it the faster launch coaster in North America, the park says. It uses air-powered technology to shoot you out at such high speeds so quickly vs. the traditional slow ascent up a hill via the chain lift.
Caitlin Kepple, communications manager at Six Flags Great America, points out the coaster's other bragging rights:
-- The world's tallest double inversion at 175 feet (53 meters) above the ground.
-- The fastest inversion on any roller coaster in the world with a 60 mph, zero-gravity roll (that's 95 kph).
-- Five high-speed inversions.
-- Custom coaster trains modeled after Formula One racing cars.
The fun doesn't end with the launch. You'll have five inversions before the ride is over.
The fun doesn't end with the launch. You'll have five inversions before the ride is over.
Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging/Six Flags

Reaction to the ride

Marcus Leshock of CNN affiliate WGN got several preview rides on the coaster and said, "Just pure exhilaration. This thing is all about that launch. ... It takes your breath away."
Patrick Lindich of Dyer, Indiana, is a 29-year-old roller coaster enthusiast and has the YouTube channel CoasterFanatics.
So what did he think after two rides?
"The launch is fantastic. Easily one of the most intense launches I've ever experienced," Lindich said.
"You really feel the wind in your face and the forces in your chest from the rapid acceleration. ... It's also very loud as well. Almost sounds like an explosion when the compressed air is released for the launch."
As for the world's fastest inversion? "The third inversion which is the fastest in the world, was great and very smooth. You go through that one so fast that you don't even really know you went upside down."
Lindich said riders should temper their expectations waiting in line. The total ride is less than 30 seconds, and "people who wait hours to ride Maxx Force may be disappointed by the short ride. However, just like other launch coasters, it is very much worth it with a shorter line."
"There are enthusiasts that rate these super intense coasters very high on their lists and you can expect to see it towards the top of theirs for sure," he said.
Maxx Force was engineered by S&S Sansei Technologies, a worldwide maker of amusement park thrill rides. It is the 17th roller coaster at Six Flags Great America. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. has 26 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Need an even faster launch?

If the fastest launch in North America isn't enough speed for you, head to Japan where you can ride the Dododonpa at Fuji-Q Highland park east of Tokyo.
On it, you go from 0 to almost 112 mph (180kph) in just tiny bit under two seconds.