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Nicole

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As of my trip to SFA yesterday, I have now tried all three Vekoma Flying Dutchmen in the US. Somewhere during the ride I came to the conclusion that it would be a pretty cool coaster, if they never flipped me over onto my stomach. For full disclosure, I am not a huge fan of fliers to begin with; I don't particularly love Manta either.

Anyway, I'm sure that conclusion sounds a bit insane: the entire point of a flier is to, well, fly. As I have mentioned before, I have a fear of ledges and falling, so well constructed seats and harnesses matter to me. My legs always feel as if they are going to slip out of the Vekoma restraints, so I spend most of the ride actively ensuring my ankles remain secured. As a result I can never enjoy the experience.

But that isn't why I would prefer to remain on my back. What I noticed yesterday was that Batwing seemed to spend more time facing up than Nighthawk, and I found the forces in that position more interesting. That was especially true in the verticle loop.

I'd assume that my fear of falling to my death from the flying position distracted me, so that I only noticed the forces when I was facing the sky, but other people with me came to similar conclusions. So, now I am left wondering, if Vekoma missed an opportunity. They only start riders on their backs, because that was the engineering solution they found for ultimately getting them in the flying position. But maybe they should have abandoned the initial goal entirely and created a coaster, which carries riders on their backs and backwards throughout the entire course?

Anyway, just one personal thoughts. Regardless, I did prefer a Batwing to the two others, which also surprised me.
 

Shane

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RE: Vekoma Fliers

Batwing is by far the best of the three Vekoma flyers. Well I've only ridden two of the three, but I believe it's the newest of the three.
 
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netdvn

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RE: Vekoma Fliers

Of the two Vekoma flyers I've ridden, Batwing is definitely the better of the two. Even if the park plopped it on the ugliest piece of land ever. The ride is just crazy intense. Nighthawk has the much better setting but its less intense.

Aside from the theming issues on Batwing the only real issue I had were the lead vests. Nighthawk feels much more open with their softer vests but Batwing likes to crush your chest at the end of the ride when you're lying on your back.

Also getting out of these things is a huge pain in the ass lol.
 
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RE: Vekoma Fliers

The only one I've ridden is Nighthawk. I prefer Manta (as I would guess most people do?), BUT it's my favorite of the Carowinds coasters after Fury 325. I was fascinated with it and liked the fly-to-lie/lie-to-fly bits. My favorite part was that vertical loop; that simple element feels very unique in the different position!

My friend that rode it with me did not care for the restraints (thought it felt like you were going to fall out). I disagree with that because logically that won't happen, but they do feel a little loose and you do 'flop around' a bit, lol. I think of it as just part of the ride experience, to be honest.
 

MAZ

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RE: Vekoma Fliers

The only one I've ridden(or will ever ride), is nighthawk. I simply do not care for these coasters. The restraints were very stinky too. They had a sweaty, musty, piss smell.
 

Zachary

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RE: Vekoma Fliers

I'm here to swoop in with the unpopular opinion.

Having ridden all three of them, I love Vekoma Flying Dutchmen. I find them relatively smooth and mind-bogglingly intense. The forces presented in the vertical loops alone are some of the best on any coaster I've ever ridden. The restraints seem sorta sketchy, sure, but their safety record is stellar.
 

Shane

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RE: Vekoma Fliers

I've only ridden two out of the three, Nighthawk and Batwing and much prefer Batwing. I feel as if Vekoma had created a better loading/unload dispatch system then these would have taken off. The layouts as Zachary said are quite intense.
 
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RE: Vekoma Fliers

Nighthawk is my only one-I'm hoping to visit SFAm this year, but I kinda doubt I'll get to...
The loading/unloading system is slow...I remember the day I rode Nighthawk the line wasn't that long but it took awhile (and it went down temporarily...). Too bad we probably won't get any more...do you think it's possible Vekoma would somehow redesign their dispatch system for the Flying Dutchmen so that the slow/awkward loading and unloading wouldn't be an issue? (although I suppose B&M's system on the likes of Tatsu/Manta/etc pretty much fixes that exact problem, so. I don't know.) I kind of liked the odd sensation of the going up the lift hill on your back thing.
 

Zachary

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RE: Vekoma Flying Dutchmans

It was my understanding that the Vekoma Stingray was meant to be the successor. I'd love to see a more fleshed out layout attempted with that new track and train design. B&M could use some real competition in the space.
 

Shane

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RE: Vekoma Flying Dutchmans

It didn't appear that the Stingray addressed the Dutchman's core loading issues. I have to wonder if B&M has some tight patents on their loading system preventing Vekoma from inverting the station.
 
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RE: Vekoma Flying Dutchmans

The patent issue was what I was wondering about-I mean, if I were B&M, I wouldn't want another company using a system similar to mine. Vekoma's Stingray design looks nice to me, maybe not as quick loading as the B&M fliers, but nice. The only fliers I have been on are Manta and Nighthawk, but I loved both (preferred Manta, but I'm quite sure part of that was the theming...). I would love more fliers in general, lol.

So, dumb question here...assuming the restraint system and other engineering of the train design were different from B&M's, could Vekoma invert the station without treading on B&M's patents? (or, is there no way to know that, really?)
 

Shane

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RE: Vekoma Flying Dutchmans

Some one that is more technically savy and has experience reading patents could very well go to the patent database and pull what ever B&M has and make that determination, but I know I not skilled enough to interpret those. If you are curious here is the patent number that can be looked up on the Patent Database: 7,204,559

Oddly enough Disney hold two patents for flying roller coasters as well...
 

Shane

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