There is one thing about Flashback that makes it different. It has a title that it will likely hold forever. Called a "Space Diver", the roller coaster is designed to simulate the feeling and motion of a fighter jet rolling over and diving, and it is the only one of its kind, ever built.
Designed by Intamin AG of Switzerland, Flashback at Six Flags Magic Mountain takes on a unique look with its six diving, vertical corkscrew drops, that each attempt to mock a fighter jet in a hairpin dive. While the result may not be exactly what it was intended, it does offer a completely different experience compared to your average roller coaster.
Rising up eight stories, twenty-passengers sit comfortably in a five car train, seated four abreast. The wide trains, designed to seat four abreast, were uncommon when Flashback originally opened at Six Flags Great America in 1985.
Height: 86 feet
Top speed: 35 mph
Length: 1,900 feet
Six diving drops, 540-degree upward helix
Number of Trains:
3 - 20-Passenger
Opened as Z-Force at Six Flags Great America in 1985. Relocated in 1988 to Six Flags Over Georgia.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
After the quick trip up the lift hill, the train is left to glide along a straight horizontal section of track before it enters the first of six unique, diving drops.
Abruptly taking a sharp turn and dive, the train rolls over, nearly flipping. Sending passengers on one side over the riders on the opposite side, while the train falls in a fast diving direction. Bottoming out the train speeds up a quick climb regaining some lost vertical in the dive.
Flashback features a total of six dive drops, which is followed by the finale, a gravity defying 540-degree upward helix, with the train entering the spin at the coaster's maximum speed of 35 mph.
Difficult to describe, Flashback is not your average, off the shelf roller coaster. The unique layout and original sensations is certainly something that every coaster enthusiast should experience for themself.
Flashback opened in 1985 as Z-Force at Six Flags Great America. The attraction was designed by Intamin AG, by two now famous coaster designers – Claude Bolliger and Walter Mabillard. These two later opened their own coaster design firm called Bolliger & Mabillard, aka B&M.
After three years of operation the roller coaster was moved to Six Flags Over Georgia in 1988 as a part of a ride rotation program among Six Flags' theme parks. After three seasons, Z-Force was put into storage for a year, before being moved to Six Flags Magic Mountain where this one-of-a-kind roller coaster began operating in Spring 1992.
Flashback continued to operate, sometimes sporadically in final years, until Spring 2003. The roller coaster stood at Six Flags Magic Mountain for four more years, before the park officially announced its closure. Flashback was taken apart in pieces and sold as scrap metal.
Photos by Eric Gieszl and Chris Caravello. Copyright © 1997 Ultimate Rollercoaster.
Flashback artwork courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain. All rights reserved.