Fury 325: A hornet's nest of a roller coaster
A theme park in North Carolina will soon be home to one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world. Fury 325, at Carowinds, opens to the public at the end of this month. The ride will top out at 325 ft (99 m) and will hit speeds of 95 mph (153 km/h).
The US appears to be a nation of thrillseekers like no other, having largely monopolized the lists of the world's tallest and fastest roller coasters. Last year, for example, Gizmag covered the 163-m (570-ft) Skyscraper vertical rollercoaster, or "polercoaster," which is set to be one of the world's tallest roller coasters when it opens in 2016.
Carowinds says Fury 325 will be the tallest and fastest "giga coaster" when it opens. Wikipedia defines giga coasters as roller coasters that have a height of between 300 ft (91 m) and 399 ft (122 m), with "strata coasters" having a height of 400 ft (120 m) or more.
The firm says that the ride is inspired by the description of the Carolinas as a "hornet’s nest of rebellion" by British general Lord Cornwallis during the American Revolution. The company says the ride simulates "the wild, daring and spontaneous flight of the hornet."
Fury 325 was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, which has designed over 90 roller coasters around the world. It covers an area of 8.4 acres (3.4 hectares) and can accommodate 1,470 riders every hour. Three 32-passenger trains operate on the 3-minute, 25-second ride.
The 6,602 ft (2,012 m) track begins with a climb to the top of its 325-ft-high lift and is followed by a near-vertical downward plunge of 81 degrees. Amongst the ride's features are a 190-foot (58-m)-tall barrel turn, a high speed S-curve and a 91-degree overbanked horseshoe turn. There is also a brief dip underground and a double helix towards the end of the ride.
The building of Fury 325 is complete and it is now in its testing phase. The ride opens to the public on Mar. 28.