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See the 10 fastest rides

Arthur Levine, Special to USA TODAY
Published 8:00 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2019

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Six Flags is synonymous with thrills and roller coasters. Riding the rails on virtually any of the park chain’s rides would elicit screams. But some of them rev up to speeds that would get motorists ticketed in most states. And a couple top out at speeds that most drivers wouldn’t dare attempt (that is, if their cars were even capable of such tremendous velocity).

Your heart might skip a beat or two as we run down the 10 fastest roller coasters at Six Flags parks.

10. Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, 73 mph

Known as a “hypercoaster” (which, loosely defined, is a coaster that tops out at between 200 and 300 feet and generally does not include loops or any elements that would turn riders upside down), Raging Bull climbs a 202-foot lift hill, drops down 208 feet at 65 degrees into an underground tunnel, and reaches an attention-grabbing 73 mph top speed. Oddly, after the satisfying first drop, the ride delivers hardly any airtime, the negative G-forces that propel passengers up from their seats. Hypercoasters like Raging Bull are typically loaded with airtime, a sensation that thrill ride fans crave.

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9. Superman El Ultimo Escape at Six Flags Mexico in Mexico City, 75 mph

Superman, which is another hypercoaster, ascends a 220-foot hill and drops 205 feet into an above-ground tunnel as it hits 75 mph. Instead of dishing out huge doses of airtime, the ride sends passengers racing sideways in two 360-degree helices that generate lateral G-forces. In its second half, however, Superman includes a couple of airtime hills that do get tummies tickling.

8. X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, 76 mph

The groundbreaking coaster places passengers on extra-wide trains in seats that are positioned on either side of the tracks. Known as a “fourth-dimension” coaster, the seats can rotate 360 degrees forwards and backwards independent of the motion of the train as it navigates the tracks. Throw in a couple of inversions, and the result is a completely loopy, brain-scrambling ride. X2 drops 215 feet at a nearly vertical 89 degrees and accelerates to 76 mph. It is not the fastest Six Flags coaster (although it is pretty darn fast), but it is one of the most terrifying.

7. Superman the Ride at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts, 77 mph

One of the best steel coasters on the planet, Superman the Ride delivers all of the airtime that Raging Bull lacks — and then some. The hypercoaster rises 208 feet and clocks in at 77 mph as it flies down 221 feet into a fog-filled underground tunnel. A note-perfect symphony of elements follows, including a dive down into a second enshrouded tunnel.

6. Maxx Force at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, 78 mph

When it opens later this year, Maxx Force will break a few records. Using a compressed air launch system, it will hurtle passengers from 0 to 78 mph in less than two seconds. That will give it bragging rights as the coaster with the fastest acceleration in North America. Maxx Force will also send riders hurtling heels over head at 60 mph, making it the fastest inversion of any coaster in the world. And passengers will experience coasterdom’s tallest double inversions at 175 feet in the air.

5. Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, 80 mph

Climbing 230 feet and dropping 215 feet, Nitro explodes at 80 mph. The massive out-and-back coaster travels over a mile through the park’s woods and sends passengers airborne multiple times with generous doses of airtime.

4. Titan at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, 85 mph

Located at the original Six Flags park, Titan raises the hypercoaster stakes by dropping 255 feet into an underground tunnel and reaching a potent 85 mph. Rather than using its incredible kinetic energy to produce plenty of satisfying airtime pops, it banks into a couple of long helices that amp up the positive G-forces.

3. Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, 85 mph

Designed by the same coaster manufacturer and featuring a similar layout as Titan, Goliath boasts nearly identical specs. It also shares the same propensity to deliver rib-crushing positive G-forces instead of rump-rising airtime.

2. Superman: Escape from Krypton at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, 100 mph

The third speed demon to make the list from Magic Mountain, which has more coasters in its arsenal than any other park in the world, Superman was among the first to use magnetic launch technology to blast its train out of the station. It climbs a 415-foot spike at 90 degrees, all while passengers face backwards. Superman was also among the first to climb a 415-foot tower and hit a heady 100 mph. It ”only” accelerates to 92 mph on the return trip down the spike.

1. Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, 128 mph

The world’s tallest roller coaster at 456 feet, Kingda Ka uses a hydraulic launch system to catapult riders an astonishing 128 mph up and over its top hat-shaped tower. Cresting the tower, it rockets down a 90-degree spiral drop and again bullets beyond 100 mph. Kingda Ka is not for the fainthearted, as nothing can quite prepare passengers for the ride’s ferocity.

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