In 1964, Hersheypark installed several new rides (and remodeled one as well). One of these new rides was a Norman Bartlett-invented ride called Flying Coaster. Flying Coaster is a type of flat ride, not a roller coaster. Manufactured by Aeroaffiliates, Inc., of Fort Worth, Texas, this ride was only in the park for eight years. An example of this ride can be ridden at Kennywood Park – Kangaroo.
Earlier versions of Flying Coaster were manufactured by Lowell Stapf Amusement Company. Some European models were manufactured by MACK Rides GmbH & Co KG.
The ride consisted of eight cars which were attached to arms. The arms were connected to the motor at the center of the ride. This spun the ride in a circle. There was a hill on one side of the ride which cars would ramp up. The ramp would suddenly end and the cars would fly in the air as the hydraulic arm would slowly lower the car back to the track. The ride would cycle for a few moments.
Each car had a lap bar and could hold up to two or three people. The words “Flying Coaster” were on the back of each car, and the name of the ride was on a ball on top of the center of the ride.
Hersheypark’s ride was located on the hill in front of the funhouse Funland. It was originally installed on the south end of Funland, and then relocated to the north end of Funland. It is unclear why or in what year the ride was relocated. You can see the northern location on a 1972 map of Hersheypark.
The ride was removed following the 1972 season (along with Funland). It appears that the lighting for the center of Flying Coaster was later reused for lighting on Mini-Comet when it was installed in 1974.
To see more Throwback Thursday posts, click here.