Carowinds’ forthcoming Fury 325 will eventually provide far more thrilling moments than the one it gave the media Friday.
But the installation by a construction crew of the final piece of the roller coaster – expected to rank among the tallest in North America – was a milestone that brings the highly anticipated thrill ride one step closer to reality.
“We’re still working on all the ride electrical, the pneumatics, getting everything dialed in, we’ve got torquing going on of the ride, the station itself – we need to get a roof onto the transfer track,” said Mike Fehnel, the park’s general manager, after the crew locked the piece into place.
“So there’s still a lot of dominoes that have to fall in the right order. We’ll be putting trains on the track in the next couple weeks here and starting to configure the ride control system.”
The hornet-themed coaster (designed to “simulate the wild, daring and spontaneous flight of the hornet”) will stand 325 feet and rank among the 10 fastest in the world, achieving a top speed of about 95 miles per hour.
Fury 325 will feature three 32-passenger open air trains that start by ascending a 30-story-tall hill – which will become the highest point in the park and the tallest structure in the area outside of uptown. From there, it will drop nearly straight down, then hurtle through a barrel turn, an S-curve, a horseshoe turn, an underground dive and a banked curve.
The ride will last nearly 31/2 minutes, and its 6,602 feet of track make it the longest steel roller coaster in North America.
Fury 325 was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard of Switzerland, which built three other coasters at the park: Vortex in 1992, Afterburn in 1999 and the Intimidator in 2010.
Carowinds opens for the 2015 season on Saturday, March 28. Whether Fury 325 will be ready to greet visitors by then remains to be seen, Fehnel said: “The weather is a big factor. Every day that we don’t have snow gets us one day closer.”