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Top Gun

 

 

This write up came after a bit of an Eureka moment after looking through the leaflets section, and spotting this ride on an old postcard. That brought back some old memories of riding it. There are two things that strike me as significant about it, the first was it was a relatively unique ride, I don't remember any other examples of it, and secondly it's very reminiscent of the very popular star flyer attractions, including Flamingo Land's Pterodactyl.

Like the star flyer it had a tall tower that riders sat in a large circle around. The pods then lifted up and span in a large circle around the tower. Unlike the star flyer you could control how you swung out, you could use a joystick to swing out at a steeper angle. Another difference is riders didn't sit in exposed seats, but instead where in cage like pods, not unlike ones found on an enterprise wheel.

You could conclude with the less exposed seating, and lower height this was inferior to the star flyer. To be honest though any comparisons only apply to the look of the ride, when riding it felt more like the afore mentioned enterprise. You were in a similar seat, with the same feeling of being held down by the g-force.

In the end the ride went in 2004, having been at the park since 1996. Looking back it's a shame there weren't a few more of these about, and that there are none I know of about now. It wasn't a major white knuckle experience, but it was a good step up ride, coming ahead of most family thrill rides, but not as scary or intense as the major thrill rides.