| Pioneer Frontier|
May 8, 2004
Steel – Launched
12.5 million USD
| 100 West Hersheypak Drive, Hershey, PA 17033, USA|
Skyrush, Great Bear, Lightning Racer, SooperDooperLooper, Wildcat
Storm Runner is an Intamin-built steel launched roller coaster at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It is located in the Pioneer Frontier section of the park, right across from Sidewinder and above the Trailblazer. It was constructed in 2004 and was the third Intamin Accelerator Coaster. It reaches a height of 150 ft (46 m) and catapults riders from 0 to 72 mph (116 km/h) in 2 seconds. It features a top hat and three inversions, a dual loading station and a magnetic braking system. It was built to interact with three other Hersheypark rides: the Dry Gulch Railroad, the Monorail, and the Trailblazer.
Storm Runner is the first accelerator coaster to utilize over-the-shoulder restraints and the first to have a dual-loading station with switch tracks. Likewise, it was also the first accelerator coaster to feature inversions; Kanonen at Liseberg was the second.
When Storm Runner first opened in 2004, the queue line would often be extended with ropes due to the ride's popularity. In 2005, the park added an overflow queue line located next to the Trailblazer's first drop.
In October, when Hersheypark is decorated in a Halloween theme (Hersheypark in the Dark), Stormrunner is dubbed Ghost Runner.
Storm Runner Wikipedia
As the train leaves the station, it moves slowly onto the launch platform. As it is rolling to its launch, a pre-recorded sound of a heartbeat is heard, and after a few seconds, the trains rolls back as the magnetic brakes drop and riders hear a voice saying "Now get ready, here we go", then the train suddenly launches from 0–72 mph in 2 seconds (just when the voice says the word "go"). Riders are then photographed by the on-ride camera a short way down the launch track. In 2004 during the wait, riders would listen to a heartbeat then a countdown from five before hearing the voice. After traveling down the take-off runway and hitting a speed of 72 mph, the train climbs straight up the 150-foot-tall "top hat" element providing some airtime, and back down again, dropping 180 feet, reaching the top speed of 75 mph down the side of a hill leading down toward Spring Creek. The train next climbs and rolls left through the first-ever "Cobra Loop". The train then speeds up and into a straight-line barrel roll which then leads to the first-ever "Flying Snake Dive" which consists of a heartline roll followed by a half Immelman roll that makes a vertical plunge back down toward Spring Creek. The train shoots back up and to within 10 feet under the park's Monorail track, over a portion of the TrailBlazer, quickly twists to the left and to the right, then back above the treetops for one last dose of airtime. The train hits the magnetic brakes at fast speed, jerking riders forward, and then slowly glides back into the station. The duration of the ride is 34 seconds from launch to the brakes.
To launch the trains, Storm Runner utilizes a system invented by Intamin that launches the trains using hydraulics. This system is similar to the propulsion on a locomotive wheel except it doesn't spin completely. The inner diameter of the wheel is attached to the hydraulic actuator and the outer radius of the wheel is then attached to the launch mechanism. The outer diameter of the wheel amplifies the energy output from the slow actuator stroke creating a high speed launch in a matter of seconds. A pusher car is attached to the launch mechanism and the train attaches to this pusher car prior to launch. Once the train reaches the end of the launch area, the pusher car disengages and gravity does the rest.
The launch track features magnetic brake fins. These slow down the car if the launch is unsuccessful (also known as a rollback). Storm Runner does not have a very tall top hat like Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka, and usually does not have a problem clearing it. After a successful (although slightly rocky) first season, the ride's launch system is generally considered reliable.
Storm Runner is also a coaster available for construction in the video game RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 with the Soaked! expansion pack.