Not to be confused with a roller coaster inversion, an inverted roller coaster is where the roller coaster train is suspended from above. The track is above the riders heads and there is nothing below their seats. On an inverted roller coaster, the seats are directly attached to the wheel carriage, this attribute is what sets it apart from the older suspended coaster, which also runs under the track, but swings via a pivoting bar attached to the wheel carriage. The major benefit of having the seats directly attached to the wheel carriage is that it allows the roller coaster to invert the riders. Inverted Roller Coasters often feature vertical loops, zero gravity rolls, Immelmann loops, cobra rolls, and corkscrews with Nemesis at Alton Towers being one of the most highly rated inverted roller coasters in the UK.
History of the Inverted Roller Coaster
The inverted coaster was pioneered by the Swiss roller coaster manufacturers Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) in the early 1990s. The first ever installation was Batman:The Ride at Six Flags Great America which opened in 1992, it was this ride which was the inspiration for Nemesis at Alton Towers, which opened a couple of years later in 1994. The design has since been cloned many times at other theme parks around the world. The inverted roller coaster quickly became an industry favourite with custom designs installed nearly every year.
Other Styles of Inverted Roller Coaster
Vekoma, Intamin and many other roller coaster manufacturers have followed in the footsteps of B&M and developed their own inverted roller coaster designs. Intamin has a few designs classified as inverted coasters. Vekoma, on the other hand, usually mass-produces the same SLC design (Suspended Looping Coaster) with 41 identical coasters and a few variations of that design installed around the world.