Stealth is located at Thorpe Park in Surrey. The £12m thrill ride is the UK’s fastest roller coaster utilising a hydraulic launch to accelerate to 80 mph in 1.9 seconds before racing into a steep, vertical top hat element. The ride reaches a height of 205ft in under 2 seconds.
Stealth at Thorpe Park
Stealth is one of Europe’s fastest roller coasters and one of the UK’s tallest. The ride reaches a height of 205ft in under 2 seconds using the fastest acceleration of any coaster in the UK with riders being propelled from 0-80mph. As the lights change from red to green, brace yourself as the ride experience has the same brake horsepower as not just one, but two Formula 1 cars.
Top Speed – 130km/h 80mph
Cost – £12m
Est Cost Today – £18.5m
Length – 1312ft 400m
Height – 205ft 62m
Manufacturer – Intamin
Type – Steel Launched
Lift/Launch – Hydraulic Launch
Inversions – 0
G-Force – 4.5g
Trains – 3
Passengers per Train – 20
Ride Duration – 59s
Theme Park – Thorpe Park
Year Opened – 2006
Construction of Stealth
Stealth was designed and built by Intamin of Switzerland at a cost of £12 million. Once the site had been cleared, the foundations were laid in June 2005. By the end of 2005, the ride buildings and hydraulic launch mechanism had been completed and the pre-fabricated track sections were added ready for the rides opening in 2006. The thrill ride is so high that the Civil Aviation Authority had to be consulted on its construction. When the £12m ride first opened, it proved so popular that the park had to close its gates to the thrill-seeking masses on a number of occasions.
Coined as the fastest roller coaster in the UK, Stealth is an adrenaline junky’s dream. When the thrilling rollercoaster ride was first built in 2006 it could accelerate from 0-80 mph in 2.3 seconds. In 2007 the attraction was upgraded to decrease the time it took to accelerate to 1.9 seconds. And, as if that wasn’t fast enough, the ride was further enhanced in 2009, taking it up to speeds of 90 mph in just 1.8 seconds.
The rollercoaster’s interesting design, known as the ‘top hat’, is just part of what makes Stealth so unique. Riders on Stealth are in for a breathtaking few moments of either white-knuckle thrill or panic, depending on your view of frighteningly fast rollercoasters. The roller coaster train almost silently accelerates forward faster than a Formula One car, reaching 80mph in around two seconds. Before a breath can be taken, the car hurtles upwards at a 90-degree angle and catapults up to the top hat, 62 metres above the ground. There is little time to enjoy the views over the Surrey countryside. After a split-second’s pause, the train plummets back to earth and reaches the station, a mere 15 seconds after it was launched.
Stealth is one of a growing number of ‘hydraulic launch’ rollercoasters, also nicknamed rocket-coasters, a term that sheds some light on their popularity. The technology was developed by world-leading rollercoaster engineer Intamin from Switzerland and was first used in a series of giant rides built in US theme parks. The biggest being Kingda Ka, a 140m-high monster of a ride upon which Stealth’s design is based. According to Andreas Wild, an engineer at rollercoaster expert Ingenieur Buro Stengel, Stealth is really ‘the son of Kingda Ka’.
Ingenieur Buro Stengel designed the entire Stealth ride, including its layout, geometry, dynamics and acceleration. They are the design company set up by rollercoaster designer and innovator Werner Stengel. Over the past 40 years, Stengel has been the driving force behind many of the innovations in the rollercoaster industry and his work with fighter pilots helped set many of the standards on maximum acceleration forces for passengers used in the industry. The key to Stealth’s success and its unique acceleration is the hydraulic launch system, which works in a completely different way to conventional rollercoaster launch mechanisms.
The launch mechanism for Stealth begins with a two-metre high tank filled with 14,000 litres of hydraulic oil. Three massive hydraulic pumps force the oil through a valve into two banks of six nitrogen accumulator tanks, which pressurises the nitrogen inside to around 50,000psi.
When the gas is fully pressurised, the valve opens, releasing the fluid, which is flung by the gas into 24 powerful motors. These motors power a huge winch drum, which pulls the rope attached to a catch car (the shuttle-like device that pulls the train along). The winch pulls the catch-car along the 18m of launch track up to the ride station, where it hooks onto the bottom of the roller coaster train and propels it forward.
At the end of the launch track, the catch car lets go and acts like a slingshot, hurtling the roller coaster train along the track. Once the car has been released, the hydraulic fluid is pumped back into the tank and is then sent straight to the motors, which wind the winch back to its starting point ready for the next launch.
The roller coaster design relies entirely on the speed generated from the launch phase to get the train straight up and over the top hat. This doesn’t always happen, resulting in occasional ‘rollbacks’, when the ride loses momentum before it reaches the peak and rolls back down, in reverse, to the starting point.
Stealth has a power correction facility as part of its specially built substation so that on days when fewer visitors are expected engineers can switch the power down so the train can run more efficiently. But on busy days, when the ride is running two trains and there are 15,000 people in the park, the power can be turned up to full.
Stealth’s special magnetic brakes can bring the ride to a safe and comfortable halt. Permanent magnets are fitted beneath each train with an attractive force between them. To stop the train, copper fins in the track are moved into position into the magnetic field of the train, which creates a resistive force and slows the train down. The brakes are not powered, they work as pure magnets. It is a super-efficient system.
The track was one of the most important considerations in the design of Stealth with a great deal of careful consideration given to controlling the forces that riders experience, particularly in terms of the maximum acceleration that they must endure. Riders on Stealth are said to experience anything up to around 4G, but only for a split second.
Top 10 Listings
Stealth is featured in a number of our Top 10 listings.
Thorpe Park Rides and Attractions
Experience over 30 thrill rides, family attractions and unique events on a day trip or short break at Thorpe Park, one of the UK’s best theme parks.
UK Roller Coaster Rides
Click Here to view and compare stats on all roller coasters here in the UK.
Thorpe Park Roller Coasters
Thorpe Park offers a number of roller coasters, ranging from the family-friendly Flying Fish to the 205ft tall Stealth which features the fastest acceleration of any roller coaster in Europe.
An indoor junior roller coaster named X once held the record for the World’s first, theatre roller coaster in the dark. This ride has now been rethemed as The Walking Dead, a horror-themed roller coaster that mixes the theatrics of a Halloween style scare attraction with the practical effects of a traditional ghost train.
Stealth is an Intamin launch coaster themed around 1950s drag racing. The ride accelerates from 0 – 80 mph in 1.8 seconds, sending its riders 205ft into the air. Stealth has the fastest acceleration of any roller coaster in Europe and is the tallest launched coaster in the UK.
Themed around the SAW horror movie franchise, SAW – The Ride is dubbed as the world’s scariest ride. It features a drop of 100 degrees and set pieces, including rotating saw blades, to accentuate the theme.
Featuring an inverted drop, the final roller coaster in the park at the time of writing is The Swarm. This ride is the UK’s first winged roller coaster, meaning that the seats are positioned beyond the width of the roller coaster track. It has a total of 5 inversions and is 127 feet tall.
Thorpe Park Offers
Thorpe Park Resort frequently offers discounted short breaks and some great deals on Theme Park Tickets. View our webpage listing of all Thorpe Park Offers.
Food and Drink
Whatever your tastes, there is something to suit every palette from simple pizza and pasta to oriental and Mexican dishes at Thorpe Park Resort.
Thorpe Park Resort Hotel
The Shark Hotel is situated within the Thorpe Park site, a short stroll away from the roller coasters. It makes an ideal base for thrill-seekers keen to get exclusive, early morning access to the rides. The hotel sits on the banks of a serene lake and it is surprisingly easy to forget that you are just metres from some of the UK’s largest roller coasters. The hotel is close enough to the park to instil excitement, yet also offers a tranquil and secluded escape.
The on-site hotel often has some great package offers available including tickets to Thorpe Park, visit Thorpe Breaks for details.
Travelling to Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park is located 20 miles from Central London, with plenty of transport links between Junctions 11 and 13 of the M25. There are a number of ways you can get to the attraction. There is also lots of accommodation available nearby.
Travelling by Train
Regular South West Trains run from Waterloo direct to Staines, which is the recommended railway station for travelling to Thorpe Park Resort.
Approximately 5 trains run per hour to and from London Waterloo, with a journey time of between 30 to 50 minutes. Staines can also be reached directly via other mainline stations. Search for your train tickets using Raileasy.
There are lots of places to stay in the vicinity of Thorpe Park. The on-site hotel often has some great package offers available including tickets to Thorpe Park, visit Thorpe Breaks for details.
If you only planning on visiting the park for one day and would like to explore some of the other attractions in the area then take a look at the self-catering cottages near Thorpe Park available from Snaptrip.
Attractions Near Me Offers
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Sorry, unable to load the Maps API.