SAN ANTONIO -- At Six Flags Fiesta in San Antonio, a 20-year-old wooden roller coaster was transformed into the world's first hybrid roller coaster to turn riders completely upside-down.
The ride opened to the public at the end of May.
“My job is to make people happy and scream while they’re having fun,” says Six Flags chief engineer Larry Chickola.
Chickola, an engineer of fear, is now regarded as a rock star in the roller coaster world.
In an interview with CBS This Morning, he briefly described how the old San Antonio coaster was converted into what it is today.
“You take the old structure, which still is in good shape, but put a new track on it.”
Chickola says the new track lets engineers put in steeper drops and overbank turns.
From a Six Flags press release: “The extreme, ultra-smooth coaster plummets guests down an 81 degree drop from a height of 180-feet, roars 70 miles per hour, snakes through four wild overbanked turns and then flips riders upside down on the first-ever zero-g barrel roll on a wooden hybrid coaster.”
"We're so excited to finally unveil this innovative hybrid coaster that also offers an amazingly smooth ride. This cutting-edge coaster proudly complements our existing ride package, all while featuring thrills not found anywhere else," says park president Martin Bozer.
The original wooden Rattler coaster was closed in 2012.