Nighthawk (roller coaster)

Nighthawk (roller coaster)
Nighthawk's Logo
Location Carowinds
Park section Carowinds Plaza
Coordinates 35°06′10″N 80°56′30″W / 35.10278°N 80.94167°W / 35.10278; -80.94167Coordinates: 35°06′10″N 80°56′30″W / 35.10278°N 80.94167°W / 35.10278; -80.94167
Status Operating
Opened March 20, 2004
Cost $17,000,000 USD (paid for by previous owners Paramount's Great America)
Type Steel - Flying
Manufacturer Vekoma
Designer Vekoma
Model Flying Dutchman
Track layout Custom
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 115 ft (35 m)
Drop 103 ft (31 m)
Length 2,766 ft (843 m)
Max speed 51 mph (82 km/h)
Inversions 5 (RCDB's listing, the park lists 8) (Lie-to-Fly, Fly-to-Lie, Vertical Loop, Lie-to-Fly, Fly-to-Lie, Double Corkscrew)
Duration 2:45
Max vertical angle 53°
Capacity 1000 riders per hour
Max G force 4.3
Height restriction 4 ft 6 in (137 cm)
Nighthawk at RCDB
Pictures of Nighthawk at RCDB
Amusement Parks Portal

Nighthawk (Often stylized NightHawk) (formerly Borg Assimilator) is a steel flying roller coaster at Carowinds, near Charlotte, North Carolina. It was relocated from California's Great America where it was named Stealth, in 2002. Nighthawk was built by Vekoma of the Netherlands.



Nighthawk replaced the Carolina Sternwheeler Riverboat, one of the park's original attractions. The ride was relocated from California's Great America. It is constructed from 1,102 tons of steel. The ride was originally called The Borg Assimilator, but the right to use the name expired with the 2007 season. The ride was re-themed to Nighthawk for the 2008 season.

Nighthawk has gone through various changes in color scheme over its short life. As Stealth, the ride had steel gray supports and red tubular track. Upon being moved to Carowinds and renamed Borg Assimilator, the ride was repainted black with green track. That color scheme remained through its first year as Nighthawk. The ride was repainted with blue supports and yellow track for the 2009 season. This is consistent with Cedar Fair's noticeable preference for brightly colored rides.


As the train pulls into the station, it is lifted into an upright position and is laid back down with riders on their backs as it departs, taking them through the ride headfirst. A small turn exists directly before the 115-foot-tall (35 m) lift. After the lift a gentle sloped, small drop exist directly before the "lie-to-fly" element when riders are first turned into the flying position. In the flying position a large turn about 100 feet (30 m) in the air brings riders the biggest drop on the ride, although the drop isn't steep. A horseshoe element (resembling an overbanked turn from Intamin) is directly after the small drop followed by a "fly-to-lie" element which is exactly opposite from the "lie-to-fly". After the turn, following the fly-to-lie, riders are taken into a loop preceding another lie-to-fly with a turn. Two corkscrews follow and then the brake run.


On March 17, 2007, seven employees received minor injuries during a pre-season test run when a ride vehicle mechanism failed. The train, containing 16 Carowinds employees at the time, stopped at the base of the vertical loop after the ride's emergency brakes engaged (approximately 8 feet (2.4 m) above the ground).[1] An inspection discovered that the ride malfunctioned when a ride operator accidentally pushed the button controlling the seat positions while the ride was in motion. That button has been fixed to only operate while the ride is stopped.[2]

Nighthawk's ride elements

  • One 68-foot-tall (21 m) vertical loop
  • One 110-degree horseshoe inversion
  • Two corkscrews
  • Four 180-degree inversions


  1. ^ "Carowinds' BORG malfunctions during tests". Herald-Life. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2007-03-19. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Ride Malfunction At Carowinds Blamed On Human Error". WSOC-TV. 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 

External links

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