Blasting riders 230 feet into the air with a 215-foot dive back down to earth — at speeds approaching 80 mph – the colossal coaster Nitro lives up to its name. Over its 5,394-foot course, it delivers six camelbacks, a hammerhead turn, and a 540-degree helix.
The park’s third hypercoaster
When Nitro opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in spring 2001, it was the tallest roller coaster ion the East Coast. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, Nitro is a “hypercoaster” — in thrill ride parlance, a coaster between 200 and 299 feet tall. The massive steel superstructure was the park's third coaster built by B&M. Other B&M constructions include Batman: the Ride in 1993, SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight in 2003, Medusa/Bizarro in 1999/2009, and GREEN LANTERN in 2011. The explosive Nitro was constructed using 4,110,200 pounds of steel, 14,630 bolts, 252 concrete footers, and 2,420 gallons of paint.
Drops and dives
Nitro begins its journey with a 233-foot lift hill. After cresting the top, the train drops 215 feet at 68 degrees, reaching its top speed of 80 mph. A second lift hill — 189 feet — follows, along with a dive down through a 161-foot hill. From here, Nitro enters into a hammerhead turn — a tight U-turn to the right. Soaring over another camelback hill, it enters an S-curve and 540-degree helix, followed by three camelback hills, before its return to the station. On a clear night, Nitro delivers an extra bonus: the skyline of Philadelphia, about 55 miles away, is visible from the coaster’s hills.
Honors from the industry
In 2011, Nitro received the Golden Ticket Award for #3 Steel Coaster. These awards are presented to the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry by the monthly periodical Amusement Today and are calculated from an international poll of savvy amusement park fans.