Condor At Six Flags Great Adventure


 

Six Flags Great Adventure's  Condor was one of the first of three of the Huss production model rides to appear in the United States in 1988.   The ride model was introduced several years earlier at the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair, where was called the Cyclo Tower.  It remained closed most of the fair due to operational difficulties but after four years of additional engineering work, was finally put into production as The Condor.   The ride design utilized components of other Huss rides, with the gondola wheel assemblies being a variant of the Troika assemblies.

Six Flags purchased two of the rides, which were originally planned to be part of the "ride rotation program" where it would spend a season in a park, and then move on to another, so each park could have a constant supply of "new" attractions at a reduced cost. 


     
     
     



   
The Condor was introduced in 1988 as part of the parks focus on family attractions, along with Bugs Bunny Land. 

The Condor offered great family thrills, where children could ride with parents and feel safe, but still have a first thrilling "grown-up" ride which offered height and speed. 




   
   
   
   
     

The ride's 100 foot tower offered riders great views of the park and the lake, as the ride cycle alternated between fast and slow rotations, with the thrills of the height accentuated by the tilting motion of the ride pods.   At the top of the tower, the rotation would slow, giving riders a chance to take in the view from above before accelerating again as the mechanism descended the tower back to the platform.

Condor was outfitted with a standard lighting package, featuring bright colors and patterns that drew the eye.   The lighting was designed for the European fair circuit, where rides compete with one another for the attention of passers-by in an effort to sell tickets.   Crowning the tower was an impressive metal condor figure with wings spread over the illuminated sign.

It was evident from the lighting package installed on the ride that the Condor would be removed to other Six Flags parks in the future.  While one of the huge ride-top “Condor” signs greeted guests on the park side of the tower, another sign on the opposite side glowed and flickered to the lake and wooded area where no guests would ever see it.

The ride was a sight to watch with its dual rotation and massive assembly moving up and down the tower.   Condor was an intricate piece of machinery, with multiple motors and cables creating the motion, and miles of wiring to run all the motors and lights.   Massive cables and gears propelled the raising and lowering of the central assembly as it rotated around the central tower.

The bird-shaped cars featured elaborate air-brush paint schemes, and glowing orange eyes.   The seating design feature a bench which could hold one or two passengers, with the passenger in front sitting between the legs of the one in back.   The ride restraints featured an automated gate which would slide into place, completing the surrounding steel cage.

Condor only spent three seasons operating at the park before moving on to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, where it still runs today with the same name and a slightly updated paint scheme. 
 

The spot occupied by the Condor while it was at Great Adventure was the former location of the Calypso ride, and after the Condor was removed the site was turned into a remote control boat pond.

   
   
   
   
     
     
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Technical Information  
       
  Manufacturer: Huss Maschinenfabrik Corp. of  Bremen, Germany  
  Ride Model: Condor  
       
  Operating Dates: April 4, 1988 to October 28, 1990  
       
  Number of Gondolas: 28 bird themed vehicles  
  Gondola Capacity: 2 people  
  Number of Guests per Cycle: 56 people  
  Ride Duration: 3 minutes  
       
  Approximate Capacity: 1120 guests per hour  
       
  Power Required for Operation: 135 kW  
  Power Required for Lights: 65 kW  
       
  Dimensions of Ride Base: 69 feet/21m x 69 feet/21m  
  Diameter of Ride in Operation: 60 feet/18.5m  
  Height of Ride: 105 feet/32m  
  Weight of Ride: Approximately 80 tons  
       
  Direction of Travel:    
    Four Box Section Booms: Clockwise  
    Four Gondola Wheel Assemblies: Counter clockwise  
       
  Operating Feature: Ride operation can be manually controlled or operate from a selection of pre-programmed cycles
   
       
  Safety Restraint: Centrally controlled pneumatic locking gondola gates
       
  Cost: $1 million  
       
 
 
     
     
Two of the park issued buttons from 1988.   The "Capture the Condor" button was given to all employees to wear as part of their uniforms.  

The "I Captured the Condor" button was issued as part of the media kit, and also given away in the park to some of the first riders.
     
Before:  During: After:
Calypso  Condor Remote control boats
Then:  Now: 
   
At Six Flags Great Adventure in 1988  At Six Flags Great America in 2007