Sheikra (BGT)

SheiKra is a steel Dive Coaster roller coaster at the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay amusement park in Tampa, Florida, United States.

The roller coaster was proposed by Mark Rose, vice-president of design and engineering for the park, and designed by Bolliger & Mabillard. The ride was planned to be 160 feet (49 m) high, but the park’s executives rejected this and the height was changed to 200 feet (61 m). SheiKra reaches a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) and has a total track length of 3,188 feet (972 m).

It first opened on May 21, 2005, and was converted to a floorless roller coaster on June 16, 2007, following the opening of its sister Dive Coaster Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg that year.

SheiKra was the first Dive Coaster to be constructed in North America; its track includes a splashdown and an Immelmann loop, both a first for its kind. It broke the records for the world’s longest, tallest, and fastest Dive Coaster, but lost these records when Griffon in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States and Dive Coaster at Chime-Long Paradise in Guangzhou, China opened. The name SheiKra is derived from the word “shikra”, an Asian-African hawk that is known to dive vertically for its prey.

Length: 3,188 ft
Height: 200 ft
Inversions: 1
Speed: 70 mph
Duration: 2:20
Max Vertical Angle: 90°
Elements: 200 ft tall Chain Lift Hill, 145 ft tall Immelmann, 138 ft tall Hill, Tunnel, Splash Effect

After the floors retract and the front gate opens, the train leaves the station and makes a downward right turn, immediately followed by an upward right turn, which leads to the 45-degree inclined chain lift hill. Once the train reaches the top of the 200-foot (61 m) lift, it turns right into a holding brake where it slowly moves over the first drop, stops for about four seconds, and then descends the 90-degree drop. As the train reaches the bottom of the first drop it reaches its maximum speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). Then, the train enters a 145-foot (44 m) Immelmann loop before making a banked, upward, 3.5G left turn into the mid course brake run. The train slows down and descends a 138-foot (42 m), near 90-degree drop into an underground tunnel. Next, the train makes a right overbanked turn leading into a splashdown which sprays two 60-foot (18 m) lines of water in the air and takes approximately 1.9 seconds to pass through. The train rises, makes a downward right turn, then enters the final brake run which leads directly back to the station.

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