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Aerie Force One Makes Summertime Debut at Fun Spot America
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Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
Aerie Force One marks a large investment and a mega attraction for growing Fun Spot America, the family-owned amusement park chain. Located at Fun Spot's Fayetteville, Ga. park in the Atlanta area, the park was purchased by the Aerie family in 2017. Other parks owned by the family are located in Florida. 

And now things are soaring. Designed by Rocky Mountain Construction, the $13 million coaster was an investment that is already paying off for the park, attracting widespread interest by roller coaster enthusiasts.

For their part, RMC sees the ride as potentially being the start of a major evolution for the park. According to RMC COO Jake Kilcup, initially the company was unsure of the size of the coaster that park owner John Arie, Jr. was looking for, but Arie soon made it clear that he was looking for something big, exciting, and different. Although the conceptualization went through several designs, it was the initial layout that stayed the course. Kilcup notes that the ride “ties the whole park together and kind of sprawls through the whole park.” 



As impressive as the ride is, Arie indeed looks at Arie Force One as just the beginning of the park's ongoing expansion, one that should serve well in bringing this Fun Spot location to the forefront of amusement park destinations in the Southeast region.

With 120 acres available for expansion, Arie has a vision of adding other coasters, a water park, a hotel and other accommodations to the park. He says that he wants to “turn this into a regional theme park,” and notes that in terms of acreage and footprint, it has around the same dimensions as “your average Six Flags.”

Arie describes Fayetteville as a small town with a lot of heart and small businesses, a combination which he believes makes a perfect fit for his park and its new, behemoth coaster.

The ride rises some 154-feet and marks a resonant first for RMC in terms of its design as a coaster. Created by designer Joe Draves, it has a variety of unique features, such as what the park describes as a “first-ever raven-truss dive and a first-of-its-kind zero-G roll over our arcade.” That's one of two zero G-rolls offered over the course of the thrilling ride, along with a massive 146-foot first drop that takes place at an 83-degree angle. The ride reaches a top speed of 64 m.p.h. All in all, it also affords riders 16 airtime moments and 4 inversions.



From futuristic trains to flags and signage about space exploration, guests experience a ride that isn't just exciting and thrill-packed but is also well themed to create an environment as if passengers were going to accelerate into space. 
 
RMC's president Darren Torr describes the ride's original trajectory as being planned to go through the arcade building itself. Instead, going over the building led to the use of the barrel roll that the ride offers. There's also an impressive outer-banked turn visible from the highway.
 
As to the raven truss drive, its uniqueness is also appealing visually due to its utilization of trusses. It functions like a dive loop which is surrounded by supports and followed by an intense, short airtime hill. 

And that's not all the ride includes - there's an outward-banked airtime hill, a double up, and a majorly banked turnaround. Both Torr and Arie have their favorite ride attribute: Arie Force One's smooth outward-banked turn.
 
The ride itself was originally conceived as both a tribute to and an inspiration from Arie Jr.'s father, John Arie Sr., who is passionate about exploration and flight.

Arie Sr. is just as pleased by the ride as the RMC team and his son, and after riding it, termed it “the most intense but smoothest” coaster he'd ever ridden, and a “signature ride” for both the park and Georgia.

Irvine Ondrey Engineering, a frequent partner on rides with RMC, also assisted with the control system on Arie Force One, with IOE's president Brian Ondrey, describing the ride as one that offers unending thrills. Another part of the Arie Force One creation team was Maclan Wheels, another long-time partner with RMC.


As has been the case with many attractions the last several years due to supply chain issues, one of the biggest challenges for RMC and its team in creating the ride was parts procurement for its components. But despite this issue, the team persevered and the ride has hit its mark for thrills and thematic excitement.

That excitement has been building for some time in anticipating the opening date, and Arie used that interest for a good cause. Opportunities to be first to ride were auctioned, with the proceeds donated to a worthy recipient, the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives, providing a $5,000 addition to the museum's coffers. 

Another good cause was one that helped sustain RMC during the major revenue shortfall that hit the company due to the pandemic. When seemingly no one in the amusement park industry was ordering any new rides and existing construction projects were shut down, Arie Jr.'s impressive project began in the early part of 2021. It allowed RMC to keep going and retain their key staff, or as Torr puts it, enabled them to “live to fight another day” and continue bringing newly engineered attractions like Arie Force One into existence.

The ride's 3,400-feet of track eschews any wasted moments, relentlessly packing the ride with its airtime events and other thrills and serving as a must-see reason to plan a visit to Fayetteville's Fun Spot America location. The park is poised to likely attract every coaster enthusiast in the region and hopefully help Arie Jr. develop the site into a major amusement park in the years to come.
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