- April 28th, 2012, 9:33 am
White Lightning was removed because of reliabilty/cost of maintinance issues. Although the ride was very popular, it experienced frequent shut downs - some short, some lasting hours or days. Intamin/Schwarzkopf redesigned the launch system on later builds from the dropped weight system, to a flywheel system. Unfortunantly for Carowinds, White Lightning was one of three early build coasters. Although White Lightning continues to operate down in South Africa, one needs to understand tht when new, the reliabilty issues cost alot of money to identify, re-engineer and correct.
Although Carolina Cobra is similar, it really is a vastly different experience to White Lightning. The Schwarzkopf loops were massive structures for the time. White Lighting's vertical loop was 77' if I recall correctly (bare in mind the tallest coaster at the time was 130'). Contrast that loop to Carolina Cyclone's vertical loops which are about 45'. Plus the main draw was the launch. Stepping into the car, you sat and stared down that straight track into the towering loop. It was un-nerving to say the least. It was unique for the time - and a cost effective way for parks to get a loop coaster. However the reliablity issues off-set the initial cost savings, and with the large looping coaster becoming increasingly in demand, the shuttle loops were quickly out of style.