Attention roller coaster enthusiasts! Tired of riding a coaster above or below the track? Six Flags’ new X-Flight offers you the chance to ride on the sides of the track with their upcoming X-Flight roller coaster, coming to Six Flags Great America (near Chicago) next season. Riders will fly through the air in paired seats mounted on “wings” on the left and right side of the track, giving the never-before-felt roller coaster experience of riding without obstructed views above or below you. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, the X-Flight fact sheet reveals some other thrills: it will do barrel rolls, an in-line roll, and even simulate zero gravity. For me, the most thrilling part is when it will twist vertically to get through a keyhole-like cutout of a tower — and if you don’t believe me, check out this video simulation:


No photos of the actual coaster have surfaced yet (perhaps because it’s not built yet), but once it’s completed, it’s sure to attract members of ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) from everywhere to the Chicago area. If not, they might end up at Dollywood, the theme park near the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, where they’ve also just announced a wing-oriented roller coaster for next season: the Wild Eagle, which will also simulate zero G and perform some fighter jet moves, including an Immelmann maneuver. Think two new wing-oriented coasters coming in 2012 is a coincidence? Not really; both are designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, the Swiss amusement ride engineering firm that innovated most of today’s modern coasters.

Photos via Six Flags.