American Eagle is a 127 foot tall wooden roller coaster towering over the land of Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL. Built May 23rd, 1981 by Intamin, American Eagle was the first wooden on the property and is still one of the largest twin racing wooden roller coasters.

The coaster is designed with two tracks that run trains simultaneously in a racing fashion: red and blue. Each track is nearly identical in statistics. While the height is 127 feet tall the first drop is 147 feet, which pushes the coaster to a max speed of 66 mph as the coaster races down the first 55-degree hill. Riders speed over 4,650 feet of track over the course of 2 minutes and 23 seconds. Being a wooden, especially an old one, American Eagle contains no inversions, however has a very high capacity furthermore with the aid of two tracks. It runs four trains with five cars each. Riders sit two across and three back in each car.

The structure took over 20,000 man hours to build using 9,000 gallons of white paint, 15 tons of nails, 129,720 bolts, 1.3 million board feet of lumber, and 2,000 concrete footings.

The ride itself feels quite rough especially in the back helix due to a lack of banking. However, a revision of the track made the ride quite a bit smoother. Six Flags also finds excuses to run one of the trains backwards for a few weeks or so most years. Overall a coaster worth at least one run for the experience (like all coasters) but will keep you coming back from time to time if for nothing but nostalgia.

Summarized Statistics of American Eagle
  • Height: 127 feet
  • Drop: 147 feet
  • Speed: 66 mph
  • Duration: 2:23
  • Length: 4650 feet
  • Angle of Descent: 55 degrees