Ratanga’s Dakota moved into new place
Ratanga Junction, which celebrates its 15th birthday this month, is relocating two of its prized attractions within the park.
A World War 11 Dakota aircraft and the Slingshot “Human Catapult” Thrill ride are being moved to make way for an exciting new hospitality offering for the Western Cape, details of which will be announced in the New Year.
The Dakota was moved into its new position on top of Black Mountain near the entrance to Ratanga this week while the Slingshot is being re- erected nearby. A certified ride inspector is coming from the ride manufacturers in Ohio, United States this week to inspect the installation and barring any unforeseen circumstances, the SlingShot is expected to be operational this weekend.
Both the SlingShot and the Dakota were repainted before being moved to their final resting places.
The Slingshot is a high adrenaline ride combining elements of bungy jumping and skydiving with flyers hoisted 10 storeys into the air and launched in to a 30 metre free fall at 80-90kph towards the ground before swinging upwards to an 180 degree arc. It is being relocated to a site near the park’s main entrance and has been repainted a bright yellow and blue.
The 1943 Douglas Dakota Mark 3 has a unique history. It was used as a “glider tug” with the 512 RAF squadron in Operation “coup de Main” during the first stages of the Normandy D-Day landings in June 1944 as well as Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing.
Ratanga General Manager Bill Taylor said the Dakota was being upgraded and will form part of the new Bridgeways function portfolio.
“It will feature at our front entrance area and will be refurbished and well lit so it becomes a landmark for Ratanga within Century City.”
He said they planned in future to have the Slingshot operational for much of the year, even when the rest of the amusement park is in hibernation.
“Its capacity is limited to 350 riders per day so making it available to guests outside of the park’s seasonal operating schedule will relieve pent up demand. It will also be available for corporate functions and team building.”
The theme park is open daily, except for Christmas Day, for the school holidays until 14 January.