The Hurricane is an amusement ride first manufactured by the Allan Herschell Company. The Hurricane was first created in the 1940s, and was later built by Mulligan as the Saturn 6. The modern versions of the Hurricane were produced by a series of related companies, including Hrubetz, Man-Co, Killinski, and Dartron Industries. Hurricanes have been licensed for production in countries other than the United States, although the number of non-U.S. constructed rides is limited.
The Hurricane is nowadays almost exclusively a traveling ride; few if any examples are present in amusement parks as standing attractions. However, several parks have operated the ride in the past.
Design and operation
Six 35-foot-long (11 m) sweeps (arms) are attached to a 40-foot-tall (12 m) center tower. At the base of each sweep is a car carrying four people, in pairs sitting side-by-side. Riders are restrained by a locking lap bar, with no dividers in between the side-by-side riders. Most operators of the Hurricane require riders to be 42 inches (1.1 m) tall or more, with smaller riders usually required to be seated on the inner seat of the cars due to the strong centrifugal force of the device.
The ride starts off at a slow spin, propelling the sweeps upward due to both centrifugal force and a pneumatic cylinder housed in the center shaft. The speed is increased until the cars are almost in line with the top of the tower. The operator will then begin to ("bounce" or "pop") the sweeps by releasing the compressed air contained in the cylinder, resulting in the sweeps dropping with a loud burst of bleeding compressed air until both centrifugal force and pneumatic pressure restores the sweeps to their height. This is repeated multiple times, before the ride begins to slow down.
The ride racks onto a single 48-foot (15 m) trailer, and can be assembled by two people in just over two hours.
Dartron Industries has developed a floorless car version of the Hurricane. Known as the Down Draft, the ride uses shoulder restraints to hold riders, and increases the passenger capacity to five per sweep, sitting in one row of three and a row of two.
- Argentina - "Hurricane" park model at Parque de la Ciudad, Buenos Aires.
- Australia - Between 8 and 12 Hurricanes; all traveling models.
- New Zealand - 3 traveling models
- United Kingdom - 1 model, owned by Pleasure Island under the name "Century 2000" and also, Helicopter bouncers,
- United States of America - At least 13 Hurricanes; traveling models owned by Christiansen Amusements, Schoeppner Shows, Playland Amusements (NY), Murphy Brothers, N.A.M.E., Smokey Mountain Amusements,2 by J&J Amusements, Spectacular Midways, Evans' United Shows, Hawkins Amusement Rides, Midway Rides of Utica, and Casey's Rides. At least three Down Drafts; traveling models owned by All Star Amusements and Cumberland Valley Shows and a park model owned by Knoebels. Another Hurricane model also exists as part of 12th street amusements in Coney Island