Orbiter (ride)

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At night time, an Orbiter in full motion is a bewildering blur of lights.
In daylight, it is a little easier to see how the cars are arranged.

The Orbiter is a fairground ride invented by Richard Woolls in 1976, with showman Henry Frederick Smith investing in the blueprints and consequently being the first owner of the revolutionary new machine, taking delivery in 1976 of the OB-1.[1]

It has a number of articulated arms radiating from a central rotating vertical axis. Each arm supports a cluster of cars, which are lifted through 90° into the horizontal position once the ride is spinning. At the same time, each cluster of cars rotates around its arm's axis.


  • The Orbiter is made by Tivoli manufacturing, a British company. In the U.S. their representative is Amtech.
  • The Orbiter/Typhoon/Predator arms don't always tilt at the same height (90%). Some might tilt all the way while others don't tilt a lot.
  • Most Orbiters consist of six arms, and have three cars for each arm with up to two people sitting in each car.
  • There is a metal lap bar that comes down on the car for the restraint.


  1. ^ "25 Years of Orbiting". Fairground Mercury. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 

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