Topple Tower

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Scale display model of a Topple Tower
Timber Tower at Dollywood in operation. This installation was enhanced with the use of water effects

A Topple Tower is an amusement ride designed in 2001 by van Orsouw Amusement Rides Design Service, Berghem ( the Netherlands) Patent Pended on November 13, 2002, under appication number WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/041826, www.patentscope.wipo.int the first design was rejected due to difficult and heavy construction, after redesign in 2002, an license agreement was closed, and in 2005 produced, by Huss Maschinenfabrik GmbH, Bremen (Germany) now HUSS Park Attractions The first Topple Tower was placed in 2005 at Bellewaerde Park in Ieper Belgium, the name of the ride was changed in El Volador.

Design and operation[edit]

The Topple Tower consists of a single 40-person circular gondola, centred around an 18 metre tower. Passengers sit in the gondola, facing outward. When the ride cycle is started, the gondola is raised towards the top of the tower, and begins to rotate at between 9 and 11 rpm. When the rotating gondola reaches the top of the tower, the tower itself begins to rock back and forth. The first one to be built was the El Volador at Bellewaerde Park in Ypres, Belgium.

After the Bankruptcy of the Huss Maschinenfabrik GmbH in July 2006, a lawsuit against the new Huss company, (Huss Park Attractions) was held in November 2008 at the Düsseldorf court, in which the Design Company, van Orsouw Amusement Ride Design Service (van Orsouw ARDS) claimed all the rights of the Design of the Topple Tower.

Rumours where there that van Orsouw ARDS was in fact a blind-trust company, of another, until today unknown, Amusement Ride manufacturer, after the lawsuit the Design activities of van Orsouw ARDS are temporary finished, however the company still exists.

Future buyers of the Topple Tower still risking a lawsuit if the blind trust company is becoming active again.

Incidents[edit]

On June 16, 2007, the Topple Tower installation (Known as Timber Tower) at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA became stuck after a faulty safety sensor engaged. The tower was in an upright position with the gondola at the top. The safety system would not let operators override the sensor, leaving 40 passengers stranded on the ride, some for as many as 6 hours. As of the 2012 season, Dollywood has removed Timber Tower from the park, with the lawsuit between Huss and Dollywood resolved behind closed doors.[1]

References[edit]

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