Swing ride

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Not to be confused with Pendulum ride.
A Chair-O-Planes ride with a tilting top
A woman on a swing ride at the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
Video of "Slänggungan" at Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Chair-O-Planes or "Kettenkarussell" (chain-carousel) at the Roonkarker Mart fair, Germany

The swing ride or chair swing ride (sometimes called a swing carousel, wave swinger, yo-yo, Chair-O-Planes or swinger) is a fairground ride that is a variation on the carousel in which the chairs are suspended from the rotating top of the carousel. On some versions, particularly on the Wave Swingers, the rotating top of the carousel also tilts for additional variations of motion.

History[edit]

Swing rides were present a the earliest amusement parks. At Idora Park in Oakland, California, in 1908, the ride was called the Flying Swing, but appears to be the same principle.

The Chair-O-Planes premiered in Germany in 1972, designed by Zierer and built by Franz Schwarzkopf, brother of Anton Schwarzkopf. In 1974 the first portable unit debuted under the same partnership. Since then Zierer has built about 200 units.[1] Other manufacturers have followed creating their own versions of the Chair-O-Planes including Zamperla, Chance Rides, Grover Watkins, Bertazzon, Barberi, Vekoma and Sanoyas Hishino Meisho.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

In the late 2000s, Australian manufacturer Funtime developed the world's first tower swinger known as the Star Flyer.[7] Mondial followed with their WindSeeker resulting in a lawsuit between the two companies.[8][9] Zamperla also sell a Vertical Swing.[10]

Locations[edit]

Europe[edit]

Austria[edit]

The Prater Turm located in the Wurstelprater opened in 2010 at a height of 117 metres (384 ft).

Denmark[edit]

The Star Flyer, located in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, affords sweeping views of the city's historical centre.

France[edit]

Les Chaises Volantes, located in Walibi Sud-Ouest is a Zierer model from 1987 which was re-localised to the park in 1992.

Netherlands[edit]

Slagharen (theme park) located the same Chair-O-Plane as Loundoun Castle.

Norway[edit]

Sverrehusken a Wellenflieger at TusenFryd (Norway) in 2011

Second largest amusement park in the Nordic countries is TusenFryd located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) outside the capital Oslo in Norway. TusenFryd is the home of a Wellenflieger named "Sverrehusken" and has been in operation since 1988. Sverrehusken is the first of its kind in the Nordic countries.

In Kongeparken located 10 km outside the fourth largest city in Norway, Stavanger is the home of a Wellenflieger named "Spinnvidle" and has been in operation since 2012. Spinnvidle is the first of its kind in Norway with double seats.

Sweden[edit]

The Swedish name for Swing ride is Kättingflygare. At Gröna Lund, Stockholm a swing ride with the name "Eclipse" can be found. With its 121.9 metres (400 ft) it shares the "world's tallest" title with SkyScreamer in Texas, North America.[11][12]

The biggest amusement park in the Nordic countries is Liseberg in Swedens second largest city Gothenburg. Liseberg is the home of a Swing ride named "Slänggungan".

United Kingdom[edit]

The Plough ride at Loudoun Castle seen through the trees

Loudoun Castle Theme Park in Scotland claimed that its moon-shaped ride, "The Plough", was the largest Chair-O-Plane in the world. The Plough was originally called Apollo 14 and was owned by the Bembom family, operating in their Ponypark Slagharen in the Netherlands during the late seventies. It had gondolas travelling around the outside of the ride. When moved to Dreamland in England (then called "Bembom Brothers"), it was reconstructed into a Chair-O-Plane and named Heatwave. Leaving Dreamland, it opened in Lightwater Valley in 1998 where it operated until 2003 when Henk Bembom moved Heatwave to his new park, Loudoun Castle, where it was renamed "The Plough" and painted green. The theme park closed in 2010 and has been standing but not operating ever since.

There is also a Chair-O-Plane ride at Alton Towers in Staffordshire. Set in a fantasy themed area of the park called Cloud Cukoo Land, it is themed as a giant mushroom. This was formerly themed as a prehistoric dinosaur-type ride and located in an area called Ug Land.

Chessington World of Adventures is home to a monkey-themed Chair-O-Planes, named 'Monkey Swinger', that squirts water at riders. This was formerly themed to Billy Whizz of The Beano.

Also "Morph and Chas table gunslinger", a "Morph files episode themed chair-o-plane", with a cowboy hatted morph, a cowboy hatted Chas and a cowboy hatted grand morph on the pipe with a giant cowboy hat to make the pipe spin and smaller cowboy hats with a seat in them with a seatbelt In it to make it where the people sit.

North America[edit]

Wave Swinger ride at Playland, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Gunslinger ride at Six Flags Over Texas
The WindSeeker at several Cedar Fair parks.

Most of the swing carousel rides in North America are found in amusement parks. They are usually made by Zierer (which calls the ride Wave swinger), although some are made by Bertazzon (which calls the ride Swing Carousel) or Zamperla (which calls the ride Flying Carousel and Lollyswings).

A ride called Twister: F5 is rumored to be opening with a brand-new horror-themed theme park in 2015. The ride is similar to the Zamperla Chair-o-Plane, except the top of the ride raises to a height of 200 feet (61 m) while swinging the chairs up to speeds of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h); when the ride is at its maximum height the top of the ride (to which the steel arms holding the chairs are connected) tilts 90 degrees so that riders are spun in a loop, somewhat like the Enterprise ride. The ride is said to be the first of a new kind of ride design by Intamin.

Some of these include:

Asia and Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

Malaysia[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

In Italy most of the Chair-O-Planes travel with fairs. The ride is called Seggiolini volanti ("Flying chairs") or calcinculo which literally means "kick in the bottom", from the ingenious way used to grab the high-placed "tail" and win a free ride. Two people sit in contiguous seats, and the one sitting behind kicks the friend higher in the air.

The Metalocalypse episode "Motherklok" features a Wave Slinger.

A German rock band is named Chair-O-Plane.[13]

A Chair-O-Planes is featured on the cover of Dave Matthews Band's 1994 album Under the Table and Dreaming. The liner note credit lists the site of this photo as Sandusky, Ohio, which is the location of Cedar Point.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b David Burton. "Waveswinger". Amusement Ride Extravaganza web site. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Family Swinger". Zamperla. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Midi Family Swinger". Zamperla. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Yo-yo". Chance Rides. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Swinger". The Flat Joint. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Star Flyer". Funtime. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Jackson, Tom (25 August 2010). "Cedar Fair says patent dispute won't halt development of new rides". Sandusky Register. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Jackson, Tom (18 August 2010). "Ride wars at Cedar Point?". Sandusky Register. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Vertical Swing". Zamperla. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Eclipse". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "SkyScreamer". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Chair-o-plane bandinfo". band web site. Retrieved June 12, 2010.