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 and now Battech. 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 (unlike the new model Downdraft with over shoulder harness and increasing passenger per car to five). Most operators of the Hurricane and Downdraft 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 reach their maximum height propelled by the motor then pneumatics are engaged. The operator will then begin to ("bounce" or "pop") the sweeps by sending the ride into a freewheel mode then hitting a zoom button that fills the center cylinder with air yanking the sweeps upward, when the operator let's off the button air is rapidly blead resulting in the sweeps dropping until the operator zooms the sweeps upward again. This is repeated multiple times before the ride tops off to its max allowable height. The operator can do a reverse pop of the sweeps to rapidly stabilize the bounce and disengage rotation until the ride begins to slow down for landing on the tower rim.
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.