Rotor (ride)

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Interior of the Rotor at Luna Park Sydney. The ride is in mid-cycle, and the riders are stuck to the wall of the barrel by the force of friction due to centrifugal force. The yellow lines on the barrel wall indicate the level the floor is at during different points of the ride; the higher line is level with the floor when the ride begins.

The Rotor is an amusement park ride, designed by German engineer Ernst Hoffmeister in the late 1940s. The ride was first demonstrated at Oktoberfest 1949,[citation needed] and was exhibited at fairs and events throughout Europe during the 1950s and 1960s. The ride still appears in numerous amusement parks, although travelling variants have been surpassed by the Gravitron.

Design and operation[edit]

The Rotor is a large, upright barrel, rotated at 33 revolutions per minute. The rotation of the barrel creates a centrifugal effect equivalent to almost 3 g. Once the barrel has attained full speed, the floor is retracted, leaving the riders stuck to the wall of the drum. At the end of the ride cycle, the drum slows down and gravity takes over. The riders slide down the wall slowly. Most Rotors were constructed with an observation deck.

Although Hoffmeister was the designer, most Rotors were constructed under license. In Australia, the Rotors were built by Ted Hopkins of Luna Park Milsons Point. In the United States, two main companies were responsible for production; the Velare Brothers and the Anglo Rotor Corporation. A dispute between these two companies was resolved when the construction rights to touring Rotors were assigned to the Velare Brothers, while permanent-standing Rotors (later becoming known as Chance Rotors) became the domain of ARC.


Facade of Rotor at Luna Park Sydney
  • Australia – Three Rotors were built in Australia based on Hoffmeister's design. All had been demolished or destroyed by the 1990s, although a slightly redesigned Rotor was rebuilt for Luna Park Sydney in 1995, which is still in operation.
  • United States – Several Rotors have been constructed in the United States since the 1960s. Though most of these have since been demolished and replaced by other rides, there are rotors still in operation at some places, such as Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire ("Turkish Twist"), Frontier City in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ("Tumbleweed"), Sylvan Beach Amusement Park in Sylvan Beach, New York. Another Rotor, with an observation platform, appears at the yearly Washington State Fair in Puyallup, Washington.

Past appearances[edit]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Lebanon Daily News. April 18, 1970. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Hersheypark opens May 13 with TV star". Standard Speaker. Hazleton, PA. April 22, 1995. pp. 39–40.
  3. ^ "Park Is Ready For Opry Month". The Pittsburgh Press. April 30, 1965. p. 14. Beginning Sunday an old favorite, the Rotor, will be at the amusement center, brought back by requests.
  4. ^ Sloan, Nick (2017-10-18). "Worlds of Fun announces closing of Finnish Fling". KCTV 5 News. Retrieved 2018-04-30.


  • Marshall, Sam (2005). Luna Park – Just for fun (2nd ed.). Sydney, Australia: Luna Park Sydney Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-646-44807-2.
  • Historical information boards located at Luna Park Sydney
  • François Truffaut's The 400 Blows (1959)

External links[edit]