Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Loopers and Dive Bombers

As part of 2010’s National Science and Engineering Week the University Library in collaboration with the National Fairground Archive are celebrating the engineering feats of roller coasters and theme park rides. The following abstract is part of a mini-series on the history of going upside-down, compiled by Ian Trowell of the National Fairground Archive.


Looper (1937)

The Looper (or Loop-o-plane) used a clutch and friction method to gain a swinging motion towards and through 360 degrees. This was the ultimate playground thrill, the myth of going over the top, here for everyone to experience. The slow speed of performing the loop meant that the riders had to be secured with a good belting system – as the ride painstakingly crawled towards the vertical you were literally strung upside down. This ride paved the way for the generation of looping 'Pirate Ships' that emerged in the 1980s.

Dive Bomber

Dive Bomber (1939)

The first truly frightening machine? The Dive Bomber was invented in the US by flight engineers Eyerly, and came to the UK for a debut at Blackpool. The Second World War curtailed production and effectively put people off the ride for the immediate years after the war, since no-one wanted to be reminded of the blitz. However, the ride slowly gained a reputation as a classic thriller, and paved the way for the modern-day Booster.

Check back tomorrow for more and remember that the NFA is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 until 16:30 for anyone interested in seeing more of our NSEW activities.

1 comment:

  1. [...] attraction that went through a 360 degree loop - essentially rebuilding of the 1930s Looper ride. The antique theming provided a clash of time-zones, but the ride was a huge [...]


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.