Friday, 19 March 2010

Super Loops and the Top Spin

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.

Super Loop

Super Loop (1981)

This ride was a continuous track portable Roller Coaster - simply a circular loop with a train that gained momentum up and down the track in the same way that a skateboarder 'carves' a half-pipe. The motion was gained by masses of plastic rollers which had a habit of coming loose and cascading down. Experimental from the word go, the ride had a poor record in the UK and quickly disappeared from the scene.

Top Spin

Terminator / Top Spin (1994)

The Top Spin was a quantum leap forward in styling, with a 'Terminator' version holding the ground at Hull fair in 1994. The machine resembled a huge robot and was drenched in smoke and strobes - the riders seemed to be in the grip of a wild machine with its own mind rather than a showman pressing program buttons. Part of the ride pattern involved leaving riders suspended upside down as long as possible - the chequer plate platforms getting spraying with falling coins.

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.

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