Free fall tower

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"The High Fall" in Movie Park Germany

A freefall tower (also called freefall tower ) is a ride in amusement parks and at public festivals . It primarily consists of a tower on which a cabin with passengers moves upwards. Once at the top, it falls back in free fall until the passenger carrier at the base of the tower is caught by a braking device , usually eddy current brakes .

However, many of these towers, especially those at German folk festivals, are not real free-fall towers, as the cabin never falls free, but always remains connected to the tower by steel cables. These towers are often called “free-fall towers”, but the less common term vertical travel is correct .

Some free-fall towers have the special feature that the seats are hydraulically tilted forwards before being disengaged. One example of this is “The High Fall” in Movie Park Germany , the seats of which have an angle of 15 degrees after being disconnected. At Falcon's Fury in Busch Gardens Tampa , the seats are even tilted 90 degrees before the fall, so that the passengers look straight down.

Realizations and variants

Gyro drop tower

Main article: Gyro Drop

A variant of the free fall tower is called a gyro drop tower . The passenger carriers of these towers are circular and rotate around the tower during the ascent. The Scream Zone, built in 1997 in the Kings Island amusement park, was the highest gyro drop tower in the world at the time of its opening with a total height of 91 meters and a drop height of 82 meters.

On August 17, 2018, Hansa-Park announced that it would build a gyro drop tower called Highlander . With a total height of 120 meters, a drop height of 103 meters, a seat inclination of 30 ° and a vertical speed of up to 120 km / h, it is the highest and fastest gyro drop tower in the world. The tower opened on April 27, 2019.

Giant drop

Main article: Giant drop

A gondola of the Anubis Free Fall Tower in Holiday Park Haßloch

A giant drop is the name of a frequently built type of free fall tower made by Intamin / Ride Trade .

At the towers there are several, usually four, lanes with independently operating gondolas for four people each. In some cases, different types of gondolas are implemented on one system, so there is a ride in a sitting, standing position, with or without a floor under the feet, also combined with a tilting mechanism. In the case of an elevator, the passenger carrier is pulled along by a pickup up to the upper position at the top of the tower. There it is released and falls, guided by rails, into a magnetic brake system . Since these special brakes are a permanent magnet system , failure is technically impossible even if there is no power supply.

With a depth of around 127 m, the Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom free fall tower in the American amusement park Six Flags Great Adventure is the highest in the world.

Mobile free fall tower

The first mobile real free fall tower was built in 2004 by the Austrian company Rodlsberger. After the 32 m high store was operated by the Bügler company for a long time, it has been permanently installed as the Tower of Fear in the leisure land Geiselwind since 2017 .

In 2013 the Austrian manufacturer Funtime built the highest mobile free-fall tower at 80 m. It offers space for 24 people, weighs around 115 tons and can be set up in one or two days without a large mobile crane. The first tower to be built is operated by the German showman Michael Goetzke as "Skyfall" and celebrated its premiere at Munich Oktoberfest 2013.

Showman Andreas Zinnecker traveled with a second tower of this kind under the name “Mega King Tower” in 2014. This facility is identical to the Skyfall and is also 80 meters high. Instead of a top, the Mega King Tower has a large decorative figure in the form of a monkey at the top of the tower. After the 2014 season, the business was sold to Grupo Garcia (Mexico) in late autumn.

The Swiss showman Maier has been traveling through the country with the Swiss Tower since June 2014. It is the third delivery of the Funtime Skyfall free-fall tower. Since the end of September, the Dutch showman company Ordelman has been traveling mainly in the Netherlands with another free-fall tower produced by Funtime under the name "Minetower". A special feature is that this tower is also equipped with a rotating gondola and has a lower capacity.

On July 17th, 2015 "Hangover the Tower" by Ewald Schneider celebrated its premiere at the Düsseldorf Rheinkirmes. The Gyro-Free-Fall is 85 meters high, has a rotating gondola and can be stopped at several points during the journey. Thus, it is currently one of the tallest transportable free fall towers in the world.

Selection of well-known rides

Individual evidence

  1. The High Fall., accessed on January 12, 2013 .
  2. ^ SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment: Falcon's Fury. In: Retrieved November 28, 2016 .
  3. NEW 2019: Gyro-Drop-Tower "HIGHLANDER"
  6. [1] [2] [3]
  10. ^ Entry of the "MEGA KING TOWER" in the amusement park database
  14. Entry of the "Hangover Tower" on Facebook
  15. Anubis Free Fall Tower - Holiday Park - In: Retrieved November 13, 2016 .
  16. Scream - Heide Park Resort - In: Retrieved November 13, 2016 .