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Ferris Wheel on a Roll

Mobile attraction for multiple views of uptown and downtown
  [vote for,

This Ferris wheel has no base. It rolls slowly as it turns, so that the occupants start at street level, view the city at twenty stories height, come down to street level in another place, then come up in another place, etc. The spectators are in cabins that hang between its two giant wheels that stand at a roadway’s width. The Ferris wheel transports itself majestically on a straight, level, city street for about 10 blocks and back. At each end, it slows down to a crawl for passenger off and on loading.

A gondola car with engine and crew is suspended from the axel, just over the cabins. As the engine’s torque tries to rotate the heavy, gondola car forwards and upwards, the wheels rotate forward instead. Reverse the engine to return with the crew facing the other way. Steering adjustments are made by braking the left or right wheel.

FarmerJohn, Jul 02 2002

The Grand Panjandrum http://www.nevilshu...ws/thesecretwar.php
Baked, as a WW2 anti-fortification weapon. Rocket powered. Not terribly successful. [8th of 7, Jul 02 2002, last modified Jul 03 2002]

One and two person versions http://www.douglas-...torwhl/motorwhl.htm
[angel, Jul 03 2002, last modified Mar 25 2013]

The Eye http://www.indulgen...ndon-eye-sunset.jpg
nice pic eh? DrC. [po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       As in Steven Spielberg's "1941", where the ferris wheel comes off its moorings and rolls away (suspicious though that all the illuminations on the wheel remain lit...). It then rolls down a pier and into the sea.
hippo, Jul 02 2002

       If it ran on rails, that would obviate the need to steer.   

       20 Stories = approx 80 metres. That gives it a 250+ metre circumference. That means a corresponding 250 metre load/unload zone at each end - about 2 blocks ? For comparison, the London Eye is 135 metres in diameter, quite a lot bigger.
8th of 7, Jul 02 2002

       8th of 7: you need to fix that link - put an http:\\ in front of it.   

       hippo: even more suspicious that not only do the lights stay on as the ferris wheel submerges, but that it submerges completely - piers aren't built in such deep water.
DrCurry, Jul 02 2002

       This is a cool idea. Using current technology, you could mount the base of a small ferris wheel on a moving car and move the ferris wheel on its ordinary machinery.   

       The rolling idea would use less power. I just wonder how you could ultimately stop the ferris wheel from continuing to roll- would there be some kind of kick-stand brake?
polartomato, Jul 02 2002

       Seems like something of that circumference would take extremely long to load/unload. Unless the riders were to load on both ends, maybe 1/3 of the gondolas at each end and one in the middle, this would be a very jerky ride.   

       The other concern would probably be problem with wind and other natural influences. With something this tall, wind shear on the structure might cause it to rock or tilt. This probably depends on how actually wide the structure is, but would probably scare alot of the
Underdrunk, Jul 02 2002

       No, don't stop now, Underdrunk. I was just getting interested.

I do rather like this idea though, and not just as an attraction. The concept of public transport ferris wheels ambling slowly round most city centres has a kind of romance to it. Rather than 8th's rail network, I would go for a set of trenches that the rim of the wheel could trundle along in.
DrBob, Jul 03 2002

       DrBob: I think you would need fairly deep trenches. They would fill up with water - requiring drains - and litter, leaves, crisp packets, Japanese Tourists and other unwanted debris, which might cause the Big Wheel to "de-rail". This is why existing trains don't run in trenches.   

       If it had a sufficiently wide wheelbase in proportion to its height, and was a fairly open (braced spoke) structure, it would be quite stable, even in high winds. Besides, you could just drive it round a corner and face it into the wind, or put it between two tall buildings and then anchor it with gantries.
8th of 7, Jul 03 2002

       Certainly one set of tracks would not provide enough width to give it stability, and the immense weight on the small "footprints" would preclude ordinary train tracks.
FarmerJohn, Jul 22 2002

       Maybe it could be supported by a set of cables or rails at the top. The whole thing sounds very expensive though.
timo, Jul 22 2002

       //one set of tracks would not provide enough width to give it stability//
You could include a gyroscope.
angel, Jul 23 2002

       An idea to address the jerky load/unload problem: removable cars. Each car is equipped with pins which mate to "U" or "V" shaped collars on the wheel. As the car descends to road level but BEFORE reaching bottom-center, it lands on a platform several feet above grade. The collar attached to the wheel continues downward, dropping away from the corresponding pins on the cars. Obviously the collars would have to be mounted to a gimbal (otherwise the ride will end in disaster not long after the car passes the 3 o'clock position). Several feet forward the next car is waiting in position, and as the collar rises it catches the pins and lifts the car. Reversing the wheel at the end of the route would mean the cars left behind during the first trip could remain where they were deposited, to be picked up again. Passengers debark and load with the cars stationary, waiting for the wheel's return.   

       In fact, another improvement: the route should be a circle. This way the wheel never has to be stopped and reversed. (Perhaps stopped and parked at the end of the service day, but not dozens of times a day.) The inner wheel to be a slightly smaller diameter than the outer. There would be an odd number of stations, spaced so that a station to which a car was deposited on the first lap will be a pickup station on the next lap.   

       Thinking about the geometry, I think in order for my modification to work the arms from which the cars hang would need to extend beyond the diameter of the groundwheel. Elevated track? Reduces the risk of pedestrian injury, etc...
gardnertoo, Aug 29 2003

       scarey. the London Eye gone mad!   

       8th's link is broke :(   

       & angel's...(where is angel these days?)
po, Dec 30 2003

       One particular Christmas season a long time ago, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip but there were problems everywhere.   

       Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.   

       Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.   

       When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. More stress.   

       Then, when he began to load the sleigh, one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.   

       Frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whisky. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden his liquor and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. When he went to get the broom he found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from.   

       Just then, the doorbell rang and Santa cursed and mumbled as he went to answer it. At the door he found an angel with a great big Christmas tree and a cheerful smile. With gleeful enthusiasm, the angel said, "Merry Christmas Santa! Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Isn't it just the loveliest tree you have ever seen? Where would you like me to stick it?"   

       Thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.
FarmerJohn, Dec 31 2003

       sweet :)
po, Dec 31 2003

       I think I saw something like this in a book about old amusement park rides...it was called a Wheely-Fly or something, and it was a ferris wheel on straight rails, and it would roll across the park. It didn't turn, but the photos were interesting. Must've been cool to see a big ferris wheel rolling across the park.   

       The rails were raised up, about ten feet, and the ferris wheel had a smaller rim on it, only a bit smaller, and this is what the wheel rode on.   

       It looked like fun, actually.   

       So this was baked in the 1920's, I think.   

       Still, you get a croissant.
Abusementpark, Dec 10 2006


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