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Rolling Ferris Wheel Transit

A large Ferris wheel rolling down the street with people stepping on and off of the gondolas at ground level.
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The wheel would looks like a many pointed star, so it only touches the ground at designated gondola stations which are spaced 20-50 feet apart depending on the size of the wheel. That means there are no tracks, and pedestrians/cars can freely walk/drive between the stations. Tourists will of course stand under the wheel as it goes over and take pictures.

Since a star won't normally roll smoothly, each tip is equipped with a mechanism to extend or retract. This could be implemented with hydraulics, but might be more efficient using some other mechanism. This will also be used as the means of propelling the Ferris wheel along its route. It will always have two or three points connected to the ground at all times. Those connections will include power connections so this can be powered from the grid.

Clearly loading and unloading will be a problem. It would actually work quite well most of the time if people could just step on from one side and step off on the other. Because of the propulsion system, the gondolas will be stationary for even longer than they would be with a simply rolling Ferris wheel, but there would be just too many ways for people to seriously hurt themselves with this massive wheel that wouldn't be able to stop very fast.

Perhaps devising some system of detachable gondolas with elevator style doors could work, but I haven't thought of any way to implement this that would come close to the efficiency of just having people step on and off of permanently attached gondolas without being hugely complex.

Inspired by FerrisWheel

scad mientist, Oct 02 2012

FerrisWheel inspiration [scad mientist, Oct 02 2012]

Smart Wheels Smart_20Wheels
Similar notions, relevant discussion in annos. [Alterother, Oct 02 2012]

Ferris_20Wheel_20on_20a_20Roll [hippo, Oct 03 2012]

London_20Eye_20Tours [hippo, Oct 03 2012]

Ferris_20Wheel_20Train [hippo, Oct 03 2012]

[link]






       // Since a star won't normally roll smoothly, each tip is equipped with a mechanism to extend or retract. This could be implemented with hydraulics, but might be more efficient using some other mechanism //   

       <link> See the discussion along similar lines in the annos.
Alterother, Oct 02 2012
  
      
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