Title:
Combination giant swing and rolling carriage amusement ride
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination amusement ride including an elevated track, a first passenger carriage that rides along the track, and a second passenger carriage that swings from the track or a structure supporting the track. The first passenger carriage typically includes a frame that rides along the track and seat portion that is pivotally coupled to the frame. In addition, the at least one rapid-winding winch typically propels the first passenger carriage along the track. The rapid-winding winch typically includes a power unit, a toothed rack coupled to the power unit, a pinion gear having teeth engaged with the teeth of the toothed rack, an axel having a first diameter coupled to the pinion gear, a drum having a second diameter that is significantly greater then the first diameter coupled to the axel, and a cable wound around the drum and attached to a passenger carriage.



Inventors:
Kleimeyer, Mark (Panama City Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/464925
Publication Date:
04/22/2004
Filing Date:
06/19/2003
Assignee:
KLEIMEYER MARK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63G9/00; A63G21/04; A63G27/00; A63G31/00; A63G7/00; (IPC1-7): A63G1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, KIEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MEHRMAN LAW OFFICE, P.C. (P.O. Box 420797, ATLANTA, GA, 30342, US)
Claims:

The invention claimed is:



1. An amusement ride, comprising: an elevated track; a first passenger carriage that rides along the track; and a second passenger carriage that swings from the track or a structure supporting the track.

2. The amusement ride of claim 1, wherein the first passenger carriage includes a frame that rides along the track and seat portion that is pivotally coupled to the frame.

3. The amusement ride of claim 1, further comprising at least one rapid-winding winch coupled to the first passenger carriage.

4. The amusement ride of claim 3, wherein the rapid-winding winch comprises: a power unit; a toothed rack coupled to the power unit; a pinion gear having teeth engaged with the teeth of the toothed rack; an axel having a first diameter coupled to the pinion gear; a drum having a second diameter that is significantly greater then the first diameter coupled to the axel: a cable wound around the drum and attached to a passenger carriage; whereby operating the power unit to drive the toothed rack causes the cable to be wound onto the drum under the influence of a mechanical advantage comprising the difference between the respect diameters of the axel and drum and to thereby launch the passenger carriage to effect an amusement ride.

5. The amusement ride launching system of claim 4, wherein the power unit comprises an elastic member and a charging system.

6. The amusement ride launching system of claim 5, wherein the charging system a hydraulic cylinder and the elastic member comprises a plurality of coil springs.

7. The amusement ride launching system of claim 6, wherein a plurality of the coil springs are concentrically received with in sleeves.

8. The amusement ride launching system of claim 7, wherein the charging system compresses the coil springs to charge the springs with energy for launching the amusement ride carriage.

9. An amusement ride launching system comprising: a power unit; a toothed rack coupled to the power unit; a pinion gear having teeth engaged with the teeth of the toothed rack; an axel having a first diameter coupled to the pinion gear; a drum having a second diameter that is significantly greater then the first diameter coupled to the axel: a cable wound around the drum and attached to a passenger carriage; whereby operating the power unit to drive the toothed rack causes the cable to be wound onto the drum under the influence of a mechanical advantage comprising the difference between the respect diameters of the axel and drum and to thereby launch the passenger carriage to effect an amusement ride.

10. The amusement ride launching system of claim 9, wherein the power unit comprises an elastic member and a charging system.

11. The amusement ride launching system of claim 10, wherein the charging system a hydraulic cylinder.

12. The amusement ride launching system of claim 11, wherein the elastic member comprises a plurality of coil springs.

13. The amusement ride launching system of claim 12, wherein the a plurality of the coil springs are concentrically received with in sleeves.

14. The amusement ride launching system of claim 13, wherein the charging system compresses the coil springs to charge the springs with energy for launching the amusement ride carriage.

15. A combination amusement ride comprising: a giant swing amusement ride supported by a tower; and a rolling carriage amusement ride comprising a passenger carriage riding on a track supported by the tower.

16. The combination amusement ride further comprising a comprising at least one rapid-winding winch for propelling the passenger carriage along the track of the rolling carriage ride.

17. The amusement ride of claim 16, wherein the rapid-winding winch comprises: a power unit; a toothed rack coupled to the power unit; a pinion gear having teeth engaged with the teeth of the toothed rack; an axel having a first diameter coupled to the pinion gear; a drum having a second diameter that is significantly greater then the first diameter coupled to the axel: a cable wound around the drum and attached to the passenger carriage; whereby operating the power unit to drive the toothed rack causes the cable to be wound onto the drum under the influence of a mechanical advantage comprising the difference between the respect diameters of the axel and drum and to thereby launch the passenger carriage to effect an amusement ride.

18. The amusement ride launching system of claim 17, wherein: the power unit comprises an elastic member and a charging system; and the elastic member comprises a plurality of coil springs.

19. The amusement ride launching system of claim 18, wherein the a plurality of the coil springs are concentrically received with in sleeves.

20. The amusement ride launching system of claim 19, wherein the charging system compresses the coil springs to charge the springs with energy for launching the amusement ride carriage.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS

[0001] The present application claims priority to commonly-owned U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/389,978 entitled “Combination Amusement Ride with Giant Swing Ride and Arched Track Ride” filed Jun. 19, 2002. This application also incorporates by reference the complete disclosures of commonly-owned U.S. Pat. No. 6,569,024 entitled “Giant Swing Amusement Ride with Oppositely Pivoting Boom Arm and Cam Arm” dated May 27, 2003; U.S. Pat. No. 6,561,916 entitled “Rapid-Winding Winch For Amusement Ride” dated May 13, 2002; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,416,418 entitled “Pivoting-Arm Giant Swing Amusement Ride” dated Jul. 9, 2002

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to amusement rides and, more particularly, to a combination amusement ride including a giant swing ride and an arched track ride operated by a rapid-winding winch.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention pertains to a combination amusement ride including a giant swing amusement ride and a rolling carriage amusement ride using a common tower or track structure. Combining the amusement rides in this manner saves real estate area and allows greater revenues to be generated from the same amusement park area. In addition, the visual effect of seeing the rides in combination provided an additional attraction to the amusement park.

[0004] Generally described, the invention includes an elevated track, a first passenger carriage that rides along the track, and a second passenger carriage that swings from the track or a structure supporting the track. The first passenger carriage typically includes a frame that rides along the track and seat portion that is pivotally coupled to the frame. In addition, the at least one rapid-winding winch typically propels the first passenger carriage along the track.

[0005] More specifically, the rapid-winding winch may include a power unit, a toothed rack coupled to the power unit, a pinion gear having teeth engaged with the teeth of the toothed rack, an axel having a first diameter coupled to the pinion gear, a drum having a second diameter that is significantly greater then the first diameter coupled to the axel, and a cable wound around the drum and attached to a passenger carriage. As a result of thus configuration, operating the power unit to drive the toothed rack causes the cable to be wound onto the drum under the influence of a mechanical advantage comprising the difference between the respect diameters of the axel and drum and to thereby launch the passenger carriage to effect an amusement ride. In addition, the power unit typically includes an elastic member, such as one or more coil springs, and a charging system, such as a hydraulic cylinder. Even more particularly, the a number of coil springs are typically arranged concentrically received with in sleeves, and the charging system compresses the coil springs to charge the springs with energy for launching the amusement ride carriage.

[0006] The invention also includes an amusement ride launching system a power unit, a toothed rack coupled to the power unit, a pinion gear having teeth engaged with the teeth of the toothed rack, an axel having a first diameter coupled to the pinion gear, a drum having a second diameter that is significantly greater then the first diameter coupled to the axel, and a cable wound around the drum and attached to a passenger carriage. Again, operating the power unit to drive the toothed rack causes the cable to be wound onto the drum under the influence of a mechanical advantage comprising the difference between the respect diameters of the axel and drum and to thereby launch the passenger carriage to effect an amusement ride.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an amusement ride according to a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a front perspective of the ride of FIG. 1.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a side view of the ride of FIG. 1.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a track of the ride of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the track of the ride of FIG. 1 FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of the track of the ride of FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 7 is a side view of the track of the ride of FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 8 is a plan view of the track of the ride of FIG. 1.

[0014] FIG. 9 is a side perspective view of a passenger carriage of the ride of FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 10 is a side view of the passenger carriage riding on the track of FIG. 1.

[0016] FIG. 11 is a plan view of FIG. 10.

[0017] FIG. 12 is a side view of the track of FIG. 1 showing the chair pivoting.

[0018] FIG. 12A is a front view of the ride of the carriage in the launch position.

[0019] FIG. 12B is a front view of the ride showing the carriage being launched.

[0020] FIG. 13 is a front view of the ride showing the carriage in the launch position.

[0021] FIG. 14 is a front view of the ride showing the carriage being launched from the position in FIG. 13.

[0022] FIG. 15 is a front view of the ride showing the carriage being launched after it position in FIG. 14.

[0023] FIG. 16 is a side view of the winch of FIG. 1 showing the rack and pinion gear arrangement.

[0024] FIG. 17 is a side view of the winch of FIG. 16 in the charged position.

[0025] FIG. 18 shows a prior art commercial rack and pinion actuator.

[0026] FIG. 19 shows a first alternative track arrangement with two tracks.

[0027] FIG. 20 shows a second alternative track arrangement with a wider upper track portion.

[0028] FIG. 21 show the alternative track arrangement of FIG. 20.

[0029] FIG. 22 shows a second alternative track arrangement with the track bended back across itself.

[0030] FIG. 23 show the alternative track arrangement of FIG. 22.

[0031] FIG. 24 shows a fourth alternative track arrangement with the track formed into a loop.

[0032] FIG. 25 shows the alternative track arrangement of FIG. 24 after the carriage is launched.

[0033] FIG. 26 shows the alternative track arrangement of FIG. 24 with the carriage being dampened.

[0034] FIG. 27 shows the alternative track arrangement of FIG. 24 with the carriage climbing the loop.

[0035] FIG. 28 shows the alternative track arrangement of FIG. 24 with the carriage riding along the top of the loop.

[0036] FIG. 29 shows the alternative track arrangement of FIG. 24 with the carriage returning to the start position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

[0037] Referring to FIGS. 1-6, there is illustrated a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention, referred to generally as the amusement ride 10. The amusement ride 10 includes a swing ride 12 with a passenger carriage 13 and an arched track ride 14 with a passenger carriage 15 that is launched by one or more rapid-winding winches 16. Details of the swing ride 12 are provided in U.S. Pat. No. 6,416,418 entitled “Pivoting-Arm Giant Swing Amusement Ride” dated Jul. 9, 2002, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,569,024 entitled “Giant Swing Amusement Ride with Oppositely Pivoting Boom Arm and Cam Arm” dated May 27, 2003, which are both incorporated by reference into this specification In addition, details of the arched track ride 14 and the rapid-winding winches 16 are provided in the U.S. Pat. No. 6,561,916 entitled “Rapid-Winding Winch For Amusement Ride” dated May 13, 2002, which is also incorporated by reference into this specification. It will be understood that the amusement ride 10 can be powered by any of the winches described herein and/or in any of the aforementioned patents.

[0038] The ride 10 has a frame 18 with a track 20 for the arched track ride 14 and a support beam 22 for pivotally supporting the boom 24 of the swing ride 12. Thus, the elevated track of the arched track ride 14 doubles as the tower for the swing ride 12. The frame 18 includes a support base 26 that holds it upright but that is not permanent so that the ride can be transported to different sites for use.

[0039] As shown in FIGS. 7-11, the track 18 includes main column 28, rails 30, and support arms 32 between the main column and the rails 30. For example, the track 18 can be provided by conventional roller coaster track. The passenger carriage 15 includes a frame 34 with rollers 35 that ride along the rails 30, and a seat 36 that is pivotally coupled 38 to the frame.

[0040] The frame 34 is configured to position the carriage 15 spaced away from the track with plenty of room so that the carriage can pivot safely when carrying the passengers even if their arms and legs are extended from the carriage. For example, the frame 34 can have generally triangular sides that are angled inward, made of steel or another strong material.

[0041] A pulley 40 is mounted to the frame 34 for receiving around it the cable 42, for launching the carriage 15 along the the track 18. Alternatively, a roller or other structure can be used for this purpose.

[0042] FIG. 12 shows the seat 36 pivoting from facing the track 20 (the position at the left side of FIG. 12) to facing away from the track (the position at the right side of FIG. 12). In this way, the passengers are always oriented in the upright sitting position so they are not encouraged to fall out of the carriage 15 at the top of the track 20. Also, FIGS. 12A and 12B, as well as FIGS. 13, 14, and 15, show the carriage 15 being launched by the rapid-winding winch 16 from the position shown at the right side of FIG. 12.

[0043] FIGS. 16 and 17 show details of an alternative form of the rapid-winding winch 16 in operation. In this form, the winch 16 still has a drum 44 and an axle 46 with a diameter that is substantially less that that of the drum to produce a mechanical advantage when winding the cable in and out from the drum. Instead of tethers wound about the axle, however, the axle 46 has a pinion gear 48 that meshes with a rack gear 50 connected to the charging mechanism (launch chamber 52). Also, the rack gear 50 can be connected at its other end to a dampening chamber 54. The rack gear 50 is moved by the actuator 56 to charge the launch chamber 52. For example, the actuator 56, rack gear 50, and pinion gear 48 can be provided by a rotary actuator similar to the prior art device shown in FIG. 18. It will be understood that this rack-and-pinion arrangement can be used in any of the winches and in any of the amusement rides described herein and/or in any of the aforementioned patent applications.

[0044] FIG. 19 shows a first alternative track arrangement 118 with two tracks (118a and 118b) so that two passenger carriages can be run at the same time.

[0045] FIGS. 20 and 21 show a second alternative track arrangement 218 with a closely spaced lower track portion 218a (to minimize the ground space required) and a wider upper track portion 218b.

[0046] FIGS. 22 and 23 show a third alternative track arrangement 318 with the track bended back across itself.

[0047] FIGS. 24-29 show a fourth alternative track arrangement 418 with the track formed into a loop and with a lunch winch 418a and a dampening winch 418b. Also, the pivotal carriage 415 pivots as it moves along the track for safety and added thrills.

[0048] It should be understood that the foregoing description relates only to the exemplary embodiments of the present invention, and that numerous changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.