Title:
FAIRGROUND RIDE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fairground ride 1 has a rail section 2 which is usually employed in conventional roller coasters. The rail section 2 defines a driving route for a vehicle 3, which is positively driven along the driving route. The vehicle 3 is configured as an inverted vehicle (“inverted coaster”), which means the rail section 2 is essentially arranged at the head of the passengers accommodated in the vehicle 3. The vehicle 3 has a car 4 with groups of wheels 5, which engage with the rail section 2. A seat pod 7 with the seats 8 is especially configured such that the lower limbs and feet of the passengers accommodated in the seats 8 are free to move. In accordance with the invention, the seat pod 7 with the seats 8 is arranged about a central rotation axis R rotatable relative to the car 4.



Inventors:
Muller, Alfred (Groebenzell, DE)
Beutler, Joerg (Holzkirchen, DE)
Application Number:
12/266499
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
11/06/2008
Assignee:
MAURER SOEHNE GMBH & CO. KG (Munich, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
104/75
International Classes:
A63G7/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LE, MARK T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOCKE LORD LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. Fairground ride (1), especially for amusement parks, comprising: a driving route; at least one car (4) movable along the driving route; at least one receptacle (7, 8) for accommodating at least one passenger; a guide device (2) for guiding the car (4) along the driving route, with the guide device (2) being arranged at the head of a passenger accommodated in the receptacle (7, 8); and a connection between the car (4) and the receptacle (7, 8); characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) is arranged relative to the car (4) so as to be rotatable about an axis of rotation (R).

2. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 1, characterised by the fact that the connection between the car (4) and the receptacle (7, 8) is configured such that the connection prevents an uncontrolled swinging movement between the car (4) and the receptacle (7, 8).

3. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claims 1 or 2, characterised by the fact that the connection between the car (4) and the axis of rotation for the receptacle (7, 8) is configured so as to be essentially rigid, such that rotations of the car (4) in space are transmitted at least partially to the receptacle (7, 8).

4. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 3, characterised by the fact that the connection is configured for executing a rotational movement of the receptacle (7, 8) relative to the car (4).

5. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 4, characterised by the fact that the axis of rotation (R) is arranged in a predefined angle relative to the car (4).

6. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 5, characterised by the fact that the axis of rotation is arranged at an angle between 0° and 90° relative to the car (4), especially at an angle between 45° and 90°.

7. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 6, characterised by the fact that the axis of rotation (R) intersects the guide plane of the car (4); especially, it is aligned essentially perpendicular to the movement plane of the car (4).

8. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 7, characterised by the fact that the axis of rotation (R) intersects the guide plane of the car (4) at a central point of the guide plane.

9. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 7, characterised by the fact that the axis of rotation (R) intersects the guide plane of the car (4) offset from a central point of the guide plane.

10. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 9, characterised by the fact that the vehicle (3) has a support (6), which is arranged as a connecting element between the car (4) and the receptacle (7, 8).

11. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 10, characterised by the fact that the axis of rotation (R) corresponds to a central axis of the support (6).

12. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 11, characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) is configured such that the lower limbs of a seated passenger accommodated in the receptacle dangle freely.

13. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 12, characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) has a seat pod (7) with at least one or more seats (8) arranged about the axis of rotation (R).

14. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 13, characterised by the fact that the seats (8) are arranged such that the view of each of the passengers accommodated properly in the seats (8) is directed away from the axis of rotation (R).

15. Fairground ride (1), especially for amusement parks, comprising: a driving route; at least one vehicle (3) which can be moved along the driving route with a car (4) and at least one receptacle (7, 8) for accommodating at least one passenger; a guide device (2) for guiding the vehicle and/or the car (4) along the driving route; and a connection between the car (4) and the receptacle (7, 8); characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) is arranged relative to the car (4) so as to be rotatable about an axis of rotation (R) and the vehicle (3) is configured such that the lower limbs of a seated passenger accommodated in the receptacle (7, 8) dangle freely.

16. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 15, characterised by the fact that the guide device (2) is arranged beneath the feet of a passenger.

17. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 16, characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) has seats (8), which, with respect to the vehicle's (3) direction of movement (v), are laterally offset from the guide device (2).

18. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 17, characterised by the fact that the fairground ride (1) has at least a station with a platform that may be moved under the feet of at least one of the passengers seated in the receptacle (7, 8).

19. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 18, characterised by the fact that the vehicle (3) has at least a platform that may be moved under the feet of at least one of the passengers seated in the receptacle (7, 8).

20. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with any of claims 18 to 19, characterised by the fact that the platform has at least one gap, which forms a connecting opening between the guide device and the car, wherein the gap can be covered by movable elements and/or by a device arranged at the vehicles and/or by the vehicle itself.

21. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 20, characterised by the fact that the driving route has at least one inversion section, especially a loop and/or a section in which the vehicle (3) is brought into an inverted position through rotation about an axis parallel to the direction of movement (v) of the vehicle (3).

22. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 21, characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) has at least one restraint device (9) which comprises an essentially U-shaped bar, which at least partially wraps around the hip or hip region of a passenger accommodated in the receptacle (7, 8).

23. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 22, characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) is arranged in a plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation (R).

24. Fairground ride (1) in accordance with claim 23, characterised by the fact that the receptacle (7, 8) is arranged in a plane at a non-perpendicular angle relative to the axis of rotation (R).

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a fairground ride, especially for amusement parks, comprising a driving route, at least one car movable along the driving route, at least one receptacle for accommodating at least one passenger, a guide device for guiding the car along the driving route, with the guide device being arranged at the head of a passenger accommodated in the receptacle, and a connection between the car and the receptacle. Furthermore, the invention relates to a fairground ride, especially for amusement parks, comprising a driving route, at least one vehicle movable along the driving route with at least one car and at least one receptacle for accommodating at least one passenger, a guide device for guiding the car along the driving route, and a connection between the car and the receptacle.

PRIOR ART

Fairground rides for amusement parks, folk festivals, annual fairs, etc. come in various manifestations. Particularly popular and attractive among the fairground rides are roller coasters, which are continually being fitted with new elements and effects.

Conventional roller coasters comprise a driving route, which is defined by a rail system. The vehicles, arranged for example as trains, are usually moved along the driving route on rails. The passengers are seated in vehicles, which move along the rail system.

The elements comprise a plurality of possible thrill elements. In particular, special curves, ascents, descents, and inversions add to the thrill of the ride. Among the best known inversions, in which the head of a passenger accommodated in a vehicle points at least briefly towards the ground, are loops and corkscrews, that is to say, rotations in a plane perpendicular to the direction of movement, in a plane in the direction of movement or about the direction of movement on a section of the driving route.

Besides traditional arrangements of the vehicles on the rails of a roller coaster, fairground rides are known in which groups of seats are movably arranged on a car that can be moved along the guide system. If the connection between the seat pod and the car is configured so as to be movable, there is very little or no scope for realising a thrill element with inversions.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Object of the Invention

Proceeding from known fairground rides, the object of the present invention is to further develop a known fairground ride, such that new elements can be realized and the thrills for the passengers are enhanced.

Technical Solution

This object is achieved by providing a fairground ride in accordance with claims 1 or 15. Special embodiments arise from the dependent claims.

An inventive fairground ride, especially for amusement parks, comprises: a driving route, at least one car movable along the driving route; at least one receptacle for accommodating at least one passenger; and a guide device for guiding the car along the driving route, with the guide device being arranged at the head of a passenger accommodated in the receptacle; and a connection between the car and the receptacle. In accordance with the invention, the receptacle is arranged relative to the car so as to be rotatable about an axis of rotation.

The possibility of rotating the receptacle relative to the car allows new elements or new experiences for the passenger to be realized. These possibilities exist both for an essentially (apart from the possibility of rotation about the axis of rotation) rigid connection between the car and the receptacle (“inverted coaster”) and for a movable connection between the car and the receptacle (“suspended coaster”). The guide device can also be configured so as to be rigid (for example, a rail) or relatively flexible (for example, a cable). The car can be rigidly or movably attached to the guide device. The movement of the car along the driving route can be effected by a movement of the car along the guide device, and/or by a movement of the guide device (for example, a cable) along the driving route.

Preferably, the connection between the car and the receptacle is configured such that the connection prevents an uncontrolled swinging movement between the car and the receptacle.

In this embodiment of the invention, the receptacle can rotate relative to the car, while, on the other hand, as a result of the connection, which prevents the receptacle from swinging relative to the car about an axis different from the axis of rotation, the receptacle follows the movements of the car. The receptacle can execute a relative movement relative to the car (namely the aforementioned rotation) with just one degree of freedom. The car, for its part, can be moved tangentially along the driving route. In this way, provided that the guide device is rigid, inversions can be traversed without further ado.

A fairground ride of this type is a so-called “inverted coaster”, which can traverse inversions on one hand and additionally is rotatable on the other. As a result of the additional rotation, new ride effects and a new ride sensation can be created as the elements are traversed.

Any drive device is suitable for driving the vehicles, for example, launch drives, chain lifts, etc. The fairground ride can also be fitted with at least one centrifugal brake and/or rotation-limiting device.

Basically, the rotation can be generated by a momentum effect, for example, centrifugal force, by kinematics, for example entrainment of the rotational movement in a curve, by coupling and releasing the rotation relative to the car, positively activated by the guide device, for example, through baffles, or a drive or motor. The drive can be effected via an own motor, but also by a device at the rail. In a special embodiment, the rotation can be stopped or released in various ways. For example, a brake can be provided between car and seat pod to control the rotational movement. However, control can also be effected via the guide device, for example, by baffles, remotely, for example by an actuator at the vehicle, or interactively by the passenger. The direction of rotation can similarly be defined and controlled, can change during the ride, can be selectable (for example, by means of an interactive actuation by the passengers) or randomly determined.

Particular advantages accrue in a fairground ride in which the guide device is arranged at the head of a passenger accommodated in the receptacle, even as regards loading and unloading. Compared with a vehicle which is movable above the rails, the station in this embodiment can be a simple platform that does not require any special orientation of the receptacles relative to the direction of travel upon entry into the station or very elaborate station designs. For loading/unloading, the receptacle need only be brought to a suitable level relative to the loading and unloading platform. This allows the speed and capacity of the system to be increased with less technical outlay.

The connection between the car and the receptacle can be configured so as to be flexible or, especially, essentially rigid, with the connection in any case configured so that the receptacle can execute a rotational movement relative to the car. By rigid connection is to be understood any connection that acts at least partly as a lever for transmitting any rotation of the car in space onto the receptacle. These can be lateral rotations about an axis parallel to the direction of travel (v) or rotations of the car on account of curves in the driving route in the direction of travel (v). At least part of the rotation is transferred if the connection is sufficiently rigid or stops are present, so that the connection, as a lever, transmits at least part of the rotation of the car.

In this kind of fairground ride, the rigid connection allows a movement of the receptacle relative to the car (namely the aforementioned rotation) with just one degree of freedom. A lateral swinging movement or a forwards and backwards swinging movement as well as translations of the receptacle relative to the car are prevented, however. A rigid connection in the sense of the invention would then obtain if uncontrolled swinging movements of the receptacle are prevented. Controlled movements of the receptacle in addition to the rotation are, in contrast, part of the scope of the present application. In addition, the rigid connection can exhibit a certain flexibility to the extent that it enables inversions to be traversed.

In an elaboration of the basic version, a translation movement of the receptacle relative to the car, essentially towards the axis of rotation, can be facilitated.

As a result of the rigid connection in which, in particular, no relative tilting can occur between the receptacle and the car, a so-called “inverted coaster”. In this type of fairground ride, the positively driven car can be rotated somewhat sideways, that is, about an axis parallel to the direction of movement of the car, by means of a suitable configuration of the guide device. Consequently, however, the receptacle connected rigidly to the car rotates also, with the result that an inversion can be generated. Moreover, in the case of a connection which is rigid forwards and rearwards, especially with regard to swinging movements, a loop can be traversed without further ado.

The axis of rotation can be oriented transverse to the driving route, especially essentially perpendicular to the driving route. The axis of rotation forms an angle greater than 0° with the plane, which is determined by guide points (hold points) of the car at the guide device, or stands vertically on this plane. The plane is referred to as the guide or movement plane below. Running perpendicularly to this plane, especially through the centre of gravity of the car, is the so-called rail normal. The rail normal is defined as the force vector, which is oriented parallel and codirectionally with the vector of the gravitational force when the car is horizontally aligned. In other words, the axis of rotation is oriented (roughly) parallel with the rail normal or coincides with it. The axis of rotation can also form an angle with the rail normal for special applications or embodiments.

In a special embodiment, the axis of rotation intersects the guide plane of the car; especially, it is aligned essentially perpendicular to the movement plane of the car.

The axis of rotation can intersect the guide plane of the car at a central point of the guide plane. In particular, the receptacle can be arranged perpendicularly or non-perpendicularly to the axis of rotation. This applies both in combination with an axis of rotation arranged centrically or eccentrically with regard to the car.

However, the axis of rotation can also intersect the guide plane of the car at a point offset from a central point of the guide plane. In this special embodiment, the axis of rotation can, for example, be laterally offset relative to the central point or the centre of gravity of the car. In an eccentric arrangement of the axis of rotation, it is especially possible, to generate a so-called drifting movement of the receptacle in a curve. The rotation resulting from the drifting movement can take place with a limited angle of rotation. Rotation can also be induced by means of different passenger weights (in the case of centric or eccentric axis of rotation). Different passenger weights induce an imbalance which, when centrifugal forces are present, leads to triggering of the rotational movement about an axis of rotation R.

The vehicle preferably has a support, which is arranged as a connecting element between the car and the receptacle. The connecting element can, for example, be a rigid suspension.

The axis of rotation corresponds in particular to a central axis of the support. In the sense of the invention, the support has a central axis when, for example, the receptacle is arranged so as to be rotationally symmetrical about the support axis. The support, too, can itself be configured so as to be rotationally symmetrical. The support configured as suspension can be arranged vertically or transversely at any angle greater than 0° relative to the direction of the movement of the car. In this connection, the guide device allows free movement of the car only in one degree of freedom, namely along the guide device, especially tangentially along the guide device. The receptacle is arranged so as to be rotatable relative to the car. Relative to the guide device, the receptacle can thus execute movements in two degrees of freedom, namely the aforementioned rotation and translation along the guide device. Regarding the translation movements, the receptacle follows the movements of the car.

Basically, the receptacle can be configured so as to accommodate standing or sitting passengers. The receptacle, however, is preferably configured such that the lower limbs of a seated passenger accommodated in the receptacle dangle freely. Especially, the lower limbs of the passenger, except in inversion sections, dangle freely downwards. Since there is no footrest, the passenger has a clear view down past his feet.

The use of such receptacles is called a “floorless” design because no footrest is provided. By “floorless” in the context of these applications is also meant embodiments in which a footrest is present at the receptacle, but can be removed as needs be from the area beneath the feet, for example by tilting or traversing, etc.

The receptacle can have a seat pod with at least one or more seats arranged around a central axis. In traditional fairground rides, rows of seats are usually arranged one behind the other to ensure sufficient capacity and economy. For those passengers not seated in the first row of seats, however, the view, especially an unobstructed view downwards, is restricted by the seats arranged in front of them. This restriction also impacts negatively on the ride sensation, because the illusion of the seat floating freely in the air is destroyed. In the preferred arrangement about a central axis on the other hand, a sufficient capacity and economy is achieved without passengers being advantaged or disadvantaged by the choice of a particular seat. However, this patent application is not restricted to seat arrangements arranged uniformly about the axis of rotation or even rotationally symmetrical seat arrangements; it is equally possible for the seats to be oriented differently from the axis of rotation (both in orientation and as regards spacing).

The axis of rotation can be formed as a support, which can be part of the non-rotatable car or part of the rotatable receptacle.

The seats can be arranged such that the view of each of the passengers accommodated properly in the seats is directed away from the central axis. This measure ensures that all passengers have an unobscured view and a clear view of the surrounding area. Moreover, the rotation of the receptacle in accordance with the invention can effect a force in the viewing direction. At the same time, due to the “inverted” and/or “floorless” version, the passenger has the sensation of sitting freely in air. Combinations of some or all of these measures thus generate excitement and a thrilling ride sensation.

The object is also resolved by a fairground ride, especially for amusement parks, comprising: a driving route; at least one vehicle which can be moved along the driving route with a car and at least one receptacle for accommodating at least one passenger; a guide device for guiding the car along the driving route; and a connection between the car and the receptacle. The receptacle is arranged relative to the car so as to be rotatable about an axis of rotation and the vehicle is configured such that the lower limbs of a seated passenger accommodated in the receptacle dangle freely. The guide device can be arranged beneath the feet of the at least one passenger.

This inventive solution is especially a conventional roller coaster car, but with the following additional features: First, a “floorless” design of the receptacle is used. This means that the passenger, preferably in his proper sitting position, has an unobscured view down past the rails at his feet, which can dangle freely without platform or other support element for the feet. The guide device in this regard is particularly arranged beneath the feet of a passenger. In this embodiment, too, the passenger has the sensation that his seat is arranged such that it moves freely directly above the guide device. The car, which can be moved linearly along the guide device, and possibly also the guide device itself, on the other hand, are usually not in the passenger's field of view. This is the case for all seat arrangements in which the view of the properly accommodated passenger is oriented away from the guide device, for example, in the case of a circular arrangement of outward-facing seats. The receptacle can partially overlap the guide device, for example, in an area which is visible to the occupants of a vehicle. Thus, the receptacle can possibly overlap the guide device and possibly the rails across their width.

Moreover, the “floorless” design of the receptacle is rotatably arranged at the car. This adds to the thrill because the rotation effects a change between the view of the rail and an unobstructed view downwards. Other ride effects attainable with the rotatable “floorless” design have already been described in connection with the previous embodiments of the invention.

The receptacle can have seats, which, with respect to the vehicle's direction of movement, are laterally offset from the guide device. In particular, the guide device can at least have a central rail or essentially consist only of a central rail, which guides the car along the driving route. In this embodiment, the passengers are usually accommodated in the receptacle such that they have a free view, unobscured by the guide device. The seats can be oriented with the viewing direction in the direction of travel, transverse to the direction of travel or in any orientation relative to the direction of travel.

The fairground ride preferably has at least one station with one platform, which, in the station area, is arranged beneath the feet of at least one of the seated passengers in the receptacle.

Usually, a conventional vehicle that is neither “inverted” nor “floorless” enters the station for the purpose of loading and unloading and comes to a standstill there. The loading and unloading platform is usually an integral structural part on the side of the vehicle. In the “floorless” version, however, a platform is deployed perhaps from the side under the passengers' feet and/or retracted from the side and/or raised from below. However, the platform may also be a permanent fixture in the station area. The platform in this case is arranged such that, as the vehicle enters the station, it slides under the feet of the passengers. The movement of the platform is to be understood overall as a relative movement of the vehicle entering the station area. For example, the platform, possibly fixed in position, is laterally arranged on both sides of a central guide device. The platform can, for example, have a gap through which the axis of the receptacle or part of a guide device can move. Preferably, this gap in the passenger area is covered or sealed by the guide device. However, it may also be sealed by the vehicle itself or by parts of the vehicle.

In an “inverted” and/or “floorless” version of the fairground ride, unloading from the vehicle is simplified, because basically just one loading or unloading platform needs to be brought under the passengers' feet to allow loading and unloading. In all “floorless” embodiments, unloading can be effected by lowering the seat pod relative to the car or by lowering a rail section relative to the platform. In this way, the speed of exchanging the passengers is raised and the capacity of the fairground ride increased.

The vehicle can have at least one platform that may be moved under the feet of at least one of the passengers seated in the receptacle. The platform can also be arranged on the vehicle. During the ride, for example, it can be folded under the seats and deployed forwards into an area beneath the passengers' feet during loading and unloading. With the help of the platform, transition to an unloading point or a unloading bridge can be facilitated.

The driving route has preferably at least one inversion section, especially a loop and/or a section in which the vehicle is brought into an inverted position through rotation about an axis parallel to the direction of movement of the vehicle.

An inversion in the sense of this application means basically a positioning of the vehicle and passengers in an overhead position, that is, in a position in which the passengers' heads point down towards the ground. The inverted position is attained, for example, in a loop section, but also in a corkscrew movement of the car as it traverses an inversion section. For the purpose of executing the corkscrew movement, the guide device in the inversion section is twisted, such that it rotates the car traversing the inversion section laterally about a rotation axis, which is parallel to the direction of movement along the driving route, into an inverted position. In the context of the invention, however, it is sufficient to configure a connection between the car and the receptacle such that an element which has a section in which the guide device is fairly extensively tilted transverse to the direction of travel, can be traversed, with the lateral movement transmitted to the receptacle. The connection can be used as a lever for transmitting the lateral movements of the car. The provision of an inversion section in the driving route is not absolutely essential.

The receptacle has especially at least one restraint device which comprises an essentially U-shaped bar or a bar having a circular section, which wraps around or at least partially wraps around the hip or hip region of a passenger accommodated in the receptacle. The torso of the passenger is not completely immobilised, in contrast. This type of restraint bar contributes to the freedom of movement relative to conventional restraint systems. In this way, the ride effect generated by the other inventive measures is further increased.

All of the characteristics described in connection with the embodiments are, in the context of this invention, intended to be combinable without further ado with all other combinations of characteristics described.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following description of special embodiments using the enclosed drawings. They show in

FIG. 1 a side view of part of an inventive fairground ride, and

FIG. 2 an element of an inventive fairground ride and a detail thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a part of an inventive fairground ride 1.

The fairground ride 1 has a guide device 2, for example, a rail section, essentially rigid, which is usually employed in conventional roller coasters. The guide device 2 defines a driving route for a vehicle 3, which is positively driven along the driving route. The driving route can comprise all sorts of thrill elements, for example, curves, ascending and descending sections, but particularly inversions such as loops, corkscrew twists and the like.

The vehicle 3 is inventively configured as an inverted vehicle (“inverted coaster”), which means the guide device 2 is essentially arranged at the head of the passengers accommodated in the vehicle 3. Usually, the lower limbs of the passengers accommodated in the vehicle 3 essentially point away from the guide device 2. The guide device 2 is thus arranged above the passengers during loading and unloading, making loading and unloading easier. In the inverted, i.e. overhead, orientation of the passengers in an inversion section, however, the heads of the passengers (as seen by an external viewer) are oriented towards the guide device 2 arranged below the passengers.

The vehicle 3 has a car 4 with groups of wheels 5, which engage with the rails 2, such that the car 4 is positively driven to execute a movement v (especially tangential) along the guide device 2. The wheels 5 of the wheel groups are arranged such that they grip the rail 2 from different sides, that is to say, the wheels can be arranged above, below and/or at the side of a rail 2, such that the car 4 follows the rail guide 2 anywhere in the driving route, both in relation to the direction of movement v and in relation to the tilting of the car 4 relative to the direction of movement v or to the lateral tilting of the car 4 in a plane perpendicular to the direction of movement v. Anywhere along the driving route, the car 4 is freely movable in just one direction v along the guide device 2. This ensures that the car 4 follows all elements, especially inversions in inversion sections of the driving route.

In addition, the vehicle 3 has a central support 6 connected to the car 4, and a seat pod 7 with seats 8 for accommodating passengers on the support 6, said seat pod connected to the car 4 via the support 6. The connection is configured such that the seat pod 7 can rotate relative to the car 4. The axis of rotation is preferably arranged so as to be rigid, i.e. relative to the car in a predefined angle.

The seats 8 are especially arranged and aligned about the support 6 such that the view of the passengers accommodated in the seats 7 is essentially directed away from the central support 6.

The passengers accommodated in the seats 8 are held in their seats 8 by a restraint device 9. Especially, the restraint device 9 is configured as a rigid, essentially U-shaped bar, which, in the closed position, surrounds the hip or the hip region of a passenger properly accommodated in the seat 8. In this way, it is possible for the torso above the hips of the passenger to execute movements when the restraint device 9 is closed as well.

The seat pod 7 with the seats 8 is especially configured such that the lower limbs and feet of the passengers accommodated in the seats 8 are free to move. In a loading and unloading position of the vehicle 3, the lower limbs of the passenger dangle freely. This means that neither a footrest nor a platform nor similar devices, which are designed for placing feet on, are provided at the seat pod 7. As a result, the passenger is enable, inter alia, to look unobstructed past his feet and to enjoy a better view.

Furthermore, the configuration of the seat pod 7 for passengers with dangling lower limbs permits simplified loading and unloading from the seats 8, since the vehicle 3 need only be driven over one platform, which, relative to the vehicle 3, is arranged at a level appropriate to loading or unloading or is brought into an appropriate level. For loading and unloading in a station area, the seat pod 7 of the vehicle 3 can also be lowered towards the station platform, relative to the car 4 and/or to the central support 6, in order that an appropriate loading or unloading level may be reached. Alternatively or additionally, the loading or unloading platform can be raised to an appropriate level for loading or unloading and/or a section of the guide device lowered accordingly. Moreover, it is conceivable for the loading or unloading level between the seat pod 7 and the loading or unloading platform to be reduced by raising the platform relative to the guide device 2 or by lowering a section of the guide device 2 relative to the platform, until a suitable loading and unloading level is reached.

In accordance with the invention, the seat pod 7 with the seats 8 is arranged about a central rotation axis R rotatable relative to car 4. In this regard, for example, the seat pod 7 can be rotatably arranged at the central support 6. However, the seat pod 7 can also be rigidly connected to the central support 6 and this can be arranged rotatably at car 4.

Key to the invention is only the possibility of rotation of the seat pod 7 relative to the car 4, with the axis of rotation R in the present embodiment arranged centrically, and the seat pod 7 arranged rotationally symmetrically at the car 4 with regard to the axis of rotation R. The axis of rotation R can, for example, pass through the centre axis of the central support 6. In particular, the axis of rotation R stands vertically or transversely on a plane, which is essentially oriented tangentially to the guide device 2 and thus parallel to the direction of movement v of the car 4. The orientation of the plane corresponds to the orientation of the car 4 at a certain point on the driving route. The axis of rotation R can generally be arranged obliquely or perpendicularly to the direction of movement v and/or in a plane perpendicularly or obliquely to the direction of movement v. In particular, the seat pod 7 is arranged rotationally symmetrically about the axis of rotation R. However, the invention also includes all embodiments in which the seat pod 7 is not arranged rotationally symmetrically with respect the support 6 and/or the axis of rotation R.

FIG. 2 shows schematically a section of the fairground ride 1 in which the vehicle 3, positively driven by the guide device 2, traverses an inversion.

In this regard, the passengers accommodated in the seats of seat pod 7 are arranged in a position in which their heads are pointing towards the guide rails 2 and/or towards the ground. From this illustration, it is clear that the vehicle 3 or the seat pod 7 can follow the movement of the car 4 only if, in accordance with the invention, an essentially rigid connection exists between the seat pod 7 and the car 4. The rigid arrangement of the components of the vehicle 3 ensures that the entire vehicle 3 is supported on the rails 2 and that the movements of the vehicle 3 follow the elements defined by the rails 2. In this way, especially, it is possible to traverse inversions, for example, loops or corkscrew movements laterally to the movement direction v.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, however, the seat pod 7 is also arranged so as to be rotatable, relative to the car, about the axis of rotation R, such that, in addition to the movement direction v tangential to the path of the rails 2, a rotation D is executed in order that the passengers may experience a new ride sensation and their enjoyment increased.

The connection between the car 4 and the seat pod 7 is thus not totally rigid, but has at least one degree of freedom, namely the possibility of rotation D. Further degrees of freedom between these two components are not necessarily provided in the framework of the invention. However, it is additionally possible, for instance, to adjust the vertical or separation distance in the direction of the axis of rotation R between the car 4 and the seat pod 7 or to adjust the angle of the axis of rotation R relative to the car to allow an additional movement during the ride, but especially to set a suitable loading or unloading level relative to a station platform.

In addition, further degrees of freedom of movement can be provided to the extent that they guarantee the requisite ride momentum, particularly the traversing of inversions. Thus, in the context of the invention, for example, tilting or swinging movements are conceivable which are sufficiently damped and/or limited by stops, such that the lever effect of the connection between the car 4 and the seat pod 7 is at least partially preserved. Moreover, movements in additional degrees of freedom could be capable of activation or deactivation, such that the movements can indeed be performed, but that deactivation of the degree of freedom would enable a certain element (for example, an inversion) to be traversed.