Propulsion Fairground Ride

I was contemplating whether to take my most recent 'Tumble Cryer' model to exhibit at the West London Meccano Society meeting but having recently displayed it at the Runnymede Meccano Guild meeting, I felt it too deja vu!

Impulsively I set about designing a new model instead which is more and more becoming the norm, as I am always driven by the urge of creating more than by the end resulting model. It is always a shame to have to dismantle previous models but there is only so much room you can allow them to take and besides the pieces each model takes up means it would cost a huge fortune in parts to be able to keep them all.

So it was on Monday the 29th of March when I committed myself to dismantling my 'Whirlwind' model I had built in November 2015 so that I could free up some of the necessary parts. I did have another model I could have displayed to save me the work, but to be honest I love the challenge of coming up with something new to display if I can.

The time spent dismantling is also time I spend thrashing out possible ideas for my next model and I often think about what parts of previous models can be salvaged to incorporate into the new design thus saving me some effort and time. I decided on retaining only the thin tower but I knew that I would change a few things and add to it to be able to solidify it and securely fix it to the new base which would be needed. I started to construct that same afternoon.

I had in mind to build an eight-armed rotating fairground ride to differ from my previous models and to this effect I opted to use a long strip plate with 12½” perforated strips for each of the arms, fitted to a large circular plate. A similar one was produced to add behind this structure bolting them both together with a gap of 2”. Extra fittings were added to increase the size of each arm and small flanged plates and small double angle strips added to each of the arms to increase the strength but at the same time I noticed the arms were very flexible so further additions were added to stiffen the whole structure.

Unfortunately all my heavy-duty axles were used up in my other models so I could only fit an original thin axle to support the heavy moving unit, so I decided to anchor to axles so that it could better cope with the weight.

Once fitted and rotating as freely as I wanted, I needed to build eight passenger cars for each of the arms. I had the idea of fitting them so they could move freely and swing while in motion, but I had to add weight to each one so the cars would not over tilt and potentially hit the loading platform.

As is the norm for all models, several further changes were made and tweaked until I was satisfied that I had achieved the best and most efficient design and that it worked well. In building the entrance way, I thought it should be large and with two kiosks instead of the usual one to add to the overall impression.

Final embellishments included lights, railings, steps and small details to finish the model, and then all I had to do was to fix a motor and a system to drive the rotation of the ride. I added a large pulley and a ball-bearing thrust at the end which was fixed to the axle on one side and free to the other so it would freely rotate using an elastic band from the motor to the large pulley.

The idea for the model was very much impulsive. I just felt propelled to make something new, but I like the idea that the ride resembles a kind of propeller action and so the name ‘Propulsion’ just kind of stuck.

Propulsion — Impulse is something thrill-seekers are just propelled to do!

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