The Whirlwind Fairground Ride

The Whirlwind is my latest model that I designed with the November 2015 WLMS exhibition in mind. I thought about once again exhibiting my recently made huge Ferris Wheel model called ‘Stratosphere’ but decided instead on something smaller and got to work on two new models, with the second one planned for display in the shop window of a local art gallery as part of their Christmas lights switch on event at the start of December.

As much as I was pleased with the design of the Ferris wheel, I knew it was too big and not really suitable for the petit art gallery and similarly the upcoming exhibition date clashed with a long standing dinner engagement that really should not have been a problem except for the fact that I did not like the prospect of going out to dinner on the way home from the exhibition and face having to leave the large model strapped to the roof rack vulnerable and exposed in the meantime.

With this in mind I felt I had no choice but turn my attention to something different and one of my older models that had been waiting patiently for me to redesign it, got my full attention. Previously sat in my garage for some time, I took ‘The Disintegrator’ model and set about making the changes that would transform the model into something different but due to the little time available, something I could do without having to strip the whole of it down. I decided to keep the original deck, loading platform, steps, arch and base intact and just change the ride experience it offered.

Using also the same existing tower with power unit and gearing system, I started by dismantling the original rotating canopy and all its 24 arms and the individual passenger cradles. Here the passengers had faced the same direction that the ride was turning in and it was this that I wanted to change.

The new look started to come about bit by bit by making lots of individual changes and then tweaking each of the changes even further along the process until reaching an acceptable and satisfactory final result. Once pleased with the full transition, I needed to reinforce the structure in many places and only then could the model be considered as attractive as it was operationally functional. In short, eight new long arms replaced the original 24, and from each a row of three seats is suspended for a trio of mounted riders. Both the moving unit and its arms are fully detachable for ease of transportation.

Unlike in the previous design, this time the ride’s experience is to know what it is like to be thrown at huge speed but constantly sideways creating a new and almost unique sensation from other fairground rides.

The Whirlwind — only those who dare to be thrown around on its outsides, will ever know what it’s truly like on the inside!

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