Years ago, during the 50s and 60s, the Eyerly Rides were among the most important of the genuine "thrill" rides. Loop-O-Planes, Roll-O-Planes, Rock-O-Planes and Fly-O-Planes were the rides involved. Many parks and carnivals included these rides to appeal to the thrill seekers of that time.
Today, most of these rides are gone. A number of parks still have one or more of them led by Lakeside which has three. They only lack the Fly-O-Plane which is the rarest of the four, the only one I am aware of being at Lake Winnie. .
I believe that the demise of these rides was caused by the introduction of bigger thrill rides such as Zippers, Skydivers. Rangers and other rides with similar but more intense thrills. These bigger thrill rides were also showier and many park and carnival operators saw tham as a way to enhance the appeal of their midways.
Most of the surviving O-Planes are in smaller parks where their low capacity isn't a problem and where they add balance by providing strong thrills.
I do remember when Kennywood opened Lost Kennywood and added some "retro" rides including a new Roll-O-Plane (aka Salt and Pepper Shakers), the first one built in over a decade. The ride is gone now, probably because it was too low-capacity for a park of KWs size.
One other hard to find Eyerly product is the Octopus. The last one I rode, or even saw, was at Erieview. I haven't found out where that one went yet either. I rode both the Rock-O-Plane and Fly-O-Plane years ago at GL, and I rode the Roll-O-Plane(Satellite) at KG for the first time last year. All fun rides, although the Satellite wasn't exactly comfy!
In Wilmington there was a small beach side park that had Rock-O-Plane and a 16 tub octopus. I am not sure if the octopus was made by Eyerly but I still haven't come across one that looked like it. The park got torn down to make room for offces, and shopping, which have yet to be built in the two years the park has been gone
Eyerly Aircraft Company was replaced by Oregon Rides Inc. Oregon Rides makes parts for the Eyerly Rides. At the IAAPA convention in Dallas a few years ago I spent several minutes at their booth. They told me they still build the Eyerly rides. What I have heard from various people in the amusement industry is that the Eyerly rides were so well built that the market was saturated. The Eyerly rides have been overshadowed by newer rides with higher capacity. However, quite a number of their rides are still in operation at both carnivals and amusement parks. It's been a while since I've seen an Octopus ride, but there are still lots of Spider rides in operation. The ride motion of the Octopus/Spider/Monster is one of my favorites.
GeorgiaCoasterGuy said:Lake Winnie's Fly-O-Plane is still listed on their website. I thought it was only out for refurbishment. Could be wrong though.
THAT would be great news. I only heard from a couple friends that visited more recently that they didn't see the Fly-O-Plane in its usual spot (or anywhere else). Such an extremely rare ride, it would be fantastic if the park could get it up and running again...thanks! :)
^ The op at Conneaut gave us one of *those* cycles...guess he didn't have enough business that day and wanted to look busier than he was... ;)
Somehow, the Fly-O-Plane can either do barrel rolls (which LOOKED like crazy fun) or get *stuck* on some evil sideways pressure/pain setting. I think that's what Moosh get...I got that ride too. LOL! :-/
The only Rock-O-Plane I *didn't* care for was Lakeside's...just didn't LOCK properly. Sandy Lake's was still the best, that op ROCKED our world.