Funtime's StarFlyer tower ride reviewed

Posted Monday, March 7, 2005 8:30 AM | Contributed by egieszl

Funtime introduces its newest Tower thrill ride, the StarFlyer. This new thrill ride combines Chain Flyer swing ride with a 70-meter tower.

The ride begins like a traditional chain flyer spinning around a center axis with passengers in seats hung by chains. The added excitement begins when the spinning swings are hoisted up to the top of a 23-story tower. Passengers fly through the air rotating at 44 mph both forwards and backwards during a cycle. The StarFlyer can be built to accommodate 8 - 36 passengers at once.

The latest installation, a 12-passenger, 70-meter model can be found at Vienna's Prater Park. A review of this tower ride with photos can be found on Ultimate Rollercoaster.com.

Link: Ultimate Rollercoaster

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Monday, March 7, 2005 10:53 AM
Europeans are for the most part smart enough not to attempt to fall out of those suckers. Americans on the other hamd, I seriously doubt that ride would do well here in the U.S. Some moron would eventually fall out of it and we'd end up seeing OTSR's on a swing ride! ;)
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Monday, March 7, 2005 1:46 PM
It should be noted that this ride is not new; rather, it is close to a year old. I rode it in May 2004.
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Monday, March 7, 2005 7:56 PM
Have you ever considered how difficult it would be to fall out of a swing ride?

Have you ever ridden a Yo-Yo? Consider a Yo-Yo where you can't raise the lap bar or remove the safety belt from the lap bar (which seems to be the limitation on the Star Flyer). That means you can't slide forward out of the seat. There is nothing to stand on, so it would be extremely difficult to get your legs up, tucked behind the lap bar, so that you can stand on the seat...which is what you would need to do to come out.

If you worked at it hard enough, and if you didn't have ride forces pushing you down in the seat, you could probably do it. But it would require enough effort that there are much easier ways of 'offing' yourself on an amusement ride.

I want to see someone build one of these things in the US. I think it would be fun. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2005 9:56 AM
RideMan, not all Yo-Yo's are the same. Or at least different park maintenance crews set them up differently.

Yo-Yo's are inherently stable when the chains from each swing are attached to two different T-support (one slightly ahead of the rider, one slightly behind). When the T-supports extend, the distance between the upper chain connections increases significantly (to about ~8 feet), and the swing chairs are very stable.

When I rode the Yo-Yo at GL (October 2004), they had the chains for each chair attached to a single T-support. When the T-support extends, the upper chain supports are still just 2 to 3 feet apart, and when the chairs rock, it is possible for a rider's center of gravity to shift a few inches back and be outside the stable range. At the time I weighed 225 pounds and had to lean back to fit in the snug chest-strap. Because of this body position, all my weight was on the rear chains and the front chains held none (totally slack). This didn't seem too unusual when loading, but when the ride got up to speed and I was literally rocking backwards, I hung onto the chains for dear life. If I let go, the chair might have rocked completely backwards and spilled me on the ground. The chest and crotch-straps won't do any good if the chair is upside down!

Was I Scared? I was ****ting houses two by two! I love swing rides, but I always look at the chain configuration before riding now. (Losing a bit of weight should help too.)

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Tuesday, March 8, 2005 1:53 PM
Yikes! That's a nightmare and a half.

By the way Dave, I agree with you, this ride looks like the ultimate chair swing. Hey Knott's! ;)

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Tuesday, March 8, 2005 4:51 PM
greatwhitenorth, the standard Chance Yo-Yo is configured as follows: There are 16 sweeps, each sweep terminating in a tangential cross beam. Half of the seats are attached with the front chains to the forward end of the cross beam and the rear chains to the reverse end of the cross beam. The remaining seats are suspended between the cross beams, again with the chains going forward and backward from the seat position. This mounting contrasts with most other swing rides, such as the Zierer Wave Swinger where the four suspension chains converge at the left and right mounting points on the chair hanger brackets.

This difference in mounting (not unlike the tub mounting configuration of a Flying Scooter means that there is a considerable distance between the front and rear suspension chains. This distance means that when the ride center pivots once the ride reaches full speed, the suspension chains will be pulled upward and downward in a wave-like motion, but they will not move together. The result is a non-trivial rocking action of the seat.

A Yo-Yo is a very different ride from a Wave Swinger. :)

Either way, given that the Yo-Yo seat has a fairly high back on it, and given that the typical human CG is positioned below the waist, your chances of getting pitched out of a Yo-Yo are pretty remote. That said, the fact that the Yo-Yo can scare the living crap out of riders who are not prepared for its unique action (and some who are) probably makes it an even safer ride, as such fear will prevent many people from stupid behavior.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2005 12:26 PM
^Good points but you have to ask this question:has anyone ever been ejected from a yo- yo or wave swinger while the ride was in motion?.....nope didn't think so.

As long as the rider doesn't do anything stupid & pending a severe mechanical failure the chances of being ejewcted from any of these rides,yo-yo,wave swinger or starflyer are probably very remote.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:08 AM
I can't find StarFlyer under the ride review listings. Doesn't that ride have a freefall during the ride cycle?
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 12:33 AM
ROFL, between this and Insanity, *swing rides* really have taken on a new dimension in thrills! :)
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Wednesday, March 16, 2005 4:17 PM
Pink Floyd Fanatic look under the "Thrill Rides" section to find the review of the StarFlyer.

-E

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