Help on Ferris Wheel Specifics

Saturday, April 2, 2005 4:36 PM
I am working an architectural design project for class which involves a Ferris Wheel as part of the scheme. I have been searching the web looking for dimensioned drawing on manufacturer websites that get pretty specific. I don't need working drawings, just drawings that are scaled or call out dimensions. What I will be producing is my own set of drawing focusing not on the wheel but the area around it. And designing the wheel aesthically. I am looking to use a wheel somewhere in the range of 90-130 ft in height. I found some useful information on the Fabbri site. Looking for more now about the actual cab design and the clearances required where the cab meets the platform and the area around the wheel. Sections through the cars would be amazing. Direction toward any useful websites and or pictures would very helpful. Thank you.


Sunday, April 3, 2005 2:31 AM
You might not be able to find dimensional drawings, but a combination of photographs and specifications might give you what you are looking for. Check out the one-sheets at for some information about the big Schwarzkopf wheels (think Cedar Point, for instance).

If you want to know everything there is to know about Ferris wheels, then you absolutely MUST track down a copy of "Ferris Wheels: An Illustrated history" by Norman Anderson. It was published in 1992 by the Bowling Green State University Popular Press, and it is to the Ferris wheel very much what Cartmell's "The Incredible Scream Machine" was for the roller coaster.

What is even better about Anderson's Ferris wheel book, though, is that pp.259-375 are patent drawings of various Ferris wheel-related inventions. Not dimensioned drawings, but scale drawings none the less, and potentially useful information. I know that there was enough information in the book to allow me to "build" a reasonably accurate Sky Wheel when I was learning how to use LightWave 3D.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Sunday, April 3, 2005 12:58 PM
Thanks for the direction Dave.
I was able to track down a copy of the book.


Sunday, April 3, 2005 8:53 PM
The book is only available directly from the author now. During my last conversation with Norman I gathered that BG Press is no longer, and he obtained the remaining copies of his book. When they're gone, they're gone.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 10:12 AM
I read this book a year or so ago and it is a great reference for anybody interested amusement rides. It's a big book and be prepared to learn more then you planned on! But what better way to fill that awkward social moment at the office water cooler then spouting off some little known ferris wheel facts?

There seems to be an abundance of used copies available on the major book sites right now (and for an amazingly small amount of money).


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