Back When the Rotor Rides Were Fun and Dangerous! – Design You Trust

Back When the Rotor Rides Were Fun and Dangerous!

The Rotor is an amusement park ride, designed and patented by German engineer Ernst Hoffmeister in 1948. The ride was first demonstrated at Oktoberfest 1949, and was exhibited at fairs and events throughout Europe, during the 1950s and 1960s. The ride still appears in numerous amusement parks, although traveling variants have been surpassed by the Gravitron.


The ride itself was a scientific experience as riders felt the force of centripetal acceleration seemingly sticking them to the wall. What is happening on the rotor falls in line with Newtonian physics in that a body in motion remains in motion unless acted upon by a resisting force.

A rider traveling around the drum of a rotor is constantly changing the direction of their motion but at any given point Newtonian laws state that they would prefer, if unhindered, to continue traveling in the direction they are traveling at that particular moment in time. However, every split second whilst the ride spins the planar vector that defines what is perpendicular keeps changing, thus the rider feels that they are being pushed outwards against the wall of the drum.

The sequence of the ride varied in the early machines. Some loaded at the top with the floor dropping as the riders are pinned to the wall and as the ride slows the riders slip ungraciously down to the floor and exit in the pit of the drum. Others saw the floor lower and then return to allow riders a bit more dignity as they left via the top of the drum. Finally some machines loaded at the bottom, pushed the riders up with an elevating floor, which then descended and re-ascended to pick up the riders.

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Teaser: Nissan LEAF to Attempt Setting the Guinness World Speed Record
Amazon Introduces New Line Of Kindles In New York
Man Develops 120-Year-Old Photos Of Cats Discovered Inside A Time Capsule
Comic Artist Imagines What Classic Movies Would Be Like If Everyone Had Smartphones
Outstanding Color Autochromes from Pre-Revolutionary Russia
Amazing Photographs of Sir Malcolm Campbell With His Stunning Blue Bird Cars in the 1920s and 1930s
Divorced Dad Who Gave Up On Real Women Now Lives With 12 Life-Size Dolls… And His Daughter Helps With Their Make-Up And Clothes
Martin Caulfield Services Some Of The Last Remaining Gas Street Lamps In The Capital
reaDIYmates: Your Fun Wifi Paper Companion
1969 Buick Century Cruiser: The Concept Car That Believed You Only Live Twice
Candid Photos Show Fashion Styles of Teenage Girls From the 1990s
Leather Covered Toyota Crown XIV Sold in Moscow For $325,000
Luminous Lace
"Back To The Future Past": The Superb Digital Art Collages of Dario Darius
When Retro RPG Lets You Name The Main Character…
This Young Woman Dresses Like It’s The 19th Century Every Day
"It Commands Respect Wherever It Travels!" – Cadillac Ads In The 1960s
Futuristic Vehicles by Mikhail Smolyanov
"The Paper Time Machine" Book Takes Historical Images And Imbues Them With Astonishing Color
Miracle Black & White Photos Of A Desolate And Deserted London From 1977
A Broken Vintage Piano Turned Into A Unique Analog Hybrid Of 20 Instruments Connected To The Piano Keys
The Amazing Life-size Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron That Drives!
Inside the McLaren MP4-12C factory
This Time Travelling Instagrammer Got Stuck Somewhere In The 1950s