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.

(Visited 1 times, 3 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

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

The Human Predators: Innovative Camo Patterns Inspired by Nature
Electroluminescent Tree by Ian Hobson
Coolest Designed Products Of 2016
Introducing Foodini: A 3D Food Printer
Assembly: A Sense of Comfort through Proximity
Walter Pichler’s Futuristic Visions from the '60s
Luminous Lace
Skull Walker: A Creepy Scuttling Skull-Creature
Amphibious Folding Motorcycle From Russia Fits In The Trunk Of A Car
iPhone Stencil Kit
The 1986 Oldsmobile Incas Had The Wildest Dashboard You've Never Seen
Little Girl Declares Her Love For Abandoned Water Heater On The Street That She Thinks Is A Robot
Skeleton Key
North Korea 'Launches Own Smartphone'
Rare Ferrari Daytona Found After 40 Years In Japanese Barn
This Smog Vacuum Cleaner Turns Carbon Particles Into Jewelry
Daimler Buses Converts Mercedes-Benz Citaro For Transporting COVID-19 Patients
Inside Facebook’s Data Center Near the Arctic Circle
The 1955 GMC L’Universelle Dream Truck
Teaser: Nissan LEAF to Attempt Setting the Guinness World Speed Record
Computer Love: The Ultimate Guide To Computing
Rusty 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Barn Find Sells For Staggering $800,000
The Real Land-Walker Robot From Japan
This Epic Elysium RV Comes With A Hot Tub And Helicopter You Can Land On The Roof
Stunning Photos Of Volkswagen Beetle Rat Rods With Patina Look On The Streets
Before Tesla, There Was Anadol, Legendary Turkish Dune Buggy
Jaguar E-Type 1964 Discovered In A Dilapidated Garage
Jay Ohrberg’s Bizarre Double-Wide Limousine From the 1980s
sQuba - Underwater Concept Car