Drop tower, also known as drop ride or free fall ride, is a type of popular amusement park tower ride. This kind of amusement park thrill ride provides a thrilling experience of free fall. Here is a basic explanation of “how do drop towers work”.

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Structures & Systems Making Drop Towers Work

Structure and Design:

Free fall ride consists of a tall vertical structure with a gondola, or carriage, that carries passengers up the tower. The round gondola contains several seats and safety restraints to secure riders.

Lifting Mechanism:

Lifting mechanism is vital for the drop zone ride operation. Thanks to the mechanism, the gondola can be lifted to to top of the tower. Here are 3 types of lifting mechanisms that a sky tower ride uses.

  • Cable and winch system: Attach a cable to the gondola and wind it around a drum to lift the gondola.
  • Rack and pinion system: A gear (pinion) engages with a vertical rack (toothed rail) to raise the gondola.
  • Hydraulic or pneumatic system: Some thrill ride manufacturers also use oil cylinder or air cylinder to push a piston and raise the gondola. And our company use oil cylinder and solenoid valve to control the rising and falling of free fall amusement ride.

Magnetic Braking System:

Many modern drop towers utilize magnetic brakes to slow down and stop the gondola during the descent. These brakes use the principles of eddy currents, where magnets on the gondola interact with metal fins on the tower, generating resistance that slows the gondola without physical contact.

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Popular Free Fall Ride for Outdoor Parks

When a Gyro Drop Amusement Ride Is Working, What Kind of Ride Experience Will Riders Get?

  • Lift Phase: After riders are securely harnessed into the gondola, they will then be lifted to the top of the tower. This ascent can be slow which can build anticipation. Additionally, it can be part of the thrill itself if the lift is rapid. How fast or slow the ascent is depends on the operator.

  • Holding and Release: Once at the top, the gondola will stay in still for a few moments to heighten the suspense. It is then released, allowing it to free fall toward the ground.

  • Free Fall: During the fall, riders experience the sensation of weightlessness. It seems that sthey briefly encounter a free-fall condition, similar to zero gravity. This is due to the gondola and riders falling at the same acceleration due to gravity, minus any air resistance.

  • Braking and Deceleration: As the gondola approaches the lower part of the tower ride, the braking system will safely and smoothly decelerate the gondola to a stop.

  • Up and down: Generally speaking, once the drop ride runs, passengers will experience several up and down motion

  • Return: Once the gondola has come to a complete stop at the base of the tower, passengers will be unloaded. Later, the ride cycle can begin again with the next group.

How do drop towers work? To sum up, amusement park free fall ride relies on a combination of mechanical and gravitational forces to provide the thrilling experience of a drop. Besides, the exact mechanisms and safety systems can vary depending on the design of the ride and the manufacturer. But uniformly, safety is a paramount consideration in the design and operation of these thrilling free fall amusement park rides. Multiple redundant systems are often in place to ensure the wellbeing of all riders.

If you want to add a tower ride to your park, feel free to contact us at any time. We offer drop tower rides for sale of different heights and capacities. Also we offer other types of tower rides.

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