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"Zodiac" at Thorpe Park in 2003

The Enterprise is an amusement ride, manufactured primarily by HUSS Maschinenfabrik in 1972.[1] The ride was an adaption and improvement of a design produced earlier that year by Schwarzkopf, with an increased passenger capacity.[1] Despite not owning the original incarnation of the ride, HUSS was issued the patent.[1]

The ride is named after USS Enterprise from the TV series Star Trek. The backdrop is decorated with space-themed art and a silhouette of the starship Enterprise.

Enterprises are manufactured by HUSS, Schwarzkopf, and Heinz Fähtz; all sharing the name Enterprise. Both trailer and park versions have been created and in use.

Contents

Design and operation

The Space loop at Drievliet (Netherlands).

In the ride, up to two people sit in one of 20 gondolas arranged in a circle, one in front of the other.[1] The ride moves clockwise, dispelling a slight amount of centrifugal force.[1] A hydraulically-powered arm underneath the ride then raises and tilts the frame so that the ride is rotating at 87° from the horizontal, transforming the ride from a horizontal experience to a nearly vertical one.[1]

On most Enterprise models there are no safety restraints; the force applied to the riders is sufficient to keep them pinned in their seats,[1] however, some models have been fitted with seat belts. Most parks and carnivals require riders to be at least 48 inches tall, though it is not uncommon to see restrictions as much as 54 inches or more. The transportable version of the ride racks onto two trailers, the first carrying the wheel, arm, and drive systems while the second is loaded with the gondolas, platforms, and any additional equipment.[1] The first trailer also acts as the base of the ride while in operation.[1]

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Variants

Schwarzkopf

The Schwarzkopf versions of the Enterprise have either 16 or 21 gondolas, thus having a different diameter of the wheel.[1] The gondolas are also smaller than the HUSS version. Originally, the gondolas were produced in-house; they were later replaced by gondolas manufactured separately by Reverchon.[1]

Heinz Fähtz

Heinz Fähtz manufactured some 16-gondola Enterprises. The last known operating park model is at Darien Lake, installed in 1983.[2] Another portable ride is traveled in New Zealand by Mahons Amusements, loading on 2 trailers complete with backflash.

HUSS

  • An expanded version of the HUSS Enterprise is known as the Skylab. This variant consists of fifteen four-person gondolas.[1]
  • The Enterprise was the basis for the larger UFO amusement ride.[1]

Appearances

Note: Schwarzkopf versions of the ride are indicated with "(SDC)" following the park or operator name. The Heinz Fähtz Enterprise is marked "(HF)".
The Reef Diver at Dreamworld.

Past appearances

Major Incidents

  • October 17, 1983 - An eighteen year old man was killed and several bystanders were injured at the Texas State Fair when a gondola fell off the ride.[9]
  • September 22, 2001 - two teenagers sustained minor injuries when one support on a gondola broke on Zodiac, the enterprise at Thorpe Park, UK.[10] The gondola repeatedly hit the decking at the bottom of the ride whilst the operator attempted to stop the ride. The incident was taken to court, where the judge criticised the length of time it took to shut down the ride after an abnormal noise had been noticed. The park was fined £65,000 and made to pay an extra £35,000 in costs.
  • May 18, 2007 - An Estonian Enterprise owned by Tivoli Tuur and operating at a carnival in Rakvere caught fire.[4] The ride was in motion, with riders aboard, when the fire suddenly ignited at approximately 11:00p.m..[11] The ride was stopped and evacuated, but not before injuries were sustained by the riders.[11] 31 patients were hospitalized with first- and second-degree burns, with an additional 10 admitted and checked for possible smoke inhalation. Six burn victims required further treatment, with all six released from hospital by May 23.[4][11] The fire damaged the ride's electrical systems and five of the twenty gondolas.[4] The ride owner suggested arson was to blame, although preliminary investigations found no evidence supporting this.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Burton, David. "Amusement Ride Extravaganza - Enterprise". http://www.ride-extravaganza.com/thrill/enterprise/. Retrieved 2007-03-15.  
  2. ^ "The Flat Joint - Heintz Fahtze Enterprise". http://www.flatrides.com/Ride%20Index%20Pages/fahtzeenterprise.html. Retrieved 2007-03-15.  
  3. ^ "Funfair Props Rides List". http://www.funfair-props.co.uk/rides.html. Retrieved 2007-03-17.  
  4. ^ a b c d e "Cause of amusement park fire in Estonia remains unknown" (in English). Helsingin Sanomat International Edition. 2007-05-21. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Cause+of+amusement+park+fire+in+Estonia+remains+unknown/1135227401543. Retrieved 2007-06-07.  
  5. ^ "TYKKIMAKI AMUSEMENT PARK". 2001-07-08. http://www.huvipuisto.net/huvipuis/uktykki.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-17.  
  6. ^ Zehle. "Mondlift" (in German). http://www.mondlift.de/html/index.html. Retrieved 2007-05-22.  
  7. ^ Ruchard Bannister (2003). "Coaster Trips 2003: Parque de Atracciones Madrid". http://www.bannister.org/coasters/trips/2003/0912.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-17.  
  8. ^ According to Amusement Rides Extravaganza, there are 23 HUSS Enterprises in North America; this does not include other manufacturers and may or may not include Canada.
  9. ^ "CPSC Announces Corrective Action Plan For Popular "Enterprise" Amusement Park Ride". http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml84/84031.html. Retrieved 2009-08-20.  
  10. ^ "Theme park accident owners fined" (in English). BBC News. 2004-04-29. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/3579359.stm. Retrieved 2009-05-21.  
  11. ^ a b c Roman, Steve (2007-05-23). "Investigation into fun fair blaze continues" (in English). The Baltic Times. http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17922/. Retrieved 2007-06-07.  

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