US 1607771 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 23 1926.
J. A. MlLLER WATER GHUTE STRUCTURE Filed Dec. 16
Patented Nov. 23, 1926.
JOHN A. MILLER, OF HOMEW'OOD, ILLINOIS.
Application filed December 16, 1925.
My invention relates to water rides usually installed in amusement parks, and is of particular utility on amusement structures in which boats are propelled by hoist mechanism from the water and up an incline or elevation to the head of a down chute, to be drawn by gravity down the chute and to enter a Water way at the bottom or" the chute. In order to economize in space, the hoisting grade and the down chute are alongside of each other or cross each other, and at their upper ends are connected by a curve around which the boat travels to the head of the down chute. In order to preserve the gravity potential for the boat at the top of the down chute and to avoid excess height of the hoisting incline, the slope of the curve between the hoisting incline and chute is kept as small as possible. The object of my invention is, therefore, to provide an improved construction and arrangement of rollers along the direction changing curve which will permit the boats to be propelled around the curve by gravity with minimum incline along the curve. Another very important feature is to so construct and arrange these rollers that they will themselves guide the boats around the curve to thereby eliminate special guide ways or abutments and consequently all friction which would be involved if such special guides were provided. To this end conical rollers are pro vided which are engaged by supporting runners on the boats, these rollers being of greater diameter at the outside of the curve than at the inside, so that the smaller diameter roller sections will exert a retarding influence on the inner side runners of the boat and thus cause the boat to be guided accurately along the curve. In order to prevent lateral tilting of the boat while traveling around the curve, the rollers are supported with their upper cont-act lines in a horizontal plane, the retarding effort or drag of the smaller diameter sections of the rollers being depended upon to guide and direct the boat accurately along the curve.
On the drawings Figure 1 is a plan view of a boat and Serial No. '75,?78.
a secticn of curve showing the arrangement of the rollers;
Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the boat and rollers;
Fig. Sis a front elevational view of the boat with the supporting structure in section on line 33 of Fig. 1; and
Fig. 1 is a more or less diagrammatic plan view of the hoist section, curve and down chute of a pleasure water ride.
The supporting structure shown comprises uprights 10 with cross supporting beams 11 above which are the guard or rail sections 12 and 13. Along the hoist section H (Fig. 4r) rails or runways 14 are provided for supporting the boats while they are being propelled to the top of the hoist section and to the curve C. The chute section A has rails or runways 15 along which the boats travel when traveling down the chute to the water WV.
The boats B are of any suitable construction, that shown beingot oblong shape and with its bottom deflected upwardly at the front end, as indicated at 16. In the boats, structures 17 are provided, and on the bottom are parallel runners 18 and 19. Along the sides of the boats extend the abutments or bumper walls 20 for guiding and protecting the boat as it travels along the water ways and along the hoist and chute sections. On the boat bottom along the sides thereof are the runners 21 and 22 which engage on the rails 14 and 15 of the hoist and ciiute sections, respectively, when the boat travels along such sections.
The curve section C extends from the up per end of the hoist section to the upper end of the chute section and has a gentle, downward slope towards the chute section. Arranged along the curve section are the conical roller structures R, the axes of these roller structures being in the radial planes of the curve section. Each roller structure may consist of a single long conical roller or, as shown, of an outer roller 23 and an inner roller 24. The outer roller 23 will correspond to the base section of a continuous conical roller and the inner roller 24 will correspond to an intermediate section, and
these rollers are rigidly secured to a shaft 25. As shown in Fig. 8, the shafts of the roller structures are journalled in bearing frames 26 supported on the cross beams 11 of the supporting structure. The rollers of each structure are spaced on their shaft to receive the runners l8 and 19 on the boat. In order that a boat may travel around the curve without tilting laterally, the roller structures are supported so that the roller crowns or runner engaging lines will be horizontal, the supporting axles being inclined as shown in Fig. 3 to accomplish this result.
lVith the arrangement and structure described, a boat is received and propelled to the top of the hoisting section where it leaves the rails 14 and engages with its runners 18 and 19 on the rollers. The force of gravity will then propel the boat along the rollers and the sloping curve section until the boat arrives at the top of the chute section A, when it will engage with its runners 21 and 22 on the rails 15 to be rapidly carried down by the force of gravity along the chute and to the water W. The conical dimensions of the alternate rollers will cause the outer rollers, or those of larger diameter, to tollcw the outer runners 18 and to be rotated by the frictional engagement of such runner therewith. The runner engaging circumterence of the outer rollers is longer than the engagement circumference of the inner rollers with the inner runner and, consequently, the inner rollers will lag relative to the inner runner and will slow up or retard the boat at its inner side, and therefore the boat will be automatically guided by-the rollers to follow the curve. By properly designing the rollers relative to the weight of the boat, friction, and other conditions, the boat can be accurately guided around the curve entirely by the rollers and special guiding means will be unnecessary. However, as a precautionary and safety measure, guard beams or rails 27 may be provided for engaging with the abutment walls 20 of the boat in case the boat should become displaced on the rollers. Such guard rails may be mounted in proper position by a supporting structure 28 as shown in Fig. 3. By supporting the rollers, as has been described, the boat will travel around the curve without lateral tilt so that the passengers may sit comfortably While the boat travels along the curve.
Having described my invention, 1 claim the following 1. In a pleasure riding structure, the combination of a runway curve section, conical roller structures arranged along said curve section with their axes inclined to bring the upper engaging surfaces of said structures into a horizontal plane whereby vehicles traveling over said roller structures will be guided by said roller structures to follow said curve section and will be prevented from lateral tilting.
2. 111 a pleasure riding structure, the combination of a runway curve section, pairs of conical rollers arranged along said curve section, each pair of rollers being secured to an axle and said axle being transversely inclined to bring the engaging crown lines of the rollers into a horizontal plane whereby to prevent lateral tilting-of vehicles traveling over said rollers, the rollers along the outer side of the curve section being of greater diameter than those along the inner side whereby the vehicles will be guided by the rollers to follow the curve sect-ion.
In an amusement structure of the class described, the combination of a runway for pleasure vehicles, said runway having a curve and said curve sloping gradually downwardly, roller structures along said curve arranged with their axes in the planes of the radii of curvature of said curve, said roller structures serving to support avehicle during its travel through said curve, and being of smaller diameter along the inner side of said curve than along the outer side thereof whereby the corresponding unequal -frictional engagement of a vehicle with said roller structures will cause said vehicle to follow the direction of said curve, the axes of said structures being inclined transversely of said runway to bring the contact lines of the roller structures into horizontal planes whereby to prevent lateral tilting of the vehicles traveling over the roller structures.
In witness whereof, I hereunto subscribe my name this 12th day of December, 1925.
JOHN A. MILLER.