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massive Sky Whirl

Santa Clara, CA
This unusual shot gives some idea of the immensity of the Sky Whirl. It also shows the keys to the mechanical operation of the massive ride. Atop the "tree" pylon, the three arms joined at a hub that rotated like a turntable. This rotating hub was on a giant hinge that allowed the hub to be raised and lowered by a huge hydraulic system. The hydraulics are seen here on the right, below the hub. On the left, below the hub, are some of the motors used to rotate the arms. To lower a wheel to the ground, the hydraulics were used to tilt the hub upward. Somewhat surprisingly to the casual observer, the system was at rest with all three wheels in the air. After closing time, Sky Whirl was usually parked for the night with all three wheels up in the air.

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