The Fire Ball is an amusement ride manufactured by Larson International. It replaced a series of Larson rides manufactured prior to its unveiling, the first being the Super Loops and the second being the Ring of Fire. Several variations of each exist (e.g. Space Raiders, Mega Loop). The rides run the same but the older models have a caged train, whereas the Fire Ball has an open face-off train. Also, some owners of the older Ring of Fire rides have had the caged train replaced with the new Fire Ball train.
The Fire Ball is 58 feet 9 inches (17.9 meters) high, 56 ft 1 in (17.1 m) long, and 41 ft 11 in (12.8 m) wide. It has a capacity of 20 people, with 10 two-person seats. The ride can be transported on a tandem axle trailer measuring 13 feet 6 inches (4.1 meters) high, 45 ft (13.7 m) long, and 8 ft 6 in (2.6 m) wide.
The rides are similar in design. There is a large steel boxed-track loop attached to a concrete base or portable trailer with supporting outriggers and steel cables. In this boxed track is a multiple-piece pivoted end-rim (inertia ring) with wheel dogs attached settled within this boxed track. On one section of the rim the train is snugly placed. The rim is run through a shock-absorbent tire drive, which drives the train around the loop.
Travel path Edit
The ride's train is rocked back and forth at a generous rate, as not to put too much stress on the tire drive. It elevates on every pass through the station until it has gained enough momentum to make it completely around the loop. Once a number of consecutive loops are made it can be shifted to go the other direction. It can also be hung upside down (stopped at the top). Since the Super Loop-styled rides are tire-driven, even the slightest water build-up on the rim can cause the drive tires to hydroplane on the rim. This action keeps the ride from completing its loop and can sometimes make a loud annoying squeal. It is also not good to operate this ride in frequent lightning.
Most if not all of the Super Loop-styled rides are manually operated with a toggle handle. Most of these rides have a deadman's operators chair to detect the absence of an operator, as not to move if the handle was just bumped without someone sitting on the chair. Operators of these rides have to be knowledgeable of weight distribution and speed-to-distance ratio. The amount of power needed to operate this ride is 240 volts, 250 amps.
Safety features Edit
- Emergency power cut-off button.
- Deadman's operator chair that detects the absence of an operator.
- Anti-air double-lock harnesses with secondary precaution belt that activates when air is released.
- Pull-up-and-move operation toggle that will only move when the tip of the handle is compressed.
- Height requirement of 48 inches (1.22 metres).