•  Sue
  • 50.42% (Neutral)
  • Operations Foreman Topic Starter
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 3:24:40 PM
Do most shows run their Paratroopers backwards as well as forwards? I rode one over the weekend at a park. It went forward for maybe 10 times then slowed down and went in reverse 10+ times. It seemed a lot faster in reverse but it was so disorienting that it might have been an illusion. I did not enjoy going backwards compared to forwards. It was an older model Paratrooper. When did they stop making them? One show told me theirs was a real workhorse. They have very little trouble with it and it does well $wise.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 3:57:42 PM
'Don't know when Hrubetz/Kilinski/Manco/Dartron quit making them, but Dartron's Star Trooper and Cliff Hanger are the same general idea...but on a hydraulic arm with a clever pivot on top so that the hub can come down lower, so that it has simultaneous loading like the Hydraulic Paratrooper, but without all that decking.

(Caution: That sentence may contain an unsafe number of words. Reading it aloud should be attempted only by a trained speech professional!)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 4:08:36 PM
Hrubetz made a number of lifting paratroopers as well. As for the Dartron Star Trooper, it's a little faster than the Paratrooper but I love the smooth ride it gives. Most carnival operators will operate the Star Trooper both forwards and backwards. Mainly because of the back-to-back seating. I've only been on the Paratrooper once which was at Fantasy Island and they ran it forwards only. I have heard that some carnival operators will operate the Paratrooper in both directions.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 5:46:00 PM
I went on a paratrooper once here at a Kmart. The operator asked us if we wanted a fun ride? and we said yes. So every once in a while we would be going full speed, then he'd slam on the brakes while we were coming down. This would cause our car to thrust foward toward the "umbrella". The first time this happened, my friend let out a big scream![;)][}:)]
  •  JimmyD
  • 52.88% (Neutral)
  • Ride Supervisor
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 6:00:36 PM
Actually the clever pivot point on a Darton StarTrooper and Cliffhanger is due to the fact that the sweeps are longer than the Center lifting arm, the lifting arm on a Paratrooper is longer so that when the ride is up the end is not needed to tip to allow proper ground clearance. If the ride didn’t tip at the end the way it does, the cars would hit the ground. It was a very clever idea and very necessary to make it fit on a 28' trailer, I hope this actually made sense to everyone, sometimes I don’t type to clearly.

Jimmy D
James Dillman III
Dillman Family Rides Inc.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 6:15:48 PM
Most shows, I'd say 90% of the shows I've seen with Paratroopers over my lifetime have ran them both ways.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 6:36:34 PM
I was at Cliff's Amusement Park in NM a few weeks ago and they ran thier rim-drive paratrooper both ways. I don't think I have seen a hydraulic arm version run backwards, though.

Adam : Pimp-slapping you with all your flat ride needs.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 10:30:32 PM
The shows I've worked on have run it forwards & backwards, but there definitely was an increase in pukers when run forwards then back!! I noticed that the guys that enjoyed making people sick & didn't mind cleaning it up usually ran it backwards more! I actually like it going backwards but nothing beats the Cobra going backwards, yee-haw!!![:p]
Don't ya just love when you're T'ing up the Zipper & some kid barfs & it hits every other bucket!! Hee, hee, that's fun- gross but fun!!
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 2:07:35 AM
I don't think the lifting paratrooper is capable of running in both directions. Normally if it is able to reverse then it's to position the seats for loading and unloading riders. Ferris Wheels (including the Rock-O-Plane), Roll-O-Plane(?), Octopus-type rides (Octopus, Spider and Monster), Cobra and Scat fall into this too.



Originally posted by LONNOL

I was at Cliff's Amusement Park in NM a few weeks ago and they ran thier rim-drive paratrooper both ways. I don't think I have seen a hydraulic arm version run backwards, though.


Wednesday, May 5, 2004 9:11:47 AM
heart of america shows has a paratrooper (normal upright version)
it's painted light blue. i rode it at a county fair in new branfels and i really liked it. it ran in both directions. their cliff hanger was there too and it was set up right next to the paratrooper. first time i've ever seen those 2 rides next to each other at the same event. i rode their paratrooper at another county fair in port lavaca. it ran at full blast this time in both directions. the operator said it's top speed was 25 m.p.h i had no idea a paratrooper went that fast. i rode crabtree amusements paratrooper (painted strawberry red) at the heart of texas fair in waco. this is probly the oldest paratrooper i've ever seen it's a veteran and i think it's retirement isn't far away. it's missing a drive wheel and it goes half as fast as heart of america's paratrooper, crabtree's paratrooper was very smooth and very fun. great family ride. it does go backwards but they only did that for loading and unloading riders.
i really enjoyed riding crabtree's paratrooper and i wish crabtree would bring it to south texas sometime cause i really miss it. (note: i visited all 3 of these events last year)
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 10:40:08 AM
Every show in Michian that has a Paratrooper runs them both ways--Skerbeck Brothers Shows, Arnold Amusements (fastest one I have ever seen), and Schdmit Amusements (who own two). I heard that Family Funtyme Amusements here got one this year as well, but I have yet to confirm that. Skerbeck has the prettiest one, IMHO, multi-coloured tubs and bonnets, and multi-coloured turbo lights on the sweeps and the bonnets, way cool. Schmidt has a unique one that is purple and lime green. Arnold's is unique because it has Dartron Star Trooper diamond shape bonnets on it instead of the traditional umbrella bonnets, they got it that way from Playworld Amusements, who sold it to them in 2000; it is painted purple/pink/white, looked brand new in 2003. [:)]
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 4:35:17 PM
Now that I think about it...

<=Kennywood=< and Camden Park both have hydraulic ("lay-down") Paratroopers, and as I recall, the drive mechanism is an electric motor connected to a gearbox via a torque converter, then the output side of the gearbox is connected to the center by a drive chain. I know how it works, but I don't know all the details...I know there is an overrunning clutch in the torque converter, and it seems to me that clutch would preclude driving the thing backward. That might explain why only the rim drive models seem to go backward: all the rim drive Paratroopers I have seen use a hydraulic drive, and that can easily be driven in either direction, as the hydraulic motor drives the rim more-or-less directly.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Bill P
  •  Bill P
  • 82.08% (Honored)
  • Operations Foreman
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 4:52:06 PM
Fastest Paratrooper I ever saw was booked into the NY State Fair 1976 by Frankies Amusements (East Coast Shows). The seats were upside down at the top almost like an Enterprise. I have a photo I'll post in webshots soon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 4:55:04 PM
Last year at the St Johns carnival here in niagara falls i witnessed the former amusements of buffalo operating their paratrooper both forwards and backwards (ironically, this is the same machine that was once operated at fantasy island i believe), however i didnt get a backwards ride since i was with my little cousin who was crying on the ride since she didnt want to go home, i think the op thought she was scared so i didnt get the full ride, that sucked

When i was on hammerl amusements last labor day weekend they only ran theirs forwards, i havent been on fun city's paratrooper yet.
Bill P
  •  Bill P
  • 82.08% (Honored)
  • Operations Foreman
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 5:44:08 PM
Fastest Paratrooper I ever saw. NY State Fair 1976, booked on by Frankies Amusements [East Coast Shows] The seats were almost upside down at the top like an Enterprise.

Photo in Webshots at:
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