Trabant is the generic name for a flat ride
commonly found in amusement parks and fairgrounds
s. Some versions at amusement park
s have more lively names such as Wheel of Fortune
, Swabinchen, Casino
, Wagon Wheel
. The trabant is almost exclusively built by Chance Rides which is now known as Chance-Morgan
. The first trabant debuted in 1963. More than likely, you know what the ride is, but you just do not know what to call it. The trabant usually appears as a roulette wheel
out of control so that it seems as if the wheel is spinning on a short piece of the lip of the wheel.
The trabant operates using three main pieces. There is a table spin, a rim spin and a hydraulic lift. The table spin oscillates with its axis off-center usually about at a distance of half of the radius. This part will make the ride move around like a spirograph or like a "scrambled eggs" (a flat ride more commonly known as "scrambler"). Moving along fixed to the table spin is a tire or wheel (the rim spin) on the closed end of the table spin. When the hydraulic lift tilts the entire wheel, all of the weight of the wheel will be fixed upon the rim spin. When the rim spin is activated, this will spin the wheel around. If only the rim spin were activated when the wheel was tilted, it would look like a spinning Big Wheel if it were tilted backward. If the rim spin were activated when the wheel was on the ground, it would look like an actual roulette wheel. The hydraulic lift will simply tilt the wheel upward until it reaches a 45 degree angle. If these circular motions are added together, it will create the ride experience that the trabant gives.
This ride is quite tame and relies more on height and its backward spin than its speed. It is a great beginning ride for a small child who wants to graduate from the kiddie rides. In most amusement parks and all midways, a child that is able to walk will be able to ride if accompanied by an adult. The adult will need to sit on the outside for safety (due to centrifugal forces), but also because the seats are much smaller on the inside. This ride can be a large safety issue though, not because of the ride or ride motions, but because of its safety restraint. The lap bars are very tricky to operate and unless one is an expert, chances are that a person who unlocks the bar will get his/her fingers pinched.