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BITSoftheBEACH: Flying Machine

 
Sir Hiram Maxim's Captive Flying Machine (to give it its full title) opened at the Pleasure Beach on 1st August 1904. Sir Hiram was born on 5th February 1840 in Sangerville, Maine, USA and died on 24th November 1916.
 
Sir Hiram had been looking for ways to raise extra funding for his experiments with captive flight for the armed services and was quick to spot the potential for profit by adapting his machine for amusement purposes.
 
Similar rides opened at Earls Court, London and at Southport but it is this machine that is the only one operating today. It is as exhilarating and reliable as it was 99 years ago!
 
The initial budget for the ride was 3,000 but the final cost was 7,000. You can still see the original machinery on show (Maxim's own and still working!) at The Emporium which is situated under the ride.
 
Two 50 HP (37kw) DC motors are linked by cotton rope drives to 12 foot (3.6m) diameter wheels. These wheels drive the bevel gears which turn the crown wheel attached to the central column.
 
On the column there are slip rings which transfer an electric current to the ride and give it its decorative lighting. The two original electric motors which are still in use today were made by Lister Brothers of Dursley.
 
All the metal castings (which again are original) were made by Robinson and Cook at their old Atlas foundry in St. Helens, Merseyside (which was then part of Lancashire).
 
ALL DAY WRISTBAND ACCEPTED
 
BEAVER CREEK WRISTBAND ACCEPTED
 
SEPARATE 2004 TICKET PRICE: 2

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