The swing ride or chair swing ride (sometimes called a swing carousel, wave swinger, yo-yo, Chair-O-Planes or swinger) is a fairground ride that is a variation on the carousel in which the chairs are suspended from the rotating top of the carousel. On some versions, particularly on the Wave Swingers, the rotating top of the carousel also tilts for additional variations of motion.
Swing rides were present at the earliest amusement parks. At Idora Park in Oakland, California, in 1908, the ride was called the Flying Swing, but appears to be the same principle.
The Chair-O-Planes premiered in Germany in 1972, designed by Zierer and built by Franz Schwarzkopf, brother of Anton Schwarzkopf. In 1974 the first portable unit debuted under the same partnership. Since then Zierer has built about 200 units. Other manufacturers have followed creating their own versions of the Chair-O-Planes including Zamperla, Chance Rides, Grover Watkins, Bertazzon, Preston & Barbieri, Vekoma and Sanoyas Hishino Meisho.
In the late 2000s, Australian manufacturer Funtime developed the world's first tower swinger known as the Star Flyer. Mondial followed with their WindSeeker resulting in a lawsuit between the two companies. Zamperla also sell a Vertical Swing.
The Prater Turm located in the Wurstelprater in Vienna opened in 2010 at a height of 117 metres (384 ft).
The Star Flyer, located in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, affords sweeping views of the city's historical centre.
Les Chaises Volantes, located in Walibi Sud-Ouest is a Zierer model from 1987 which was re-localised to the park in 1992.
Attractiepark Slagharen located the same Chair-O-Plane as Loundoun Castle.
Second largest amusement park in the Nordic countries is TusenFryd located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) outside the capital Oslo in Norway. TusenFryd is the home of a Wellenflieger named "Sverrehusken" and has been in operation since 1988. Sverrehusken is the first of its kind in the Nordic countries.
In Kongeparken located 10 km outside the fourth largest city in Norway, Stavanger is the home of a Wellenflieger named "Spinnvidle" and has been in operation since 2012. Spinnvidle is the first of its kind in Norway with double seats.
The Swedish name for Swing ride is Kättingflygare. At Gröna Lund, Stockholm a swing ride with the name "Eclipse" can be found. With its 121.9 metres (400 ft) it shares the "world's tallest" title with SkyScreamer in Texas, North America.
The biggest amusement park in the Nordic countries is Liseberg in Sweden's second largest city Gothenburg. Liseberg is the home of a Swing ride named "Slänggungan".
Loudoun Castle Theme Park in Scotland claimed that its moon-shaped ride, "The Plough", was the largest Chair-O-Plane in the world. The Plough was originally called Apollo 14 and was owned by the Bembom family, operating in their Ponypark Slagharen in the Netherlands during the late seventies. It had gondolas travelling around the outside of the ride. When moved to Dreamland in England (then called "Bembom Brothers"), it was reconstructed into a Chair-O-Plane and named Heatwave. Leaving Dreamland, it opened in Lightwater Valley in 1998 where it operated until 2003 when Henk Bembom moved Heatwave to his new park, Loudoun Castle, where it was renamed "The Plough" and painted green. The theme park closed in 2010 and has been standing but not operating ever since.
There is also a Chair-O-Plane ride at Alton Towers in Staffordshire. Set in a fantasy themed area of the park called Cloud Cukoo Land, it is themed as a giant mushroom. This was formerly themed as a prehistoric dinosaur-type ride and located in an area called Ug Land.
You can also find a Chair-O-Plane at Carters Steam Fair which is one of the largest vintage travelling funfairs including some steam driven rides. Their ride's past is a little patchy but is thought to have been built in Germany in the 1920s and imported to Britain with a blank canvas. It's generally the case that British roundabouts run clockwise, whereas their Continental and American counterparts run anti-clockwise. The Chair-o-Plane certainly runs the right direction to be a British-built ride, but it may have been adapted by an early owner.
Chessington World of Adventures is home to a monkey-themed Chair-O-Planes, named the 'Monkey Swinger', that squirts water at riders. This formerly had a theme based on Billy Whizz of The Beano.
Also "Morph and Chas table gunslinger", a "Morph files episode themed chair-o-plane", with a cowboy hatted morph, a cowboy hatted Chas and a cowboy hatted grand morph on the pipe with a giant cowboy hat to make the pipe spin and smaller cowboy hats with a seat in them with a seatbelt In it to make it where the people sit.
Most of the swing carousel rides in North America are found in amusement parks. They are usually made by Zierer (which calls the ride Wave swinger), although some are made by Bertazzon (which calls the ride Swing Carousel) or Zamperla (which calls the ride Flying Carousel and Lollyswings).
Some of these include:
Asia and Oceania
In Italy most of the Chair-O-Planes travel with fairs. The ride is called Seggiolini volanti ("Flying chairs") or calcinculo which literally means "kick in the bottom", from the ingenious way used to grab the high-placed "tail" and win a free ride. Two people sit in contiguous seats, and the one sitting behind kicks the friend higher in the air.
The Metalocalypse episode "Motherklok" features a Wave Slinger.
A German rock band is named Chair-O-Plane.
A Chair-O-Planes is featured on the cover of Dave Matthews Band's 1994 album Under the Table and Dreaming. The liner note credit lists the site of this photo as Sandusky, Ohio, which is the location of Cedar Point.
In John Updike's short story "You'll Never Know Dear How Much I Love You" he mentions a WhirloGig.