The Inverter premiered in 1998 by Chance Rides in partnership with A.R.M Rides Ohio plant. A.R.M built the main structure and Chance, the passenger vehicle. At the time of Inverter’s debut, it sold for around USD$500,000.
Standing 48ft tall, Inverter’s structure consists of a counterweighted arm bearing a 24 person gondola with riders seated in six rows of four. As the arm rotates back and fourth, the gondola is geared to flip opposite, and at twice the rate, of the main boom. The structure is similar to A.R.M’s Ali Baba but with a different gear ratio to the gondola attachment, creating a completely different ride.
Inverter’s arm turns up to 8 RPM using 2 460 volt DC variable speed motors.
While the ride has lots of midway appeal; and is a stunning ride to watch, it has proven a far less remarkable experience to ride. Unfortunately the counter-direction of the gondola decreased the sensation of movement for the rider while the general sensation proved a head-achy yawn to a lot of its thrill-seeking target market.
With disappointing earnings for owners, A.R.M USA launched a conversion kit whereby the inverting gondola was replaced with an upright row of seats, that could be angled outwards. Re-branded as ‘Full Tilt’ it has proven considerably more popular. Alternatively Inverter can be retrofitted with a standard Ali Baba gondola.
Approximately 20 single-arm Inverters were manufactured and 2 permanent double-armed till production was discontinued in 2001. The number of unconverted Inverters currently operating is unknown, with the vast majority found in North American parks and carnivals.