Tilt-A-Whirl

First invented by Herbert Sellner in 1926, the Tilt-A-Whirl has certainly stood the test of time, with over 1,000 units manufactured and an estimated 600 of these operating throughout the USA and abroad.

The ride consists of seven cars, each fixed to a pivot pin on each platform. These platforms then roll around a circular track of hills and valleys at 6.5 rpm, putting changing centrifugal and gravitational forces on the cars, making them tip and spin randomly.

Due to the truly random nature of the Tilt-A-Whirl’s motion, it has often been the basis for mathematical analysis. Mathematical models indicate that when the platforms travel at very low speed along the track, the cars complete one backward revolution as their platforms go over each hill. At high speeds, a car swings to its platform’s outer edge and stays locked in that position. It is unlikely that the Tilt-A-Whirl’s inventor performed such mathematical analysis, but instead used simple practical experiments with scale models.

The Tilt-A-Whirl can handle over 500 passengers an hour and a portable unit can fit onto a single 40 ft trailer. Each unit sells for around US$250,000.

60 Responses to “Tilt-A-Whirl”

  1. I live in Faribault where the Tilt WAS made and know many that worked there. Pictures etc could be forwarded to them thru me.

    Jim Thompson - June 23rd, 2015 at 10:09 pm

  2. I love the Tilt-A-Whirl its the best classic

    Green Ninja - July 1st, 2015 at 6:42 am

  3. A few years ago, KMG debuted a version of the Tilt-a-Whirl called the Fun Factory. It moves a great deal faster and the operator controls the degree of spinning. I think the speed is 18 rpm. I often refer to it as the “Tilt-a-Whirl on crack” because of its intensity. However, the classic Tilt-a-Whirl is still good if it is run by a skilled operator who knows to vary the speeds.

    John Moore - September 15th, 2016 at 5:15 pm

  4. Tilt-A-Whirl is good

    Garroth - December 2nd, 2016 at 9:03 am

  5. Wade Shows used to use 2 Tilt-A-Whirls, but now they only use one, and that’s why the Tilt-A-Whirl never comes to the Oklahoma State Fair anymore :(

    Garroth - December 7th, 2016 at 12:34 pm

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    www.BonsaiTreeGardener.net - March 16th, 2017 at 10:28 am

  7. Here’s my large scale Lego Tilt-A-Whirl :) I’m currently constructing a Meccano version. Love this ride. Especially the early cable-drive, gas powered models with a clutch.

    tiltawhirl - March 26th, 2017 at 2:46 am

  8. http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=42327

    tiltawhirl - March 26th, 2017 at 2:47 am

  9. Tilt-a-Whirls aren’t like this anymore. I’m a child of the ’80s/’90s, and ours were basically carousels that you had to stand and be strapped into, that would lift, tilt, and whirl–clearly more true to the name than whatever this thing is.

    Me - July 26th, 2017 at 3:49 pm

  10. LOVE IT

    Garroth - November 15th, 2017 at 12:48 am

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