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The Top Spin consists of two upright support arms, two mechanical sweep arms connected by a steel rod, and a gondola containing two rows of seats.
The sweep arms generate motion through 4 DC electric motors connected to the middle of the sweep arms through a gearbox. In order to help balance the weight of the gondola and riders, there are 4 counterweights connected to the opposite ends of the sweep arms.
The gondola itself is free to swing, independent of the sweep arms due to bearings between the connection. However, the sweep arms contain a pneumatic caliper which operates much like the brake system on a car. When desired, the sweep arms can lock the rotation of the gondola for loading/unloading, or part of the ride program where the gondola is held at a certain position.
The purpose of this ride is to generate swinging and flipping maneuvers for the thrill of the passengers. For most ride cycles, the sweep arms hoist the gondola to a specific height. At that point the rotation of the gondola is locked, and the sweep arms begin rotating to build up energy. The gondola is then unlocked, and free to swing or flip, creating dazzling visuals.
This video demonstrates a typical ride cycle:
Dreamland-Top Spin Off Ride & POV on Monotopia (with interesting facts & pumping action)
So to reiterate, the ride builds up potential energy from hoisting the gondola, locks it in an offset position, then releases it. Once released, gravity takes over (also aided by the ride motors), and the gondola will perform flips until it runs out of energy. Depending on the program, the ride may also hold the vehicle nearly inverted for a period of time to create a feeling of “hang time”.
HUSS Top Spins come with 9 pre-set programs built into the control panel, though most parks only run around 2–3 of them for average operation. This ensures to keep the line moving, and make it easier to maintain the machine.
There is also a manual drive mode that the ride can be operated in, but this is usually left for maintenance technicians when performing test cycles or repairs.