Flying Machines is a ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and is currently the oldest ride at the attraction, having been first installed in 1904! Designed by Hiram Maxim (who also created the first Automatic Machine Gun, as well as held patents for hair-curling irons and a mousetrap), the Flying Machines ride was based on a design for a ride he built for the Earl’s Court Exhibition in 1904, which in turn was to help fund his research into powered flight. Other resorts that received the ride too included Southport and New Brighton.
The Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machines (to use it’s full title, I have started to call them Flying Cars) work on the principle of Centrifugal Force. The cars are attached to a rotating drum in the centre, by some cables. As the rotating drum picks up speed, the cars swing out. As this increase of speed increases and increases, the force pushes the cars out even further. And given that the ride is already high above the ground, the flying machines, get even higher above the ground, meaning that you are now literally flying through the air. It’s the same principle used on chair swing rides.
Flying Machines is a unique one of a kind experience that is just so easy and fun to enjoy. As the ride is rather safe there is no need to have over the top safety enhancements, meaning you can just sit happily on a bench within the ride. Anyone can ride it, and within seconds you are already enjoying the experience. It is one of the very few times that you can feel what it’s like to fly through the air. In a world of airline travel, as you are contained in a pressurized environment, you can’t feel what it’s like to feel the air wrapping around your body, but in this you can.
As the vehicles then swing out further, you begin to see how high you are in the air. You get to see some really nice views of the area; whilst also being shocked as to how high you are off the ground, plus the speed you are travelling at as the world gently whizzes by. And you just don’t want it to stop; it’s so easy and pleasurable, you just want to stay up there forever. It’s so fast, but so relaxing!
It is a genuinely unique experience that everyone should try at least once in their lives. Yes, you might go to Pleasure Beach to ride the Pepsi Max Big One; but you might find that the Flying Machines are as good, if not better than the Big One!