US3391650A - Turn wheel for cable-driven chair lift - Google Patents

Turn wheel for cable-driven chair lift Download PDF

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US3391650A
US3391650A US592862A US59286266A US3391650A US 3391650 A US3391650 A US 3391650A US 592862 A US592862 A US 592862A US 59286266 A US59286266 A US 59286266A US 3391650 A US3391650 A US 3391650A
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cable
clamp
wheel
turn wheel
extending
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US592862A
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Samuel P Goforth
Joseph A Goforth
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GOFORTH BROTHERS Inc
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GOFORTH BROTHERS Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61BRAILWAY SYSTEMS; EQUIPMENT THEREFOR NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B61B12/00Component parts, details or accessories not provided for in groups B61B7/00 - B61B11/00
    • B61B12/10Cable traction drives

Description

s. P. GoFoTH l-:TAL 3,391,650
TURN WHEEL FOR CABLEDRIVEN CHAIR LIFT July 9, 1968 Filed Nov. 8, 1966 INVENTORS: SAMUEL?. GoPoszTH ardbsevn AGOPORTH 5l 1 "5 BMMWM ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,391,650 TURN WHEEL FOR CABLE-DRIVEN CHAIR LIFT Samuel P. Goforth and Joseph A. Goforth, Shelby, N.C.,
assignors to Goforth Brothers, Inc., Shelby, N.C., a corporation of North Carolina Filed Nov. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 592,862 6 Claims. (Cl. 104-173)Y This invention relates to chair lift conveying devices and more particularly to an improved turn wheel used to alter the direction of travel of the moving support cable of such a chair lift conveyor.
Chair lift conveyors generally include an endless cable having a plurality of passenger carriers or chairs attached at intervals along its length and supported for travel over a predetermined course by rotatable elements mounted on spaced pylons or towers.
Each of the passenger chairs is suspended beneath the cable on a hanger bar pivotally secured to the cable by a clamp, which grips the cable and extends substantially horizonally outwardly therefrom to space the hanger bar from the cable in order for it to pass without disturbance past the rotatable support elements of the lift assembly. The pivotal movement of each hanger bar relative to its supporting clamp is in a direction parallel to the direction of movement of the cable, so as to permit the chair suspended by the hanger bar to assume a proper orientation during elevational changes of the `cable throughout the course.
To reverse or otherwise alter the path of travel of the cable over the defined course, the cable is passed about the circumferential surfaces of large diameter turn wheels which are mounted for rotation about substantially vertical axes and, in some instances, positively driven. Passenger entry and egress from a chair of the conveyor is customarily effected directly adjacent one of the turn wheels at each end of the course, it having been the practice until fairly recent times for passengers to mount adjacent the exit, and demount adjacent the entry, of the cable from and onto the turn wheels.
However, for various reasons including the increasing utilization of chair lifts as a form of amusement, rather than merely conveyance, chairs now frequently remain occupied during their passage about the turn wheels of the assembly. The problem of accidental displacement of the cable from the turn wheels, which has been present even under the old practice of mounting and demounting, has become appreciably more severe under the current practice of permitting passenger-loaded chairs to pass about the wheels.
The forces which tend to displace the cable from the turn wheel during movement of chairs about the wheel are created by several factors. Because of erratic movement of passengers occupying the chairs, an undesirable sideways swinging of the chairs is often produced and this motion tends to exert a torsional or twisting force on the cable through the attaching clamp secured thereto. Additionally, the weight of passengers in the chairs exerts a downward pull on the cable tending to disengage it from the surface of the wheel, particularly at the points where the cable enters and leaves the peripheral face of the wheel. Passenger weight also increases the centrifugal force exerted on the cable during passage of the chairs about the turn wheel which tends to pull the cable out of its proper track on the peripheral face of the wheel.
Turn wheels have heretofore been designed with arcuate or V-shaped surfaces extending over the entirety of their peripheral faces to accommodate the cable and the chair-supporting clamps and facilitate proper track of the cable about the wheel. However, such peripheral faces were not entirely satisfactory in retaining the cable 3,391,650 Patented July 9, 1968 F ICC on the turn wheel even under the old practice of operation due to the tendency of the cable to cam or walk up the arcuate surface toward the edge of the peripheral face of the turn wheel when slack developed in the cable. When turn wheels having such configured faces are used in conjunction with loaded chairs passing about the wheel, danger of cable displacement is even further increased.
All of the above-mentioned factors contribute greatly to the displacement of the cable from the turn wheels, with consequent possible injury tothe occupants and/or equipment of the chair lift.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved turn wheel for chair lift-assemblies of the above-described type which is designed to more positively retain and support the cablethereon, even during movement of passenger-loaded chairs thereabout. l
It is another object to provide a turn wheeel which prevents downward disengagement ofthe cable from the turn wheel due to the weight of the passengers in the chairs passing about the wheel.
It is another object to prevent displacement of the cable from a decisive, optimum tracking position on the outer face of a turn wheel under all normal operating con,- ditions.
It is an additional object to prevent injury to occupants in the `chairs of the assembly even if, due to some abnormal occurrence, displacement of the cable from its optimum track on the outer face of the turn wheel should occur.
Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which- FIGURE l is a perspective view of a turn wheel, and other immediately-associated components, of a chair lift assembly showing a portion of a conveyor cable and chairsupporting hanger bar and clamp in engagement with the periphery of the wheel;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary cross-sectional view of the turn wheel and cable with the clamp and a portion of the hanger bar also being shown, in elevation, taken substantially along line 2--2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary cross-sectional view of the turn wheel and cable, taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 4 is a reduced, fragmentary cross-sectional view of the turn wheel, with the cable and clamp also being shown in plan, taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2.
Referring more specifically to the drawings, that portion of a chair lift assembly shown in FIGURE 1 includes generally an endless conveyor calble 14 entrained about a turn wheel 11 which is mounted for rotation about a substantially vertical axis by an upstanding axle 12 supported by a suitable pillar 13. Pillar 13 may, as shown, also mount conventional guide members 51 over which the conveyor cable 14 is intended to pass immediately prior to and following its engagement with the peripheral surface of wheel 11. Although the turn wheel as shown is freely rotatable and driven -by movement of the cable thereabout, it is of course understood that the turn wheel may if desired be positively driven to impart movement to the cable.
Fixedly attached to the cable, at spaced intervals along its length and for longitudinal movement therewith, are a plurality of clamp members, one of which is shown in the drawings and identified by the numeral 15. As is most apparent from FIGURES 2 and 4, clamp 15 includes a cable-encircling portion 31 which extends over a short longitudinal section of the cable to securely aliix the clamp thereto. A second portion 32 ofthe clamp extends substantially horizontally outwardly away from the cable and is provided intermediate Y 'xteiidin'g'bo'ss'rmsli'lder33,`the leading lower surface 33a of which slopes upwardly in the direction of movement of the cable. In a, manner to be subsequently explairled,y shoulder 33 servesfas abutment means during passage of the clampabout the' turn'wheel.
'l rtion 32 of clamp 1j5l also includes, adjacent its outer en alcylindrifcal'spindle 34:.V Pivotally secured to 'this spindle,` by means of a" sleevef 41" lintegralV therewith, yis the endl portion Iof ay downwardly-extending hanger ba Attached tothe lower end of 'the hanger bar (not is'hthe :chair or otherpa'ssengebconveying means its length with a downward1y ofthe system, which chair is thus supported by clamp and hanger-bar 16'for longitudinal movement with cable 14 andfor pivotalrmovement relative'to the'cable in the direction lof itstravel, the latter' permitting the chair to :maintain a properorientation notwithstanding changes in "the elevat'ii'jnfor inclination ofthe cable during its travel.
` 'llt 'is to be'understood that the foregoing description of clamp 115, hangerV bar 16'ar'1d'their`related components i's'equally applicable to the otherclamps, hanger bars, notvshownjbut of'identical construction, which are -spacedat intervals along the length of cable 1'4.
Referring now more specifically to turn wheel 411, the same includes a hub 17 which surrounds the axle 12 and has a"'plurality of outwardly extending spokes 18 to which s attached an annular, wheel-frame 19 of generally O-shaped cross-sectional configuration (FIGURES 2 and 3). Welded or otherwise rigidly secured to the wheelframe' are flange means consisting of a pair of flanges 21, 22, which extend radially outwardly from respective upper and lower'faces of the wheel-frame 19. The purpose and particular construction of these flanges will be explained in detail presently.
Extending about the periphery of wheel-frame 19 between flanges 21, 22 is an annular cable-engaging pad 23 made of deformable material, such as hard rubber or the like, to reduce frictional wear on the cable 14 during its passage about the wheel. The outer face 23a of the pad extends generally vertically and is provided, about its entire length and intermediate its height, with a groove 24 therein. Groove 24 is located at and defines the optimum tracking positionl of the conveyor cable 14 about the turn wheel, and is adapted to seatingly engage and retain cable 14 (FIGURE 3) and portion 31 of clamp 15 (FIG- 'URE 2) during passage of the passenger chair about the turn wheel. To this end, groove 24 is of generally semicircular configuration, in cross section, and its diameter is preferably substantially the same as that of the crosssectional diameter of cable-encircling portion 31 of the clamp. Further, the face 23a of the pad on either side of the groove 24 is purposely flat and substantially vertical so that, in the event that slack develops in the cable during operation of the chair lift, there is no tendency for the cable 14 to cam or walk up or down on the peripheral surface of the pad, as has heretofore been the experience with turn wheels having arcuate surfaces extending over the entirety of their peripheral faces.
' Lower flange 22 of turn wheel 11 is so positioned and dimensioned as to further insure proper retention of the vcable and clamp during passage thereof about the turn wheel, even though a severe displacing force (as could Abe occasioned by a passenger-loaded chair) might be exerted thereon, but so as to in no way affect, much less impede, such passage during normal operation of the system.Thus, as apparent in the latter connection from the YFIGURE 2 illustration of the normal operation of the system, during which the clamps cable-encircling portion :31 iS seated within groove 24 and its portion 32 extends lsulbstantially horizontally outwardly therefrom, flange 22 at that time engages no part of either cable 14, clamp 15 or hanger bar 16 due to the distance A between the approximate center of groove 24 and the upper surface of flange 22 being slightly greater than the distance B between the projection of a horizontal diameter of porf4 .j .L i .-l fion 31 0f Clamp. landthelowarguat P0t1t0fi1rfa9e 3321 oflclampshoulder 33, and due to the distance C of the projection of flange 22 ibeyond face 23a of pad 23 being less than the distance D between hanger bar 16 and the projection of a Verticalrdiameter of clamp portion 3.1.` Under the aforesaid vnormal operating conditions, therefore, flange 22 in no way interferes with the passage of cable k14 or'clamp 15 about the turn wheel, orwith any longitudinally-directedswinging movement ofthe chair and hanger bar whichmight'occur during such passage. i
However, in the event clamp 15 is subjected during its passage about the turn wheel to a force tending to downwardly displace it and cable 14 from their illustrated positions within'groove'24 (FIGURE 2)*which force might occur for various reasons including the passenger weight contained in or lateral swinging movement of the chair carricd'by theclamp Yand its associated hanger bar 16, flange 22 immediately lacts to limit the downward displacement'of the clamp and to thereby resist, if not altogether obviate, displacement of the clamp and cable from groove 24. This highly desirable result is attributable lto the aforesaid projection C of flange 22 beyond face 23a of pad'23, although less than the distance D described above, being greater than the distance E between shoulder 33 of clamp portion 32 and the projection of the vertical diameter of clamp portion 31. vDue to this structural relationship between the components,l it will be apparent that the downward pivotal movement of clamp 15 about the center of its portion 31, which movement would be the first manifestation of a cable-displacing force whether occasioned by passenger weight or lateral-swinging of the chair, or both, would be halted Iby abutment of the upper surface of flange 22 and the surface 33a of clamp shoulder 33, after movement of the latter through only that short span corresponding to the difference between distances A and B. The clamp and cable would thereafter Vbe supported by flange 22 so as to be properly retained within groove 24 during their entire passage about the turn wheel notwithstanding the imposition thereon of what would otherwise be displacing forces.
It should be noted that, due to the previously-mentioned slope of surface 33a, flange 22 will successfully function in substantially the foregoing -rnanner even if initial imposition of they cable-displacing force should occur during or prior to initial entry of the clamp 15 onto the turn wheel. In such a case, flange 22 would initially engage surface 33a of clamp shoulder 33 at some point above its lowermost extremity. However, this engagement and the continued longitudinal Imovement of the clamp and cable would immediately result in the clamp being thereafter forced gradually and smoothly upwardly until such time as the lowermost extremity of surface 33a rested upon and was fully supported by the upper surface of flange 22. Clamp portion 31 would at that time, of course, be properly seated within groove 24 of the turn wheel, and would thereafter remain so during the entire passage of the clamp about the wheel due to the continued engagement during such passage between clamp shoulder 33 and flange 22.
It should be noted, in the foregoing connection, that the distance C of the projection of flange 22 beyond face 23a of pad 23 is preferably greater, as shown, than the distance between clamp shoulder 33 and the inner end of the clamp. Even if clamp 15 should 'be insuch an unusually-displaced position, either upon entry onto or passage about the turn wheel, that its portion 31 abutted face 23a of pad 23- instead of being seated within groove 24 thereof, flange 22 would therefore nevertheless still engage shoulder 33 of the clamp. Such engagement could actually return portion 31 of the clamp and the cable to properseated positions within groove 24, depending upon the extent of the displacement therefrom and other factors, and would in any event serve to prevent the complete disengagement of the cable from the turn wheel which might otherwise occur. Due to the possible serious injury to passengers and certain necessity for equipment shut-down and repairs which would be occasioned by such complete disengagement, this feature of the present devel-opment is dee-med of significant importance notwithstanding the contingency against which it guards being one which would occur but rarely.
Upper flange 21 of the turn wheel preferably projects, as shown, only a short distance outwardly beyond face 23a of pad 23, such distance being considerably less than the distance C. This enables the cable 14 to -be slipped easily over the upper flange and into groove 24 of the pad during assembly and disassembly of the system, thus facilitating and simplifying such assembly and disassembly.
In the drawings and specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.
That which is claimed is:
1. In combination with a chair lift asse-mbly and the like including a cable supported for longitudinal movement along a predetermined path of travel, a clamp having a first portion partially encircling said cable and a second lportion extending substantially horizontally outwardly therefrom and having abutment means intermediate the length of said second portion, and a chairsupporting hanger bar pivotally attached to and extending downwardly from said second portion of said clamp intermediate the outer end and said abutment means thereof; an improved turn wheel for altering the direction of the path of travel of said cable, said turn wheel comprising a wheel-frame supported for rotation about a substantially vertical axis and having a substantially vertically extending peripheral face about its circumference, said peripheral face having a groove therein of substantially semi-circular cross-sectional configuration and of a diameter substantially the same as the diameter of said cable-encircling portion of said clamp, said groove extending about the entire circumference of said peripheral face and being adapted to seatingly receive the side of said cable and of said cable-encircling portion of said clamp opposite said outwardly extending portion of said clamp to guidably `support the cable for passage about the turn wheel, and flange means carried by said wheel-frame projecting radially outwardly beyond said peripheral face thereof below said groove therein, the radial projection of said flange means beyond said peripheral face of said wheel-frame being less than the horizontal distance from said downwardly-extending hanger bar to a line defined by an extension of the vertical diameter of said cableencircling portion of said clamp to permit free pivotal movement of said hanger bar about said second portion of said clamp as the cable and clamp pass about the turn wheel with said cable-encircling portion of said clampin seated engagement with said groove, and the radial projection of said flange means beyond said outer face of said wheel-frame being at least as great as the horizontal distance Ibetween said abutment means of said clamp and said extension line of the vertical diameter of said cable-encircling portion of said clamp, whereby said flange means so underlies said abutment means of said clamp during seated passage thereof about the turn wheel as lo engage said abutment means upon downward .movement of the clamp and limit said movement, thereby resisting unseating of said cable-encircling portion of the clamp from said groove.
2. A chair lift assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein the radial projection of said flange means beyond said peripheral face of said wheel-frame is at least as great as the distance from the inner end of said clamp to said abutment means thereof, whereby said flange means supportingly engages said abutment means of said clamp in the event of said cable-encircling portion of said clamp being unseated from said groove, thereby preventing displacement of the cable from the turn wheel during passage ofthe cable and its clamp thereabout.
3. A chair lift assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said wheel-frame includes an annular pad of deformable material having an outer face defining said peripheral face of said wheel frame, andwherein said groove in said peripheral face is disposed between substantially vertical upper and lower surfaces of said peripheral face, whereby in the event of slack developing in said. cable during its passage about the turn wheel, unseating of the cable from said groove is discouraged.
4. A chair lift assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said abutment means comprises a shoulder formed integral with and extending downwardly from said second portion of said clamp, and wherein the vertical distance between the approximate center of said groove and the upper portion of said flange means is slightly greater than the vertical distance between a line defined by an extension of the horizontal diameter of said cable-encircling portion of said clamp and the lowermost surface of said downwardly extending shoulder whereby said clamp normally passes about said turn wheel without contact with said abutment means.
5. A chair lift assembly as defined in claim 4 wherein the leading portion of the lower surface of said shoulder slopes upwardly in the direction of movement of said cable so that, in the event said clamp is displaced from said substantially horizontally-extending position as it initially engages said outer face of said wheel-frame, said sloping leading portion of the lower surface of said shoulder is contacted by said ange means to guide the clamp into said substantially horizontally-extending position.
6. A chair lift assembly as defined in claim 1 including additional flange means carried by said wheel-frame projecting radially outwardly beyond said peripheral face thereof above said groove therein, the radial projection of said additional flange means beyond said peripheral face of said wheel-frame being less than the radial projection of said flange means extending outwardly below said groove in the peripheral face of said wheel-frame to facilitate engagement and disengagement of the cable from the turn wheel during assembly and disassembly of the chair lift.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,087,232 7/1937 C-onstam -104-173 ARTHUR L. LA POINT, Primary Examiner.
D. F. WORTH, Assistant Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. IN COMBINATION WITH A CHAIR LIFT ASSEMBLY AND THE LIKE INCLUDING A CABLE SUPPORTED FOR LONGITUDINAL MOVEMENT ALONG A PREDETERMINED PATH OF TRAVEL, A CLAMP HAVING A FIRST PORTION PARTIALLY ENCIRCLING SAID CABLE AND A SECOND PORTION EXTENDING SUBSTANTIALLY HORIZONTALLY OUTWARDLY THEREFROM AND HAVING ABUTMENT MEANS INTERMEDIATE THE LENGTH OF SAID SECOND PORTION, AND A CHAIRSUPPORTING HANGER BAR PIVOTALLY ATTACHED TO AND EXTENDING DOWNWARDLY FROM SAID SECOND PORTION OF SAID CLAMP INTERMEDIATE THE OUTER END AND SAID ABUTMENT MEANS THEREOF; AN IMPROVED TURN WHEEL FOR ALTERING THE DIRECTION OF THE PATH OF TRAVEL OF SAID CABLE, SAID TURN WHEEL COMPRISING A WHEEL-FRAME SUPPORTED FOR ROTATION ABOUT A SUBSTANTIALLY VERTICAL AXIS AND HAVING A SUBSTANTIALLY VERTICALLY EXTENDING PERIPHERAL FACE ABOUT ITS CIRCUMFERENCE, SAID PERIPHERAL FACE HAVING A GROOVE THEREIN OF SUBSTANTIALLY SEMI-CIRCULAR CROSS-SECTIONAL CONFIGURATION AND OF A DIAMETER SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THE DIAMETER OF SAID CABLE-ENCIRCLING PORTION OF SAID CLAMP, SAID GROOVE EXTENDING ABOUT THE ENTIRE CIRCUMFERENCE OF SAID PERIPHERAL FACE AND BEING ADAPTED TO SEATINGLY RECEIVE THE SIDE OF SAID CABLE AND OF SAID CABLE-ENCIRCLING PORTION OF SAID CLAMP OPPOSITE SAID OUTWARDLY EXTENDING PORTION OF SAID CLAMP TO GUIDABLY SUPPORT THE CABLE FOR PASSAGE ABOUT THE
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Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3596607A (en) * 1967-08-11 1971-08-03 Jean Pomagalski Cable drive device for an endless cable installation
US3613601A (en) * 1967-12-29 1971-10-19 Jean Pomagalski Support device for aerial cable
US3788235A (en) * 1972-10-31 1974-01-29 Berry Metal Co Support structure for turn wheel of cable-driven chair lift
US3850110A (en) * 1971-08-25 1974-11-26 Pullman Inc An aerial rope tramway
US3857340A (en) * 1973-12-20 1974-12-31 Berry Metal Co Return bull wheel and cable clamp for cable-driven chair lift
US4023502A (en) * 1975-10-02 1977-05-17 John William Elsing Portable ski tow apparatus
US4664036A (en) * 1984-08-27 1987-05-12 Si Handling Systems, Inc. Conveyor having curved track section
US4850281A (en) * 1988-05-05 1989-07-25 Automatic Systems, Inc. Traction wheel turn for power and free conveyor
EP1099880A1 (en) * 1999-11-09 2001-05-16 Innova Patent GmbH Sheave wheel for cable lift
EP2396094A2 (en) * 2009-02-12 2011-12-21 William J. Kitchen Suspended cable amusement ride
US20140020592A1 (en) * 2011-03-30 2014-01-23 Pomagalski Aerial transport installation with back-and-forth movement and multiple sections
CN110239571A (en) * 2019-07-02 2019-09-17 贵州师范大学 Aerial cableway horizontal turning device

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2087232A (en) * 1934-08-17 1937-07-20 Constam Ernst Traction lines for ski-runners and other passengers

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2087232A (en) * 1934-08-17 1937-07-20 Constam Ernst Traction lines for ski-runners and other passengers

Cited By (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3596607A (en) * 1967-08-11 1971-08-03 Jean Pomagalski Cable drive device for an endless cable installation
US3613601A (en) * 1967-12-29 1971-10-19 Jean Pomagalski Support device for aerial cable
US3850110A (en) * 1971-08-25 1974-11-26 Pullman Inc An aerial rope tramway
US3788235A (en) * 1972-10-31 1974-01-29 Berry Metal Co Support structure for turn wheel of cable-driven chair lift
US3857340A (en) * 1973-12-20 1974-12-31 Berry Metal Co Return bull wheel and cable clamp for cable-driven chair lift
US4023502A (en) * 1975-10-02 1977-05-17 John William Elsing Portable ski tow apparatus
US4664036A (en) * 1984-08-27 1987-05-12 Si Handling Systems, Inc. Conveyor having curved track section
US4850281A (en) * 1988-05-05 1989-07-25 Automatic Systems, Inc. Traction wheel turn for power and free conveyor
EP1099880A1 (en) * 1999-11-09 2001-05-16 Innova Patent GmbH Sheave wheel for cable lift
EP2396094A2 (en) * 2009-02-12 2011-12-21 William J. Kitchen Suspended cable amusement ride
EP2396094A4 (en) * 2009-02-12 2013-05-22 William J Kitchen Suspended cable amusement ride
US20140020592A1 (en) * 2011-03-30 2014-01-23 Pomagalski Aerial transport installation with back-and-forth movement and multiple sections
US8899157B2 (en) * 2011-03-30 2014-12-02 Pomagalski Aerial transport installation with back-and-forth movement and multiple sections
CN110239571A (en) * 2019-07-02 2019-09-17 贵州师范大学 Aerial cableway horizontal turning device

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