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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Still Working at 97

Not a person, but an aerial cable car that crosses the Niagara Whirlpool, daily from early March until early November.

AeroCar empty

AeroCar0920 7

It's called the Spanish or Whirlpool Aero Car and despite its advanced age of 97, it's one of Niagara Falls most popular attractions. Designed by Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres Quevado in 1916, and upgraded several times, the system uses a single car that carries 35 standing passengers. Originally, the car was open, but a roof was added in later designs.

AeroCar collage2

The cable car is suspended from six sturdy cables and offers a view of the Niagara Whirlpool, which is formed at the end of the rapids where the gorge turns abruptly counterclockwise, and the river escapes through the narrowest channel in the gorge and creates the Niagara Whirlpool. 

Once the car reaches the opposite side, passengers switch sides for the return transport; it's done while suspended in mid-air by walking around the car from one side to the other.

Niagara whirlpool view

The trip originates on the Canadian side of the Falls and crosses over the U.S. side part way into the Whirlpool (about 500 feet) from the starting point and for about 200 feet. You don't need a passport to ride across. A round trip is about 3,600 feet and takes 10 minutes to navigate with a capacity of 35 standees. 

Some folks might be thinking, no way, and Grenville DID have me check it out beforehand, but it was a very smooth ride across and back and perfect weather. Also, as precarious as it might seem, the aero car maintains a perfect safety record, unlike some amusement car rides.

Niagara whirlpool collage

NOW, here's one attraction we did NOT take — a whirlpool jet boat ride — you will absolutely get soaking wet on this ride.

Whirlpool jetboat collage

We did take the White Water Walk on a boardwalk alongside the raging rapids and didn't get wet, plus saw some spectacular views.

White water walk collage

10 comments:

Daisy said...

That's quite a view from the aero car. I'm not sure I could ride in that. Neat to see these pictures.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Pat asked me to look at it before riding on it as he feared I might "chicken out," but it really was a smooth (and short) ride on a perfect weather day as well.

The Odd Essay said...

We've been to Niagara Falls a few times.. didn't even know that aerial ride exists! I'd love to do that! We've done those whirlpool tide rides... wet clear to the skin... underwear and all!

Sandra said...

these are great photos. I would not get on that contraption in 1952 and certainly would not get on it now that it is 97.. yikes! my life motto is if it can happen it probably will and i knew that at age 8. you would not have wanted to hear the ruckus I raised about getting on that cable car..

Out on the prairie said...

A second honeymoon, so nice to enjoy

Terri Buster said...

Another one of those " I need to think about this first" rides that I might someday get to take. I have never been to Niagara Falls..on my list!

Montanagirl said...

Nice pics! I've been to Niagara once, as a little kid.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

You are very brave in more ways than one.

Linda Gross said...

I have been there several times; have not yet gone on a ride across the rapids!

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

These rides look like fun! I can't believe I've never been to Niagara Falls, but it's on my list of to dos!

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