Drive Plate remanufacture – The Black Buccaneer at Chessington World of Adventures

The Black Buccaneer in full swing

03 Jun Drive Plate remanufacture – The Black Buccaneer at Chessington World of Adventures

The Black Buccaneer Ride at Chessington
The Black Buccaneer Ride at Chessington

The Black Buccaneer at Chessington World of Adventures is another of our theme park ride refurbishment projects that’s just been completed.

Originally opened in 1998 as the Smugglers Galleon, it was built by Huss Rides (Huss are another of the great ride manufacturers who build things to last) and is a swing ride that seats up to 45 people. The ‘swing’ is a huge one with the top edge being driven almost 20 metres into the air at the top of its arc, driven by a motor at the base. It was the drive plate that houses this motor and gearbox that we remanufactured.

The ride lasts around 2 minutes and with unload/reload times could carry over 400 riders per hour. You can imagine how hard this has to work when on any given day it may have to run its full ride cycle up to 100 times.

Manufacturing the drive plate

You’ll see from the images that it was fabricated from scratch to a very precise finish to match and improve on the original spec. The drive plate contains the motor and gearbox to drive the pirate ship from standstill to that 20m height and copes with enormous stresses, so it’s good practice to keep on top of this sort of regular maintenance to prevent unscheduled problems.

The fitting of the new drive plate only took three days for our team of engineers and it was running beautifully and in time for the busy holiday period.

The drive plate before assembly all pieces are cut and made to size
The drive plate before assembly all pieces are cut and made to size
A purpose built jig is made to size to be able to manufacture the drive plate to exacting tolerances
A purpose built jig is made to size to be able to manufacture the drive plate to exacting tolerances
With all the components tacked into place to be able to get the sizing millimtere perfect
With all the components tacked into place to be able to get the sizing millimtere perfect
The completed drive plate all ready to be fitted
The completed drive plate all ready to be fitted
The completed plate ready to be shipped and installed
The completed plate ready to be shipped and installed

And then all back up and running.

The Black Buccaneer ride at Chessington driven to its full 20m height
The Black Buccaneer ride at Chessington driven to its full 20m height

And now you’ve seen the pictures…

You can experience the ride from a Point of View (POV) Passenger perspective and see quite how high it gets in a very short space of time. It’s only when you see the power of the drive motor, you realise how hard it has to work.