How Do Aerial Runways Work?


Aerial runways are an extremely exciting form of entertainment. Adults and children enjoy the thrill of zooming through the air through beautiful countryside. One of the longest aerial runways in Europe resides in the Conway Valley in Wales. Visitors can choose from a variety of routes providing-fantastic views, speeds of 100 mph and a caving experience. Aerial runways or zip wires are the perfect activity for thrill seekers.

Children of all ages are able to enjoy considerably smaller versions in playgrounds and visitors centres. Almost every child is nervous the first time they use aerial runways but enjoy the experience so much that they will ride them over and over again. The principle behind zip wires is extremely simple making them the perfect addition to any playground.

How Do Aerial Runways Work?

Zip wires have different names all over the world; in Australia, they are called ‘Flying Foxes’, and in Africa, ‘Foefie Slides’. People have used them for decades allowing them to get from A to B very quickly. James Bond and Ethan Hawke regularly use zip wires to escape from tricky situations. However impressive an aerial runway may look, the mechanism used is incredibly simple.
Aerial runways consist of cables that stretch from one point to another. They run on a slope so that gravity can pull the user down the cable. Pulleys are used to reduce friction so that the journey down isn’t bumpy. People using large aerial runways are also equipped with a safety harness to ensure that they are securely attached to the zip wire.

Playground aerial runways work in exactly the same way. The start position is situated at the top of a ramp and the wire is connected to a point lower down. Children sit on a button seat and hold on to the strong insulated cable attached to the pulley. After pushing themselves off the platform using their feet children can enjoy zipping down the wire. The wire at the end of aerial runways always goes upwards so that the person using them naturally slows down.

Playground Aerial Runways

Children always run to aerial runways and excitedly wait their turn. Older children help their younger friends to get onto the seat and encourage them to have a go. Turn taking becomes a well-learned skill because the zip wire can only be used by one child at a time. If the playground has a hard floor then soft surfacing is used under the aerial runway. Grassy playgrounds provide a natural safe surface. Using aerial runways improves balance, coordination, upper body strength, social skills and of course is great fun. Playground aerial runways are available with either a timber or steel frame.

At Playdale we have a timber-framed Aerial Runway and a steel framed City Aerial Runway. Both are suitable for all types of playgrounds and are guaranteed to cause shrieks of excitement.

If you would like to find out more about installing an aerial runway in your playground contact us here.


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