FUNITEL



We have the Funitels, which are a special type of aerial lift used to transport and bring skiiers. Funitels have not only been used as a means to transport skiers, there is one used to transport finished cars between different areas of a factory. Recently, more and more funitels have been added to ski areas. The Funitel word is a conjunction between the French words funicular and telepherique.


The funitels have one or two loops of rope or cable strung between two terminals over intermediate towers. In order to maximize the stability of the passenger cabins, the cables are arranged in two pairs moving in separate directions. Although it might appear that there are four cables, most of the time there is actually only one.


The cabins are subject to a pair of cables with four spring loaded grips, two in each cable. Because the cable runs at a speed faster than that at which most people would care to board or disembark, the cabins must be slowed down while in the terminals to allow skiers to get on and off. This is accomplished by detaching the cabin from the cable and slowing it down with progressively slower rotating tires mounted on the ceiling of the terminal. Once the cabin has reached a speed at which it is safe to load or unload passengers, the cabin is moved about the end turnaround by tires mounted on the floor. The cabin is then accelerated to line speed with a second set of rotating tires.