An elevated passenger ropeway, or chairlift, is a type of aerial lift, which consists of a continuously circulating steel cable loop strung between two end terminals and usually over intermediate towers, carrying a series of chairs. They are the primary onhill transport at most ski areas (in such cases referred to as 'skilifts'), but are also found at amusement parks, various tourist attractions-and increasingly-in urban transport. Depending on carrier size and loading efficiency, a passenger ropeway can move up 4000 people per hour, and the fastest lifts achieve operating speeds of up to 12 m/s (39.4 ft/s) or 43.2 km/h (26.8 mph). The two-person double chair, which for many years was the workhorse of the ski industry, can move roughly 1200 people per hour at rope speeds of up to 2.5 m/s (8.2 ft/s). The four person detachable chairlift ("high-speed quad") can transport 2400 people per hour with an average rope speed of 5 m/s (16.4 ft/s). Some bi and tri cable elevated ropeways and reversible tramways achieve much greater operating speeds. Fixed-grip lifts are usually shorter than detachable-grip lifts due to rope load; the maximum vertical rise for a fixed grip chairlift is 300-400 m (984.3-1,312 ft) and a length of about 1,200 m (3,937 ft), while detachable quads and "six-packs" can service a vertical rise of over 600 m (1,969 ft) and a line length of 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Terminology Especially at ski areas, chairlifts are referred to with a ski industry vernacular. A one person lift is a "single", a two person lift is a "
ouble", a three person lift a "triple", four person lifts are "quads", and a six person lift is a "six pack". If the lift is a detachable chairlift, it is typically referred to as a "high-speed" lift, which results in a "high-speed quad" or "high-speed six pack". rope speed the speed in feet per minute or metres per second that the rope moves [load] interval the spacing between carriers, measured either by distance or time capacity the number of passengers the lift transports per hour efficiency the ratio of fully loaded carriers during peak operation, usually expressed as a percentage of capacity. Because fixed grip lifts move faster than detachables at load and unload, misloads (and missed unloads) are more frequent on fixed grips, and can reduce the efficiency as low as 80%. fixed grip each carrier is fastened to a fixed point on the rope detachable grip each carrier's grip opens and closes during regular operation allowing detachment from the rope and travel slowly for load and unload. Detachable grips allow a greater rope speed to be used, usually twice that of a fixed grip chair, while simultaneously having slower loading and unloading sections. See detachable chairlift. The capacity of a lift is constrained by the motive power (prime mover), the rope speed, the carrier spacing, the vertical displacement, and the number of carriers on the rope (a function of the rope length). Human passengers can load only so quickly until loading efficiency decreases; usually an interval of at least five seconds is needed.
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