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Busch Gardens The Old Country opened in May of 1975 with one of the most unique skyride installations. The Von Roll built ride features three stations in a triangular configuration with a single cable running service in one direction from the Banbury Cross (England) station, to the Aquitane (France) station, then to the Rhinefeld (German) station, and back to Banbury Cross.

The towers for the Aeronaut Skyride are only about 50 feet tall, but the ride traverses the deep Rhine River valley which runs down the center of the park, making the height of the cable above the water level much closer to 100 feet.  



The Banbury Cross Station, known as the "Aeronaut Dirigible Landing", is closest to the park entrance and usually has the longest line to board. The station is also the power station where the electric drive motor and the backup gasoline engine reside.

All three stations have storage tracks for cabins, but the Banbury Cross Station is where the maintenance cabin which has no roof is kept. This gondola is used by the park's maintenance team to inspect and lubricate the rollers. 




For the annual Christmastown celebration the Skyride gets into the act with lights adorning the gondolas and the stations. Most seasons the Skyride operates as a round trip for Christmas with only the Banbury Cross station open for the Flight of Lights.



The Aquitane Station sits on the edge of the French Village. This station, known as the "Aeronaut Blimp de Barcadere", has just a simple bull wheel as the cable makes the turn to the next station.

Like the other station there are storage tracks for gondolas to go into or come out of service.


In the fall of 2006 the Le Mans Cars were removed from the park and the land they were on was cleared to make way for new development.

For Christmastown 2006 the Skyride was closed for the construction of the Griffon roller coaster. The Skyride was designed to weave in and out of the coaster structure.

While the stations were closed, the Aquitane station featured a banner advertising the new coaster's arrival.

While the Skyride was closed the hanger arms and wheel assemblies were removed from the cabins for winter maintenance.

The cable ran through the middle of the construction area and the rollers were removed from tower #4 which was in middle of the area. The cable was suspended from the tower below its normal height. A proximity alarm was hung from the cable to warn the construction crew if they were getting to close to the cable to prevent accidents as the equipment moved through below and around it.

The Rhinefeld Station is the tension station with the large counterweight sitting below the station. This is a unique setup where instead of having a single bull wheel mounted horizontally, it has two mounted vertically and the cable runs down to a third, smaller bull wheel on the top of the counterweight.

The station like the other two also has storage tracks to hold gondolas that are out of service.  




Tower #10 which stands next to the Tweedside Station was relocated when the pathway to Italy was added to the park. The tower was moved a few feet closer to the Banbury Cross station giving more clearance for the pathway. The footing for the original tower location still exists behind the fence in the train station.

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