A visibility marker in rope span no. 2 of the materials-handling ropeway from Visalpsee to Traualpe
Photo: Dr. Christian Ortner


Marking track ropes as an obstacle to aircraft

A pilot project with visibility markers as an obstacle warning based on the patented Ortner system is now in operation on a materials-handling ropeway.

In ISR 5/2017 (p. 42), we presented the obstacle warning system developed and patented by Dr. Christian Ortner, which is particularly suitable for the reversible aerial tramways used for passenger transportation and materials handling that are a common sight in the Alps. As reported, it offers several advantages: It avoids the need for a separate carrier rope including supports and anchors for the conventional warning balls; it greatly facilitates maintenance, e.g. in the case of color fading, and it eliminates the risk of the carrier rope breaking at a point next to the clamps (and the complete string of balls landing on the ground) due to the fact that the rope is not completely accessible for inspection without being taken down. The visibility marker is tunnel-shaped on section and clamped to the track rope from below so as to permit passage of the carriage. That makes the marker ball easily accessible from the carrier for maintenance purposes.

The long wait for the real-life debut of the product was not only due to the bureaucratic hurdles that have to be taken before the final approvals are issued for any innovative system classified as a safety component. In fact the wind tunnel tests conducted in preparation for CE certification, which also led to the decision to fit a spoiler to the side of the marker to prevent excessive oscillation or even rotation around the track rope, were completed in January 2018, and in June of that year the CE certification process handled by the WPK Austria GmbH Kaprun test center had been completed. Shortly before the permit under ropeway law was issued, however, the operator decided to deregister the system from the list covered by ropeway law and to re-register it as a private industrial installation in order to reduce operating costs. Since the original plans from 1964 had faded in places, and some of them were no longer up to date as several modifications had been made without proper documentation, the process involved a great deal of reverse engineering. But that also had its good points: The visibility markers which were mounted on the windy rope span no. 2 of the materials-handling ropeway from Vilsalpsee (Tannheim, Tyrol) to the Traualpe in spring 2018 were kept under observation for two winters with several storms. The observations confirmed the results of the wind tunnel tests, and the concerns initially expressed by the ropeway authorities were proven to be unfounded. In the meantime the installation has been inspected and approved and is now operating. This means that the innovative obstacle marking system is now available for similar ropeways for which a conventional system would entail very high installation and follow-up costs.

Photo: Dr. Christian Ortner
The spoiler (white) fitted on the spherical body of the marker to prevent excessive oscillation or even rotation around the track rope
Photo: Dr. Christian Ortner

Foto: Neveplast

On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, a 500 m long artificial ski slope will open in the Hammarbybacken ski area in the middle of Stockholm. Regardless of…

Read more

Apprentice recruitment has long become part of the fight for resources. Many operators are racking their brains to find an answer to the question:…

Read more
Photo: L. Fahrnberger

According to the findings of the Best Austrian Summer Cable Cars quality initiative, sustainability is a must when it comes to creating experience…

Read more
Photo: D. Bumann

Following the successful debut of Digital Days organized by Sisag AG and Remec AG last November, a second edition of the event was held at the…

Read more
Photo: M. Lobmaier

All the attendees at the very busy NSAA National Convention & Tradeshow 2022 were agreed: Despite the many challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic…

Read more

The visual fusion of steel and rock: The structural steel and façade engineering company Pichler Projects specializes in building engineering in the…

Read more
Photo: Fatzer AG

With the TRUscan magnetic induction rope tester and appurtenant software, Fatzer, in cooperation with Stuttgart University’s Institute of Mechanical…

Read more
Photo: Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG

The SNOWsat developers spent the summer taking suggestions and requests from customers and making further improvements with respect to the…

Read more
All photos: Roman Gric

In 1961, a ropeway was opened as a link between the terminus of the Chamonix-Montenvers rack railway and the ice cave at the foot of France’s longest…

Read more
Photo: Becks Falk, @falkphoto

The US National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) held its National Convention & Trade Show online from June 7-11, 2021. The event had a focus on the…

Read more

ISR Newsletter

Latest news relating to ropeways and winter destinations on your screen!

The most important news and reports about themes like ropeways, ski resorts, piste preparation, snowmaking and a lot more.

Subscribe now and stay in the know! Our bilingual Newsletter comes in German and English or German and French!


Subscription & Media Data