It is at a height of 135 meters approx and is considered to be tallest one in the world, when it was built, until 2006, when it was beaten up by another Ferris wheel the Star of Nanchang, in Nanchang, China. The structure is the largest observation wheel in Europe, and is the most popular tourist attraction in the UK attracting over 3.8 million visitors per year.
Design and Construction:
The London eye is a gift to London as it is an art nurtured with so many brainy heads. The primary individuals cited as the architects of the London Eye are Frank Anatole, Julia Barfield, Steven Chilton, Nic Bailey, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrow hawk, and David Marks.
Construction began in 1998, and the wheel was put together over the river, in a horizontal position, before being pulled upright. The Millennium Wheel, consists of 32 glazed capsules each of which can carry up to 25 people on a rotating, each capsule is air conditioned to provide a comfortable year-round range of service. Every capsule weighs up to 10 tons when they are empty. One revolution of the London Eye takes around 30 minutes to complete. Each oval shaped capsule is completely enclosed by curved glass. The design was calculated to withstand a wind force of about 280 km/h (174 mph). For your surprise the whole eye weighs 1700 tons.
The wheel was totally dependent on the glazed capsules of Dow Corning sealants. The contractor for the Eye capsules was Sigma, who needed to find strong, durable sealants and so they chose to work with Dow Corning for the assembly of the 1600 m2 of curved glass, using three products, having high strength, high durability, hardness and good fire resistant.
- Dow Corning 3-0117 Silicone Sealant, was chosen for use where high strength, high durability, hardness and good fire resistant were needed.
- Dow Corning 993 Structural Glazing Silicone Sealant was used to bond the glass and again was chosen for its durability, fire resistance and its bomb proof characteristics.
- Dow Corning 700 Fire stop Silicone Sealant, which exhibits exceptional fire resistance, was used in all the cabins for internal weatherproofing.
At an angle of 65°, the hub of the wheel rests on two supports, and with both its supports on the same side of the hub, the wheel is said to be piling over the river. The entire structure is held in place by six backstay cables anchored to a second foundation. The wheel itself has a diameter of 394 feet (120 meters) and is connected to its hub by 64 cables that function much like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. The power is transmitted by the rubber tires into the rim. The wheel moves so slowly taking only two revolutions per hour that it need not stop for anything except for those with disabilities.
Let’s take a merry-go round with the London eye.