The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 79 (2001) > Issues > Issue 2 > The British Airways London Eye. Part 2: Structure
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The British Airways London Eye. Part 2: Structure

All the main features of the Wheel can be seen in Fig 1, these being the capsules, rim, columns, and general support system making heavy use of cables. Significantly, the capsules are on the outside of the rim, and entrance to them is achieved by crossing a boarding platform positioned on the riverside of the Queen’s Walk parapet. The rim is supported via cable spokes onto a large spindle cantilevering out over the head of the A-frame, and this frame is inclined and stabilised back to foundation level by a set of four cables. There are two restraint towers guiding the rim and maintaining its alignment at passenger boarding level; guidance is achieved via banks of vertical rollers positioned on each side of each tower. Both towers also support mechanical equipment used for Wheel operation; the southern tower supports the electrical supply, and the northern tower supports the drive system. Additionally, each tower supports hydraulically powered pins and adjustable lateral restraint guides for locking the rim off in advance of high winds (there are pins and guides on each side of the rim). Professor J. Berenbak, A. Lanser and A.P. Mann

Author(s): Berenbak, J;Lanser, A;Mann, A P

Keywords: observation wheels;static;dynamic;design;deflecting;cables;bearings;fire;frames;corrosion protection;erecting;case studies