Hoist helps get wheel spinning

By Maria Hadlow07 May 2008

The Singapore Flyer observation wheel is currently the largest in the world.

The Singapore Flyer observation wheel is currently the largest in the world.

Throughout the construction of the world's largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer, subcontractor UTOC relied on a customised Alimak hoist from Swedish manufacturer, Alimak Hek, to get its engineers to the hub of the wheel where it was installing essential cables and wiring.

The giant ferris wheel in Singapore, which opens on 1 March, is 165 m tall and the 150 m diameter observation wheel sits between two pylons installed at an angle of 2 degrees. There is a three story terminal building at the base which will house tourist shops and entertainment venues. It was the proximity of this building's overhanging roof that blocked the passage of a standard Scando 10/20 hoist so UTOC placed an order, through Alimak Singapore, for a smaller customised car.

The specialised car is 1 m wide, 2 m long and 3 m high and the system incorporates an additional platform which extends to the wheel hub where the contractor had installed its own internal platform. The Alimak hoist can lift 1000 kg which is equivalent to eight passengers.

The Singapore Flyer carries 28 air conditioned cars, which can each carry up to 30 passengers. A complete rotation is expected to take 37 minutes offering views of Singapore's city centre and about 45 km beyond. The landscaped site also contains roof gardens and a recreated rainforest within the atrium.

The Singapore Flyer should be open in March 2008 but will only be in the record books until the 208 m high wheel in Beijing opens for the 2008 summer Olympics.

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