World's tallest spokeless Ferris wheel opens


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/23/worlds-tallest-spokeless-fer.html


#2

Bound to end up on the Red Bull Air Race world championship series at some point.


#3

One revolution every 17 seconds will generate forces of about 1 g. One revolution every second and a half is sufficient to kill everyone on board.


#4

Ancient Chinese proverb: Go big or go home.


#5

Hell no, I won’t go.
I just don’t go on unspoked Ferris wheels.
And I don’t go on spoked ones either.
just sell me a post card.


#6

I’m not getting on.
Spokes or no spokes, I don’t care.
Sell me a postcard.

– adapted comment haiku


#7

That’s not a ferris wheel. It’s a roller coaster.


#8

Oh that VIEW. Not.


#9


#10

What I soon expect to read, based on that headline: World’s tallest spokeless Ferris wheel collapses


#11

Wait, each car fits 10 people? I think they’re doing ferris wheel wrong.


#12

Yeah, I was expecting some ridiculous contraption reminiscent of those one-wheeled motorcycles.


#13

Yeah, there’s a reason “featureless flat expanse” is not the usual type of locale chosen for these types of mega-Ferris-wheels.


#14

My thoughts exactly.


#15

Bah.

I suppose, technically, it’s hubless, but really, they’ve just expanded the “hub” out to nearly the edge, and then added way more “spokes” to reinforce the setup.

Novel, yes. Spokeless, though? Meh. :slight_smile:


#16

I was thinking something along the lines of those one spoke steering wheels that were popular in the late 70s/early 80s on European cars.


#17

So you’d get a few seconds of “vomit comet” weightlessness at the top and 2g’s at the bottom. Fun. I’d blow chunks for sure.


#18

Built on a bridge spanning the Bailaing River…

Relax, what’s the worst that could happen?


#19

Some things should be left unspoken.

Other things shouldn’t.


#20

Yes, spokeless. What you see is the supporting structure itself, a ring formed from trussed girders / lattice girders, probably steel. Practical considerations (weight, cost, etc.) aside, you could just as well use reinforced concrete or wood.
The actual Ferris wheel is another ring that’s revolving around the structural ring, a bit like a drive belt.
So AFAICT, the London Eye is much more demanding from the technical side and the engineering that went into it. Getting the forces resulting from the eccentricity1) alone to behave the way you want them to is no mean feat. I’m not surprised it took a little while to get it working. It was a new design, and at a daring scale at that.

So the Weifang Wheel is larger, but presents less of an engineering challenge at the design stage. (Which doesn’t mean it was exactly easy to build, either. Building site logistics alone must have been a nightmare.)

What intrigues me is that you never see the gondolas actually move in the video. This isn’t the sort of contraption you open without a lot of test runs.

1) Hey, it is British, after all.