The British Airways London Eye Reopens

12th Feb 2001

The world’s biggest observation wheel has reopened to the public following three weeks closure for its first annual maintenance and general refurbishment.
Engineers responsible for maintaining and checking the world’s fastest and biggest roller coasters and theme park rides, carried out the ‘MOT’ on the 450 ft high British Airways London Eye.

The work included:
- Major overhaul of each capsule:
- The motors and gearboxes that keep the capsules level and rotating smoothly have been serviced.
- All interior fittings like lights and electrical systems have been checked and serviced.
- Air conditioning has undergone a complete overhaul and filters changed to ensure comfort.
- Wheels and motors:
- The 16 wheels and motors of the drive system that rotate the wheel have been overhauled.
- Each drive has been given a new tyre. (Each tyre has travelled over 2000 miles pushing the worlds largest wheel).
- The giant hydraulic pumps that drive the wheels have been serviced by specialists flown in from Germany.
- General Improvements:
- Construction of a stunning new glass canopy suspended over the boarding platform to provide better weather protection for customers and staff as they enter the capsules.
- Improvements giving better access to the ticket hall for disabled customers.
- Improvements to the landscaping in the main public pre-flight areas.
- Refurbishment of the ticket hall.
- Structure:
- The welding of the steel structure has been examined using comprehensive non-destructive testing (NDT) methods.
- Control Systems:
- Checks have been carried out on more than 200 computers.
- more
- Electricians have tested electrical circuits all over the site, from retail outlets to the main power cables for the wheel itself.
- The wheel itself has been test driven many times as a final check.
- The power generator has been serviced to ensure that, should a power cut put London in the dark, the London Eye could continue to turn.



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