2013 – 2014
2014 – 2015
Services by Werner Sobek
Structural engineering (WP 1 – 5)
Intamin Amusement Rides, Schaan/Liechtenstein
Bob Waddington, Ocala/USA
Standing at a height of 120 m, the Orlando Eye is the largest observation wheel on the East Coast of the United States. The spacious, air-conditioned glass capsules can accommodate up to 1,300 passengers per hour. The Eye rotates at a sedate 1.6 km/h, making each ride last approximately 22 minutes and allowing passengers to embark and alight without needing to stop the wheel. As Orlando lies in a hurricane zone, the planning process for the structure had to take extreme wind loads into account. The wind load provisions therefore include measures to withstand a 700-year storm with wind speeds in excess of 230 km/h.
The entire structure of the wheel – which consists of 120,000 parts – was manufactured in Europe. This required a design that would fit into shipping containers and necessitated strict adherence to an extremely tight time schedule. After being manufactured in Europe, the wheel was transported to the United States and assembled on-site. Due to a lack of space, the assembly was carried out in a vertical position. This meant that the planners had to develop a special assembly concept that took numerous special load cases into consideration.