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British Airways London Eye

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British Airways London Eye

British Airways London Eye represents the turning of time, celebrating London's past and looking forward to its future. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy one of the world's major cities from a totally new angle. What better way to see all London has achieved than through the amazing perspectives offered by British Airways London Eye.

British Airways London Eye is conceived and designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield. Architects with the same idea in mind - a wheel represents the cycle of life, not only creating a beautiful new landmark but, above all, giving passengers a unique perspective of London.

It has taken seven years to get to the point where you can fly British Airways London Eye. David Marks and Julia Barfield have teamed up with British Airways and with the Tussaud's Group, and the partners moved together to build this attraction for the new Millennium.

British Airways London Eye was constructed piece by piece throughout Europe. As the biggest observation wheel ever designed, there was nosingle place it could be built:

Vital Statistics

Diameter 135 metres

Weight 1,900 tonnes

Weight of a single cable 1.5 tonnes

Speed 0.26m/s

Time to revolve 30 minutes

Viewing Distance 25 miles/40 kilometres

This is truly a European project. The main structure was built in Holland, using tubular steel provided by British Steel; the hub and spindle were cast in Czech Republic; the bearings,which allow the rim to turn, were made in Germany; the cables were made in Italy and the capsules were made in France.

Once all the components had been made, the site, next to the Thames allowed British Airways London Eye to be assembled in a unique way. Each piece was sailed up the river by barge - the heaviest part was the hub and spindle weighing 330 tonnes. British Airways London Eye was then assembled horizontally on temporary platforms built up from the river bed. A detailed survey of the river bed had to be undertaken to decide where the best place would be to position and to

test the weights that they could bear. Care was taken to ensure that river traffic was not disrupted during construction.

The rim sections were joined together first, lifted into place by Taklift 1, one of Europe's largest floating cranes, which can carry 800 tonnes at a time. The A-frame legs were then attached to the hub and spindle, which were connected to the rim by steel cables. The legs were founded deep beneath the ground in Jubilee Gardens, but are hinged at their base and so were used to gently lift the rim up from the river into a vertical position. The massive 1,900 tonne structure was lifted into place in stages and then firmly anchored into Jubilee Gardens.

Only when British Airways London Eye was in its final position were the passenger capsules attached to its rim.

The specially designed capsules in which you will fly were designed by DavidMarks and Julia Barfield Architects to help you see out from all sides. Because they are attached on the outside of the rim of British Airways London Eye and overhang the river, none of the rim structure obscures the view. The design is unique. On a clear day, you will be able to see for 25 miles - as far as

Heathrow Airport and Windsor Castle.

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