The world's tallest Ferris wheel is to be created in New York and would you really want to go on it on a windy day Ferris wheel I just thought it sounded funny when the article said it had been unveiled by the city's mayor and the picture of a rather large cloth covering it sprung into my mind.
I think I'll let it run for a couple of years before chancing a ride. Being suspended 190 metres in the air on what looks like a big bicycle wheel isn't my first choice when it comes to finding a fun thing to do.
Now that's another good reason to go to New York! I love Ferris wheels and although the enclosed London Eye type are nice I prefer the old ones where you sit in the open air with a swinging seat. The higher the better for me - but as for roller coasters most of them scare me to death - the pace of water flumes is more to my liking.
The drive mechanism for these big wheels is extremely simple. The London eye wheel is driven by hydraulic motors which turn ordinary lorry tyres that run above and below the wheel's rim at the bottom; you can see them quite clearly when you're waiting to board.
The wheel is driven by friction - both sets of tyres are in contact with the rim. The upper set runs in one direction and the lower set runs in the opposite direction. It all works perfectly, it's just a question of changing the tyres at appropriate intervals. The one component that takes a considerable load is the bearing on the central hub - the whole weight of the wheel and its passengers is taken by that bearing.