Fancy Ferris wheels are an architectural form all their own. But the Bailang Bridge Ferris Wheel in Weifang, China, is a particularly stunning example. The city is now home to an engineering marvel following the opening of the largest spokeless Ferris wheel in the world.
Back in 1893, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. unveiled the world’s first Ferris wheel, dazzling visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Now, more than 120 years later, China has decided to reinvent Ferris’ wheel.
Sitting over the Bailang River, the Bailang Bridge Ferris Wheel is located on the 540m bridge that crosses the body of water in Shandong Province. The structure has a height of 145m, surpassing the London Eye in height by 10 meters. It has 36 carts that can fit up to 10 passengers each, and features a built-in TV set and wireless Internet, while offering views of East China’s Shandong Province.
The Bailang Bridge Ferris Wheel is also structurally unique, sporting a gridded scaffolding inspired by the cross-supports of kites, also described as a “dragon spine”. Unlike most Ferris wheels, where the carriages are affixed to a rotating ring, the main frame of the structure remains fixed while the carriages are pulled along by a moving outer ring. One full rotation is said to take around 30 minutes to complete.
The attraction will most likely become one of the most iconic builds within China.