Singapore Flyer in Singapore

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The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel located in Singapore, constructed in 2005–2008. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of 165 m, making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, 5 m taller than the Star of Nanchang and 30 m taller than the London Eye.

Situated on the southeast tip of the Marina Centre reclaimed land, it comprises a 150 m diameter wheel, built over a three-story terminal building which houses shops, bars and restaurants, and offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about 45 km, including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.

The final capsule was installed on 2 October 2007, the wheel started rotating on 11 February 2008 and it officially opened to the public on 1 March 2008.

Florian Bollen is chairman of both Great Wheel Corporation, registered in Singapore as GWC Holdings, and Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd. A spokesperson for the Singapore Flyer said: "The giant observation wheel in Berlin is separate from the Singapore Flyer and it is separately owned and operated. Great Wheel Corporation is also a separate entity from the Singapore Flyer. Any investigations relating to the Berlin wheel and Great Wheel Corporation have no effect on and no relationship with the Singapore Flyer's operations and finances."

  • On 23 December 2008, the wheel stopped moving and trapped 173 passengers for about six hours. The breakdown was caused by a short circuit and fire in the Flyer's wheel control room, which cut off the air-conditioning in the wheel. Eleven passengers were evacuated via a sling-like device from a few of the capsules, and those stranded were given food and drink. The wheel restarted nearly seven hours after it had stopped and two people were hospitalized. The Flyer was closed indefinitely and an investigation into the cause of the malfunction was launched. Following this breakdown, additional back-up systems costing about S$3 million were installed. These included a generator, winches, three anti-fire and smoke systems, and heat detection devices.
  • At 1 pm on 18 July 2010, the ride was shut after one of its electrical cables supplying power to the air-conditioning systems was struck by lightning, affecting the air-conditioning system. Thereafter, the management evacuated the some 200 passengers and stopped the wheel. The Flyer was re-opened on 20 July 2010 at 2 pm after repair works were completed.

Possible successors

Current proposals
  • The High Roller, to be built on the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada, was announced in August 2011, with construction scheduled to begin the following month and completion expected in late 2013.
Wheels for which no completion date has been announced, or whose original completion date has already passed
  • The Beijing Great Wheel, under construction since 2007 and originally due to be completed in 2008, went into receivership in 2010.
  • The Great Dubai Wheel proposed for Dubailand, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was granted planning permission in 2006 and expected to open in 2009.
  • The Voyager has been proposed several times for Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • The Bangkok Eye, to be located near the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand, was announced by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on 13 October 2010, at which time the actual site and means of funding the 30-billion baht project had yet to be decided.
  • The Great Berlin Wheel was originally scheduled to open in 2008 but the project has since stalled after encountering financial obstacles.

In popular culture

  • The Flyer featured in Big, Bigger, Biggest in an episode first aired in September 2009 which explored the engineering breakthroughs that have made it possible for Ferris wheels to grow ever larger.
  • The Flyer featured in The Amazing Race 16 in 2010 when a team had to climb from one capsule to another, at the top of the wheel, and in The Amazing Race Australia in 2011 when teams had to choose a capsule to find their next clue.

See also

  • Future developments in Singapore
  • List of tallest buildings and structures in the world

External links