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8,800kg bearings will carry world`s biggest observation wheel

27 December, 2012
Julian Ponder, pictured leaving for his trial in Bali, was found guilty of possessing drugs and fined 1bn rupiah (£65,000).
Photograph: Reuters

SKF is supplying its largest-ever spherical roller bearings for the world’s tallest observation wheel, which is due to start spinning in Las Vegas, USA, before the end of 2013. The 168m-high Las Vegas High Roller wheel (33m taller than the London Eye) will have 28 spherical air-conditioned cabins, each carrying up to 40 people on a 30-minute ride. It is expected to draw 4.5 million visitors a year.

The wheel (above) will be the centrepiece of a new district in Las Vegas called The Linq, which is being built at a cost of $550m. The wheel will rotate on two custom-built 8,800kg bearings, each with a 2.3m outer diameter and a 1.6m inner diameter. Arup is providing engineering and design services for the wheel, while SKF is also supplying seals, lubrication and other services, as well as the main bearings.

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