a [email protected]b[email protected]c[email protected]d[email protected]Structural Analysis of Observation Wheels: The Orlando Eye Mehgan O’Connora, David Chaub, Jovan Torres-Millanc, Kiel CausbydabcMechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department dCivil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering Department ABSTRACT At 400 feet, The Orlando Eye is the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast of the U.S.A. It differs from a standard Ferris wheel because it has an A-frame support and enclosed passenger capsules that are designed to remain stable throughout rotation. The Orlando Eye was a $90 million project and is frequented continuously by the influx of Orlando tourists that visit throughout the year. The hourly capacity is 1,309 guests with a standard duration of 22 minutes. Each spoke of the wheel is continually subjected to stresses. This IDEAS project is to analyze The Orlando Eye for tensile stress. There will be 2 models constructed with the first as the main structure, and the second as a section of the truss design to analyze the reactions on one of the 30 sections to maintain equilibrium. Tests will be performed to compare theoretical calculations based on actual Orlando Eye measurements with experimental results on the scale model. 1 INTRODUCTION “...and where the Ferris wheel carried its passengers high and brought them low and raised them high and brought them low again, as if it were not merely a carnival ride but also a metaphor for the basic pattern of human experience.”–Dean Koontz The IDEAS Showcase is a platform that allows engineering students to develop and prepare projects to display concepts that breach the gap between theoretical calculations and experimental results. The objective is to select a topic related to their field of study and use research and calculations learned in the Engineering Analysis - Statics course. The showcase encourages teamwork and creativity for sophomore and junior level engineering students. Our group selected the Orlando Eye as our focus because it is a local feat of engineering prowess. The concept of the Ferris wheel began as a challenge to construct an impressive structure to rival even the Eiffel Tower, and to this day engineers continue to design and re-design taller and more advanced wheels. In our presentation, we will analyze the structural components of the Orlando Eye observation wheel. However, keeping in mind that more than just a structure or wheel, the Orlando Eye is a symbol of the advancement of engineering and human experience here in our own city. 2 EVOLUTION OF THE FERRIS WHEEL 2.1 World’s Columbian Exposition,1893 Prior to the 1893 Exposition, many great minds asserted that American architects had met with glory by their artistic skill and original designs, while the civil engineers had contributed little to modern engineering practice in America. They determined that something novel and unique would need to be designed to remain competitive.