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SAME wheel different city


Opened in May 2006, Shanghai Amusement Machine Engineering’s (SAME) Nanchang Star in the Jiangxi Province city of the same name was the world’s tallest observation wheel until the debut of the Singapore Flyer in 2008. At 160m (525ft), it is still higher than the London Eye, but the title of world’s second tallest was snatched last year by the High Roller in Las Vegas. Like the London Eye’s less attractive sister in Orlando, the design of the Nanchang Star is not particularly groundbreaking but what it lacks in elegance it makes for after dark with a spectacular light show. Closer in appearance to the London Eye, Singapore


Flyer and High Roller thanks to its cantilevered spoke design, the Tianjin Eye from SAME is arguably a much more interesting attraction. Standing 120m tall, it opened in April 2009, suspended between two carriageways of a bridge over the Hai River! Viewed from a certain angle, it looks as though the ride’s lading area is located in the road’s central reservation, but the bridge in fact has two levels and passengers board the wheel at the lower level, which is pedestrian only. Credit to SAME for trying for trying something different; we haven’t seen anything else like it since. The Shanghai-based manufacturer also created a “horizontal Ferris wheel” high over


Canton Tower


the city of Guangdong, opening in 2009. Located at the top of the 450m-tall (1,476ft) Canton Tower, the attraction circles the tower’s observation deck, which is also home to the world’s highest located drop tower (by Intamin). Comprising 16 cabins that move along a ring-shaped track, it’s not an observation wheel as we know it, but it is nevertheless an interesting way to see the world from above (on a clear day). Shanghai Amusement Machine Engineering tells us it has patented the concept.


Tianjin Eye


APRIL 2016


Nanchang Star


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