Running rings around rivals

The Bailang River Bridge Ferris Wheel certainly runs rings around its more common cousins seen at fairgrounds.

Standing 145m above a bridge in Weifang, in China's Shandong province, it is billed as the world's largest spokeless Ferris wheel, and is also 10m taller than the world-famous London Eye.

Unlike traditional designs, the central wheel of this futuristic structure remains stationary, while its 36 carts circle the ring on a running-gear mechanism.

The success of this design rests largely on the criss-crossing steel beams of the central wheel.

Called the "dragon spine", it provides the strong support that is needed to make this engineering marvel work.

The giant landmark has caught the eye of tourists and locals alike since it opened in May.

Up to 360 people can board the Ferris wheel at a time, with each cart able to carry 10 passengers.

Visitors have 28 minutes - the time the Ferris wheel takes to complete a rotation - to enjoy the breathtaking views of Bailang River.

And if that is not enough, each carriage also boasts a television set and Wi-Fi to keep everyone entertained.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2017, with the headline 'Running rings around rivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe