Known for their long life and premium engineering since 1871, today’s Continental tyres are reaching new heights as they help operate some of the world’s most inventive engineering projects.
In London, a familiar sight for both residents and visitors alike is the world-famous EDF Energy London Eye. The tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the world, it allows passengers to enjoy the sights of London from fully enclosed capsules, suspended on a 1,322-ton (1,200 tonne) rotating wheel which hangs over the River Thames. There are 32 capsules, each with its own climate control and stability system, and the London Eye stands 442 feet (135 meters) tall.
“The drive systems of the London Eye are located in two towers, one at each end of the wheel’s boarding platform. But what riders of the London Eye don’t realise is that the rotation of the wheel depends on Continental truck tyres. The tyres, Continental HSRs (Heavy Steer Regional truck tyres, act as friction rollers along the rim of the wheel. They are each turned by hydraulic motors, and the rotation of the tyres turns the entire wheel structure to provide the rotating view of the London skyline,” said Mark Robinson, head of technical operations for the EDF Energy London Eye.
“Continental truck tyres were chosen because of their durability and reliability,” Robinson said. “The Continental HSRs have to rotate along the rim of the London Eye throughout the hours of operation, and it’s imperative that there be no downtime and that they be low maintenance. They have proven to be reliable, helping us provide spectacular views of London to millions of visitors since we opened in 2000,” said Robinson.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, Continental truck tyres are also helping NASA to reach even higher. in fact, all the way to Mars and Jupiter. United Launch Alliance (ULA) recently contacted Continental to provide replacement tyres for its two KAMAG self-propelled modular transporter platforms at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
ULA designs, builds and launches Atlas V and Delta IV rockets which deliver missions to orbit for the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other commercial customers. ULA uses KAMAG transporters to move the Delta IV and Atlas V rockets and payloads.
The KAMAG transporters each use 72 Continental HTR truck tyres to move their payloads from the processing facilities to the launch pad. The combined weight of the launch vehicles and payloads can be up to 100 tons (90.7 tonnes). The Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles carried by the KAMAGs have launched high-profile missions including NASA’s ˜Curiosity” Mars rover, Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and other critical national security payloads.
Specified by KAMAG for use with its self-propelled modular transporter platforms, the Continental HTR (Heavy Trailer Regional) tyres were installed in September 2012.