Engineering the New York Wheel

Engineering the New York Wheel

Dana Incorporated recently announced that it is providing driveshaft assemblies and gearboxes for the New York Wheel – which will be the world’s tallest observation wheel.  This attraction is currently under construction on the north shore of Staten Island in New York City and will stand 630 feet (192 meters) high when completed in early 2018.

The New York Wheel features 36 pods that will each hold 40 people, taking visitors on a leisurely ride with a view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.  Production automation company VDL Steelweld is manufacturing these capsules, and Dana is supplying driveshafts to support a leveling system that allows each pod to stay balanced as the wheel rotates.  Dana is also supplying custom-made adaptors to convert the end of the shaft to fit the drive.


The New York Wheel will be a 38-minute ride, moving 1,440 people per rotation. The attraction will welcome an estimated 3.5 million visitors per year. It will be equipped with $7 million worth of LED lighting.

In addition, Dana is supplying its motion system products to engineering company Starneth for the New York Wheel project. Thirty-two planetary gearboxes will be used to rotate the wheel.  These gearboxes are typically designed to move continuous chain-tread vehicles or other heavy machinery and feature a custom cylindrical input shaft to fit the needs of this specific application.

Dana gearboxes were also supplied for the 550-foot tall High Roller observation wheel in Las Vegas, which opened in 2014.

“When Dana was approached about the New York Wheel, we knew there would be very specific requirements for this distinctive project,” said Aziz Aghili, president of Dana Off-Highway Drive and Motion Technologies.  “Dana offers a competitive advantage with a truly global footprint that supplies specialized driveshaft solutions, power-transmission products, and support all over the world.  Since every project is different, we work closely with customers to deliver reliable and highly engineered, custom-made solutions.”

For more than 70 years, Dana has served the industrial market with driveshaft and sealing products for a range of applications, including railways, scrap recycling, and steel production, as well as pulp and paper manufacturing.  The company’s opportunities in the stationary industrial sector were recently broadened with the acquisition of the power-transmission and fluid power businesses of Brevini Group in February.


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About Author

Matthew Jaster

Matthew Jaster, Senior Editor, has a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and has 15+ years of writing and editing experience in automotive, manufacturing, engineering, law and arts and entertainment.

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