The British Airways i360 observation pod reached its maximum height of 138m on 14 June for the first time, as testing and commissioning continue towards the attraction’s opening this summer.
Technicians could be seen on the crow’s nests, temporarily installed on the top of the pod, carrying out checks on the cladding and the busbar trunking behind it, which enables electrical current to be distributed up the tower and into the pod. Further tests were being carried out inside the pod, at the top of the tower, on the counterweight inside the tower, in the control room and in the machine room.
Pod test movements began earlier in June and this week progressed to 30m, before the pod reached its full height on the 162m tower.
David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects, which conceived and designed British Airways i360 and the London Eye, said: “Today the team reached a major milestone with the pod reaching its maximum height for the first time. Testing and commissioning will continue for a few more weeks.”
British Airways i360 will be the world’s tallest moving observation tower when it opens on Brighton beach this summer, offering 360-degree views of Brighton and Hove, the Sussex coast and the English Channel.
With an overall height of 162m, and an observation pod that rises from ground level to 138m above Brighton beach, British Airways i360 will be the world’s tallest moving observation tower when it opens in summer 2016. Each ‘flight’ will carry up to 200 visitors at a time to enjoy unprecedented views of the city of Brighton and the landscape of the South Downs National Park. The attraction’s visitor centre will incorporate a 400-seat restaurant The Belle Vue Brighton, a gift shop, a children’s play zone, an exhibition space, and conference and event facilities.
British Airways i360 holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s most slender tower, with a diameter of just 3.9 meters at its widest point.
Sited at the root end of Brighton’s historic West Pier, British Airways i360 will breathe new life into this area of the seafront, creating a ‘vertical pier’ with an elegant, modern design that looks to the future while respecting the heritage of the site. British Airways i360 has worked with the West Pier Trust to rebuild two of the original West Pier tollbooths using Victorian building techniques. The reconstructed buildings now grace the entrance to British Airways i360, and will house the West Pier Tea Room and ticket office.
See below for a short video of the original concept for an observation tower in Brighton which was to be situated on its own pier between the West and Palace Piers...