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Technical problems on i360 explained

underside of pod landscape credit british airways i360

Load settings and a faulty sensor reading were behind the engineering problems that shut the British Airways i360 twice in a week.

According to a statement from its chairman and architect David Marks, the problems began last Thursday (8 September) because of a load imbalance. The i360 was designed by architects David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects and engineered by John Roberts, executive director at Jacobs.

“Investigations reveal that the load and balance system settings were too low, which meant the system was over-sensitive. When the pod was near full capacity this triggered the default safety mode and the brakes were automatically applied,” said Marks

“To mitigate this, we operated to a lower capacity until we were able to adjust the settings and upgrade the software.”

Technicians have tested and checked the new load settings ahead of its reopening.

But after the problems last Thursday, the i360 had to close again on Sunday (11 September) after a sensor became loose.

“One of the sensors around the pod docking stations at boarding level became loose and gave a false reading to the control system, which again put the pod into safety mode by activating the brakes. All the sensors have now been checked and tightened, and will be monitored regularly to ensure they don’t become loose again,” explained Marks.

Marks said the i360 had a highly competent engineering team and he was confident the problems would not happen again.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Julian Smith

    I am always slightly conflicted when I read about projects like the Brighton Eye. When the print version of NCE landed on my doormat this week I suppressed a guilty chuckle at the front cover as I had previously been stuck in the similar, but smaller, Jurassic Skyline tower at Weymouth in 2012. I started having Engineers' thoughts such as 'how do we get out if it gets stuck?' but the conflict arises when I reassure myself that these structures are, of course, designed by members of my own profession so 'of course it will be alright!'
    Julian Smith (M)

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