Conti’s unorthodox OE fitments
After keeping mum about it for quite a while, Continental has shared that its tyres play a key role in making the London Eye spin. The 442 foot (or 135 metre, for those reading this in metric) high Ferris wheel is spun by drive systems located in towers at each end of the boarding platform; these systems’ hydraulic motors rotate the wheel via friction rollers, and Continental HSR (Heavy Steer Regional) tyres fulfil this role.
“Continental truck tyres were chosen because of their durability and reliability,” said Mark Robinson, head of technical operations for the EDF Energy London Eye. “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.”
And Continental says its tyres also see duty in other non-standard applications. Across the Atlantic Ocean, the manufacturer’s truck tyres are helping NASA to reach even higher – all the way to Mars and Jupiter, in fact. 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.