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Tradition that moves with the times

News | 15. November 2021.
The Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel relies on AirKey.

It's celebrated, popular, well-known – the Vienna Prater. Right in the middle of it is one of Vienna’s top landmarks: the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel. An indispensable part of the Vienna cityscape since 1897 and still a magnet for tourists and locals today.

An enchanting view

Built on the occasion of the 50th jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I, at the time the Giant Ferris Wheel was one of the largest in the world. The English engineers and owners initially installed 30 carriages. At that time, a trip cost almost a quarter of a civil servant’s salary, so it was a small indulgence. Although the structure was almost completely destroyed and burned out in the Second World War, it was still reopened, however only with half the number of carriages for structural reasons. This made it a sign of successful reconstruction. 

Impressive steel

The highest point of the Ferris wheel is 64.75 metres above the ground. The total diameter is 60.96 metres. The total weight of all of its iron structures is 430.05 tonnes. The weight of the rotating structure alone is 244.85 tonnes. To this day, it is still powered by two motors. However, the power transmission system is designed in such a way that the Ferris wheel can also be turned by hand. At a speed of 2.7 kilometres per hour, visitors float leisurely between the sky and earth. Sometimes, however, it can take longer, as a short stop is always required for the passengers to get on and off – but with such a magnificent view, what does that matter? 

Combining tradition and modernity

When Nora Lamac, the co-owner of the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel, took over the time-honoured structure from the previous owner, she soon realised that the keys were not only old, but some were also missing. “I therefore decided to ask EVVA for a complete solution. Initially, I had conventional mechanical keys in mind," the energetic young businesswoman explains. When I spoke with EVVA, we also discussed the modern AirKey solution, which enables additional access via smartphone. Ms Lamac liked the idea and so the Holl company removed all existing mechanical locks and replaced them with the flexible AirKey solution. Nora Lamac explains enthusiastically: “Access is so easy and works flawlessly – even my mother is very comfortable with it.”

Implemented together with Holl locksmiths

Holl Schlosserei und Sicherheitstechnik GmbH from Vienna was responsible for setting up the AirKey system for the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel. The family business offers everything you need when it comes to doors and gates. The master craftsman’s business with apprentice training attaches great importance to personalised and comprehensive service, especially for property managers, architects, planners and industry, but also private customers. 

What AirKey can do

AirKey is an electronic access system developed by EVVA. It provides high levels of flexibility, independence and a simple application. It is possible to send media to smartphones over the Internet. However, access is also granted using key tags, cards or combi keys. Thanks to a free app, online administration is simple and straightforward. 

The project in detail

Project: access system for the Vienna Giant Ferris wheel
Product: AirKey 
Scope: 40 AirKey cylinders, 2 wall readers
Facility type: tourist attraction
Country: Vienna, Austria


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