Engineering students at Queen’s University Belfast have set a world record by building a 100-foot Meccano bridge. The students used a total of 11,000 pieces of the popular Meccano building toy, and the bridge spans part of the River Lagan in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
According to a Guinness World Records official and as reported on Mashable, the bridge has set a record for the world’s largest construction made from Meccano, as the previous record holding bridge was a mere 75.5 feet long.
— Mirror Weird News (@MirrorWeirdNews) September 19, 2015
After tests were performed in a warehouse to find out whether the Meccano bridge would bear the weight of humans, students have now completed the 100-foot bridge and, on September 19, 2015, the final product was tested and passed the grade.
The Meccano bridge was declared open Saturday by the new Meccanoid Robot, and then proud (but rather brave under the circumstances) Professor Trevor Whittaker of Queen’s University Belfast was the first to walk across the amazing bridge wearing a harness, among applause from hundreds of onlookers.
— ITV News (@itvnews) September 19, 2015
When interviewed about the achievement by his students, Whittaker said: “We are basically training young people, training them to think, training them to dream, but dreaming alone is simply not good enough, you have to take the thing to another stage, you have to deliver at the end of the day.”
— Kevin Sharkey (@tv_KevinSharkey) September 19, 2015
And deliver the students certainly did. As reported in the Belfast Telegraph, the group of third-year civil engineering students along with some school children designed and built the bridge, which spans Clarendon Dock in Belfast, Northern Ireland, using 11,000 Meccano pieces and around 70,000 nuts and bolts.
Whittaker said that it is easy to build massively strong structures using metal, but much more of a challenge to use Meccano.
“Meccano is also metal, it is very light metal, it is a toy.”
He added that playing with the popular construction toy Meccano has probably inspired a lot of engineers over the years.
Sadly, as reported in the Belfast Telegraph, the Meccano bridge will be dismantled on September 20.
Whittaker speaks about the students’ work in the video below, explaining how the individual pieces of Meccano are very light so it takes an engineering achievement to make the construction strong and safe for someone to walk across.
Watch the students working on the Meccano bridge and explaining how they hoped to achieve the world record.
[Image: Screengrab from YouTube video]