Alton Towers’ “Air” Flying Coaster to become “Galactica” Virtual Reality Coaster in 2016

Alton Towers’ Bolliger and Mabillard Flying Coaster “Air,” which has been thrilling park guests since 2002, will receive a new name and theme this year. Now called “Galactica,” the flying coaster will be the first flying coaster in the world entirely dedicated to Virtual Reality.


Set to open in April 2016, Galactica is the world’s first roller coaster entirely customized for the full virtual reality experience, transforming riders into astronauts and plunging them into outer space with a G force more powerful than a real rocket launch. The new ride experience uniquely combines the physical exertion and adrenaline rush of Alton Towers Resort’s iconic flying roller coaster, with the breathtaking emotive experience of travelling through space.


The stunning, high­ quality visuals deliver an immersive experience that feels breathtakingly realistic. Each rider wears a specialized Virtual Reality headset, designed by the United Kingdom’s Figment Productions. Through this, an on-­board artificial intelligence guides them from the launch pad up into space, flying and looping beyond the stars, banking through wormholes and speeding across undiscovered galaxies, revealing the wonders of the cosmos in stunning clarity.

Gill Riley, Marketing Director at Alton Towers Resort had this to say about the new experience at Alton Towers: “Galactica uses ground breaking technology to give riders a breathtaking and completely unique roller coaster experience. Tim Peake captured the imagination of millions of Brits last year when he set off on his mission to the International Space Station – and now our visitors can become astronauts too.”


“There is nowhere else in the world that people can experience the feeling of a flying roller coaster combined with soaring through the universe. For three minutes, our guests will be transported into space and we believe Galactica showcases the future for theme parks around the world – it’s a complete game changer!”

Galactica will be located in the Forbidden Valley area of Alton Towers and is set to open in April 2016. The launch follows earlier news of its Rollercoaster Restaurant, which opens in May.

In a ground breaking move set to revolutionise the world of theme parks, Alton Towers Resort announces today it is launching a rollercoaster entirely dedicated to virtual reality, a sensational world first.


Total G­force: 3.5 G’s

Track length: 2755′

Height of drop: 66′

Ride duration: 3:09

Maximum speed: 47 mph

Capacity per car: 28 passengers ∙

Capacity per hour: 1500 passengers

For more information visit  or visit the coaster’s official website at:

Press Release

BBC News/Leo Kelion


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