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Galactica

(Redirected from Air)
This is a previously featured article

Not to be confused with Battlestar Galactica.

Click here to watch the on-ride POV

Enjoy the ride!
roller coaster
Galactica
Formerly called Air
Galactica art.jpg
UK.png
Alton Towers
Location Alton, Staffordshire, England, UK
Status Operating since March 16, 2002 (as Air)

March 24, 2016 (as Galactica)

Cost £12,000,000 ($19,340,400 USD)
Height restriction 55 inches (140 cm)
Statistics
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer / calculations John Wardley
Type Steel - Flying - Virtual reality
Riders per train 28
Hourly capacity 1,500
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height65.6 feet
Drop67 feet
Top speed46.6 mph
Length2,755.9 feet
Inversions2
Steepest drop42°
Duration1:40
G-force3.5G
Help - Infobox 3

Galactica (formerly called Air) is a steel flying roller coaster located at Alton Towers in Alton, Staffordshire, England, UK. It was built by Bolliger & Mabillard.

The ride was originally scheduled to open in 1998, but due to the complex features of the ride, it was postponed until 2002.[1] Opening instead, in 1998, was Oblivion. Before its official name was released, Air was codenamed SW5 (Secret Weapon 5).

For the 2016 season, the name was changed from Air to Galactica as virtual reality headsets were added to the ride.

History[edit]

The idea for Air came to fruition after many years of planning, and construction started towards the beginning of 2001. Advertisements for the ride were placed around the park towards the end of that year. In early 2002, testing began on one of the world's most technologically advanced rides ever made, and the ride opened on March 16, 2002 at a cost of £12 million.

Air opened as the first flying roller coaster designed by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard.

Early difficulties with unreliability were reduced towards the end of the first year, and problems are now rare.[2] In July 2015, Alton Towers submitted plans to enhance the ride's theming and station.

On January 12, 2016 it was announced that Air would be renamed Galactica. As part of the change, the ride received virtual reality headsets in which guests experience a space-themed film.

Design[edit]

Elements

Galactica's track layout consists of several close-to-the-ground turns, and dives over and under park paths, giving the illusion of flying. At one point in the ride, the riders are turned on their backs so they face the sky.

Galactica has a duel station, this allows two trains to load and unload at the same time. It also has a transfer track which can store a train while not in use.

Galactica is painted mint green with black supports.

Trains[edit]

3 trains with 7 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 28 riders per train.

Theme[edit]

Galactica is themed to a journey through space. The virtual reality film takes riders to numerous fictional planets, including a volcanic planet named Nero 5 and an ice planet named Keplar 9. Before the 2016 refurbishment into Galactica, the ride was named Air and was themed around a calm oasis at the bottom of Forbidden Valley.

Ride Experience[edit]

Galactica starts with a short passage through a tunnel out of the station, followed by a lift hill. Galactica's first drop dips to the right, rises up to a 180 deg turn, and drops down in to a large drop to ground level. Galactica's track then twists over so riders are riding on their backs, performing a large upward left turn before twisting back so riders are once again in the prone position, flying underneath a small ravine. Galactica's track then pitches up in to a tight turn before performing a 360 degree in-line twist. The train then dips down into a left hand curve above the storage track, and into two bunny hops separated by a right hand curve. Afterwards, the ride goes into two curves, one to the left and another to the right. Galactica's train then hits the brake run and re-enters one of Galactica's two stations.

Extra Facts[edit]

  • Construction started: Mid 2001
  • Designed by: John Wardley
  • Constructed by: JJ Cavanagh Construction
  • Programmed by: Consign AG
  • Located in Forbidden Valley section of Alton Towers
  • VR programmed by: Figment Productions
  • Headsets: Samsung Gear VR

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. http://www.towersalmanac.com/areas/rides.php?id=11
  2. http://www.towersalmanac.com/areas/rides.php?id=11

External links[edit]