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Galactica
Air
Park Alton Towers
Park section Forbidden Valley
Opening date March 16, 2002
Closing date Unknown
Height 66ft
Drop Unknown
Speed 47mph
Replaced Unknown
Replaced by Unknown
Galactica is a steel flying coaster at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England. Located in the park's Forbidden Valley section, Air is often regarded to be the world's first successful flying coaster.

Ride history Edit

Conceptualization Edit

Flying coasters were first conceptualized in 1994, but due to the technological limits, it was shelved. Shortly after, the coaster-manufacturing company, Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) began designing their own flying coaster.

Construction and announcement Edit

In mid-2001, Alton Towers began construction of B&M's prototype flying coaster. Later in the year, the park announced the attraction, but it was described as an unnamed "Aerial Inversion Ride", slated to open in March 2002. Alton Towers later revealed that the attraction's name would be Air.

SW5 Edit

Much like other projects like Oblivion and The Smiler, Air was marketed by Alton Towers using a "Secret Weapon" codename. Air was marketed as Secret Weapon 5, or SW5.

Testing and opening Edit

In early 2002, Air began testing using special crash dummies. Air officially opened on March 16, 2002.

Cadbury Heroes sponsorship Edit

In 2002, the park entered a five-year agreement with Cadbury Heroes to become Air's sponsor. The marketing campaign cost 4.5 million pounds, and consisted of commercials with the slogan "Assume the position."

2015 refurbishment Edit

In July 2015, rumors sparked that Alton Towers began submitting permits to enhance the ride's experience with a new photo kiosk, a photo opportunity in the queue, pre-show areas, walls encircling the attraction's station, and two new theming elements. In October 2015, Alton Towers began promoting the refurbishment with catchphrases: "Prepare for a new flight" and "watch this space" were among them. In early November, the adjacent Air Shop closed and on-ride photos were discontinued. The attraction was renamed to Galactica on January 12, 2016.

Ride synopsis Edit

After the passengers are loaded, the train enters its flying position and departs from the station. The train goes up a lift hill and makes a 180-degree turn before entering a large drop. The train then enters a fly-to-lie, when riders are on their backs. The train then enters a large left turn before another twist, returning the train to its normal position, called a lie-to-fly (opposite a fly-to-lie). The train then passes under a small ravine before entering into a tight turn. Next, the train enters a 360-degree inline twist by a series of straight sections of track and some small dips in the track, followed by the final brake run.

Trivia Edit

Records Edit

  • Galactica is often claimed as the world's first flying coaster, and the world's first successful flying coaster.
  • At the time of its opening, Galactica tied with Oblivion as Alton Towers' most costly project, at 12 million pounds.

Statistics Edit

  • Galactica's track is approximately 2,760 feet long, and the ride reaches speeds of up to 47mph.
  • The ride hosts two inversions, and one cycle lasts about 1 minute, 40 seconds.
  • Guests can use Fastrack for the attraction, as well as Single Rider.
  • Due to the attraction's dual-platform loading station, the ride can accompany up to 1,500 guests an hour.
  • Galactica is claimed by the park's former owner, The Tussauds Group, to be one of the main causes of the park's success in the 2002 and 2003 operating seasons.
  • Galactica is not marketed as a thrill ride, but a flight simulator.

Awards Edit

Golden Ticket Awards Edit

Year 2003 2004 2005 2006
Ranking 24 34 36 49

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll Edit

Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 2013
Ranking 36 64 61 54 75 94 107 96 106 130 136

Photo Gallery Edit