Alton Towers

Take a flight into space with Galactica Tours through the magic of virtual reality, soaring amongst the stars, through worm holes and visiting distant planets.

Theme ParkAlton Towers
Park AreaForbidden Valley
Opened16 March 2002 (as Air)
24 March 2016 (Galactica retheme)
ManufacturerBolliger & Mabillard
ModelFlying Coaster
Height66 ft
Length2756 ft
Max Speed47 mph
DesignerJohn Wardley (Air)
Virtual RealityFigment Productions
CodenameSecret Weapon 5 (SW5)
Duration1¾ minutes
Pre-Ride Photos
Flying on Galactica

Flying on Galactica

Galactica takes riders on a journey into outer space, using virtual reality headsets to give the impression they are flying through the galaxy onboard a spaceship from Galactica Tours, a futuristic space tourism company.

The ride originally opened as Air, the world's first flying rollercoaster from Bolliger & Mabillard in 2002. By positioning riders lying face down underneath the track, it attempts to give the feeling of flight.

The original ride theme was a fairly abstract floaty new-age well-being flying-through-clouds type thing, which provided a marked contrast from the dark destruction around Nemesis further up the Forbidden Valley area.

For 2016, Air was rethemed as Galactica. The main change was adding virtual reality headsets to each seat, but there was also new theming added to the ride station together with the addition of a massive space 'portal' element which trains fly through at the bottom of the first drop. To celebrate the retheme, Alton Towers' 2016 Fireworks Event took on a Galactica-based storyline.

Air was a prototype and, as the first of its kind, lacks some of the elements and general excitement of other B&M Flyers that have come since, but it does give a nice gentle swooping ride. Adding VR doesn't actually add much to the ride experience, but luckily Alton Towers have devised a much better system for riders to put on the VR headsets than on other retro-fitted VR coasters such as those that have invaded Six Flags parks, meaning dispatch times aren't slowed down too much. Riders also have the option of experiencing the rollercoaster without VR ... something I would recommend.

TPJ Rating:

Photo Gallery

Air (2002-2015)

Photographs of the Flying Coaster's first incarnation as Air from when it was built in 2002 until it was converted to Galactica after the 2015 season.


Air POV (old, low quality)


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