Created on Friday, 29 May 2015 23:14
Last Updated on Sunday, 02 August 2015 04:01

Air (abbreviation of Aerial Inversion Ride; originally stylised as air) is a steel flying roller coaster located in the Forbidden Valley area of Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England. It was the first flying rollercoaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, and as a result labeled as the first successful flying rollercoaster.

Guests ride in a prone position and experience the feeling of flight by "flying" close to the ground, under footpaths, and narrowly past trees and rocks.

The 840-metre-long (2,760 ft) ride reaches a top speed of 75 kilometres per hour (47 mph). Air was the third 'Secret Weapon' ride to have opened.

The concept of a flying roller coaster was first conceived in 1994 but due to technological limitations at the time, its realisation was delayed.[1] Flying roller coasters are characterised by passengers riding parallel with the track.

Shortly afterward, Bolliger & Mabillard began designing their own flying roller coaster. Alton Towers began construction of Bolliger & Mabillard' prototype flying coaster in mid-2001. Later that year, Alton Towers officially announced the ride as being an unnamed "Aerial Inversion Ride" which would open in March 2002.

Alton Towers later revealed that the ride's name would actually be "AIR", the abbreviation of "Aerial Inversion Ride"; it was subsequently altered to lowercase.

In early 2002, testing of Air began with special crash test dummies.

Costing £12 million to complete, Air was, at the time of its opening, tied with Oblivion as the most expensive ride at Alton Towers.

Air officially opened to the public on 16 March 2002.

Ride Information

  • Location: Alton Towers
  • Opened: 16 March 2002
  • Cost: £12 million


General Statistics

  • Type: Steel – Flying
  • Manufacturer: Bolliger & Mabillard
  • Designer: John Wardley
  • Lift/launch system: Chain lift hill
  • Height: 66 ft (20m)
  • Drop:
  • Length: 2,760 ft (840m)
  • Speed: 47mph (75km/h)
  • Inversions: 2
  • Duration: 1:40
  • Capacity: 1500 riders per hour
  • G-force: 3.2
  • Height restriction: 4ft 7in (140cm)


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