Alton Towers AIR Review

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Sunday, March 17, 2002 1:54 AM
just thought I would write a review of AIR for anyone that is interested as it finally open for Alton's First day of the season yesterday(Saturday 16th)

First Thing that will impress you with AIR is the landscaping and how they have fitted it into the Area, Alton Towers have done an amazing job here, and its much more accessable to stand pretty much anywhere around the ride to get some great pictures than of Nemesis or Oblivion, they have also done wonders with the queue line, again its wraps round a good portion of the ride just like Nemesis Does basiclly(You can even queue through a part of the queue line which gives you some amazing views of the Helix at the end, This section was not open Saturday though)

Anyway I decided for my first ride for it to be at the front seeing as there was only a small queue for it, unfortunutly I still somehow queued about 45 mins when I discovered one of the restraints at the front was'nt working, meaning only 3 people maximum loading, grrrrrrrrrrrr

Finally I get on AIR ready for my first ride, and true to John Wardley's Words, the restraints are very easy to get into, are very comfortable and are very secure(I was most impressed and compared to the Vekoma Restraints are just soo much better) after loading up and getting the all clear to go, we get lifted into the flying Position, this was a great feeling to experience.

As for the rest of the ride, I thought it was just excellent, The True Feeling of Flight is incredible, and there is no other feeling like it, It was great to stretch out your arms and legs and finally get a true feeling of flight, also the small section on your back is just as good, you really pull some good G's in this section, the 2 other best bits clearly have to be the drop under the monorail, and the Helix for sure. Also AIR was incredibly smooth, I was expecting it to be smooth because of the ride being brand new, but never super smooth for a flying coaster. I only managed 2 rides on AIR during the day(Front and back) and found the back slighty better for a more intense ride, but the front for more of a great view

All in All, AIR was excellent and I was definatly very impressed, Alton Towers and John Wardley have certaintly done us proud and they should be thanked very much for giving us such a good ride, Also this is definatly not another Inverted Coaster experiece, because its such a totally different experience, so if you go riding AIR trying to compare it with any inverted coaster, you might come off disapointed. Also I think the feeling of flight is brought to us nicely, Its best to go along with the ride, just relax, ride it as many times as possible and enjoy it, You also shouldnt expect an intense experience, because it isnt meant to be like that, but that shouldnt put you off because the ride still gives some good thrills. Also compared to a Vekoma Flyer, I think B&M's Version is 100times better in terms of everything from the restraints to the flying position itself, When you ride it, you will definatly realise why its taken 8 years in the making.

Also good news on the Trim brakes(One in the tunnel, and one before the Helix) they were both turned off, and not being used, personally I had a feeling they would not use them anyway. Also AIR was running quite well on its First Day, they had 2 Trains out ofr most of the day, but towards the end of the day, 3 trains were running. Loading was a bit slow on the ride, but as it was the first day, the staff cannot be blamed(Over the next few months, it should improve by loads) There was also the odd breakdown here and there, but nothing too serious, some of the seats kept failing to lock properly and it showed up on the computer as unlocked even though they definatly were, there was also a few seats out of action as the restraints were broken. There was also a couple of times when the train went into the flying position, it would go back down for no reason, this once happened 4 times in a row, and it got frustrating, The crowd gave out a huge cheer when the train finally went

Well, Hope you enjoyed, cant wait to see SUF reviews when that opened to compare reviews between the 2 coasters

*** This post was edited by PaulD on 3/17/2002. ***

Sunday, March 17, 2002 3:36 AM

I noticed that Submission was not on the park map! Was it still there and operating, or has it gone?

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Sunday, March 17, 2002 8:15 AM
Submission is still there, personally I cant understand how it was left out of that early version map in the Sun Newspaper, I think it was just a general mistake really. But YES its still operating in X-Sector :)
Sunday, March 17, 2002 12:00 PM
As for those Trim breaks, The one in the tunnel will always be off. B&M this year are using Valley Breaks, in the event of a rollback. If the train starts to roll back, the trim is activated and stops the train. Now for the Helix trim, that's a whole different story. I'm sure it wont do much to the ride if it's activated.

How much more floorless can they get?

Sunday, March 17, 2002 6:58 PM
My trip report of AIR opening day..

After having been awake for 7hours already getting to AT saturday morning, i needed waking up so like most people we headed for AIR. Forbidden valley looked different with some new wider red paths in places and of course the huge but wierdly out of place AIR at the bottom of the valley. We headed on in to the queue and strangely straight down the right hand side to the right hand station (all other punters seem to go left, oh well) The area was not themed as such at all, in fact a long way from being finished, with mud in large amounts and evidence of some new turf and planting, which i am sure will improve soon. However there is still no actual theming i feel.

Well we were lucky enough to be on the 4-5 ride of opening day, And after throwing bags etc down in centre area it was to the seats..... Ah yes those seats, i squeezed in and after several attempts (including once popping open again) the young ride-op finally got my harness locked down. You dont want to be big really. SO much smaller & tighter than usual seats sadly, and it seemed there were many,many of us larger folk having problems or being turned away... My major gripe on the ride.

Still, we tilted up to prone position and the stations lights changed colour to bluey/purple and it is so much more comfartable than Vekomas Dutchman as you lay beneath the track. Heading out the station and through the underground points is pretty wierd as you just can see wet damp concrete around you in the rather bland tunnel. But then its out and up into the upwards climb over Nemmy and into the curved first drop..

Now i wont go thru the whole track, Just to say that its got some great close-calls with mother earth, and a nice shed roof which is darn close, the ride is pretty darn slow, but fast enough for some fun in the back row the back-flip over into 2nd tunnel is my best bit, as the ground just says hello to your face..

Overall? Well on a scale of 1-5 i would go for a 3.5, Its great fun and a good addition to AT and will be a massive hit to the public for no doubt. But for me (personal opinion) it isnt speedy enough for any G's or any Airtime, Its an experience yes, a fun ride with a gimmick ie: hanging prone.Its a masterpiece in the work of B+M and Consign, But as far as coasters go its above average. More comfortable than Vekomas for sure, But i dont think as fast or as extreme as X-Flight, Maybe we needed the loop? Anyhow form your own opinions when you can. I am not knocking it, its great fun. But given the chance i will still be turning left in the valley to ride the UKs no.1 "Nemesis"..

Lees own Opinion..........


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