Air designer Wardley praises Galactica changes

John Wardley at Air's original launch

The original concept designer of Alton Towers’ Air rollercoaster has praised the changes made to the ride ahead of its re-launch as Galactica.

The 2002-manufactured flying rollercoaster will re-launch on 24 March with outer space-themed virtual reality technology.

John Wardley, who retired following the creation of the Smiler ride in 2013, said he was initially sceptical about changing the Air rollercoaster to include virtual reality headsets.

He told the Birmingham Mail newspaper: “I was very unsure when I heard they were going to use VR on riders, it felt like a gimmick and I was very sceptical.

“I thought ‘why mess about with it’, it is a bloody good ride and still very popular.”

Wardley however changed his view after he was invited to ride prior to its launch.

“I rode the prototype and it was far beyond anything I could have expected,” he said.

He added that he was “completely blown away” by the experience and that guests would be “very surprised” by the ride.