Based on the same “Airballs” technology as its Pinball ride, Air Racer from Skytrack in the Netherlands tests four riders’ nerves and reflexes in a drag race race with hovering cars.
The Airballs system works by forcing air through special floor units, creating a cushion of air over which the cars effortlessly glide. To ensure a fare race, a weighing system under each lane determines how much air pressure should be allocated to each rider.
To play the Air Racer game, riders watch a bank of lights in front of them and control their launch by pressing a button as the lights flash from orange to green. The more lights that are lit as they press the button determines how fast they will move. Time it right and they’ll have a full powered launch, but fire too late and they’ll never catch the leader. Power and reaction time determine the winner, and a photo finish settles the outcome. Once the cars pass the finish line, the air is turned off and riders come to a gentle stop.
The standard four-lane set-up measures 8 x 25 metres wide and capacity is estimated at between 140 and 180 an hour based on a 30-40 second race, and 30 seconds loading/unloading.
The first unit is due to open soon as part of a package of high-tech attractions from 3DBA and its partners at an FEC in Dubai.