Saturday, 12 October 2019

British Airways’ one-of-a-kind, full motion, virtual reality experience, Fly, goes to Gateshead


British Airways’ one-of-a-kind, full-motion, virtual reality experience, Fly, which brings the history and future of flight to life, will open at PROTO, Gateshead on Wednesday, October 16.

Built for British Airways by award-winning VR creators and an Oscar-winning practical effects team, Fly is an interactive, full-motion, multisensory experience that traces humankind’s relationship to flying – the first of its kind.

Through a full-motion, interactive 3D virtual reality pod, visitors will become a time-travelling pilot and navigate their way through aviation history from Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest day-dreams of soaring through the sky as a bird to his ornithopter design, followed by the Wright Brothers’ first successful attempt at flight on Kitty Hawk, to British Airways’ predecessor, AT&T’s, first passenger flight to Paris. Users will also experience travel on Concorde before piloting the brand new A350 and onwards to a vision of the possible vision of the future of aviation. The uplifting experience is a treat for the senses as Fly incorporates heat, motion, wind and scent on the travel through time and the imagined flight of the future.






The virtual reality experience was first seen in London in August as part of the airline’s BA 2119: Flight of the Future project.

In collaboration with the Royal College of Art, the original exhibition sought to push the boundaries of imagination and explored how future generations will circumnavigate the globe in a world of advanced jet propulsion, hyper-personalisation, automation, AI, modular transport, sustainability, health and entertainment.

A digital version of the exhibition will be available to view at PROTO, alongside Fly. 

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing Fly to Gateshead to enable the people of the North East to experience the full-motion, multisensory VR, which will take them from Leonard da Vinci’s first imaginings right through to the possible future of flight.” 

“As we’ve been celebrating our centenary this year, we wanted to take the time to reflect back and then look forward to the future. It’s our customers throughout our last 100 years that have made us who we are today, and it’s them who will make us what we’ll be in the future. We hope visitors will enjoy Fly and that it sparks conversation and debate.” 

Charlotte Mikkelborg, the creator of Fly, said: “Today, flying is so accessible that we forget it took incredible human ingenuity and perseverance to make human flight possible. Fly returns a sense of awe and wonder to humankind’s ability to take flight and is the first of its kind in the VR world.”

Herb Kim, Board Director for TechCityUK and founder of the Thinking Digital Conference, said: “The British Airways Fly exhibition sounds amazing and they chose the perfect North East home for it at PROTO, the first digital production facility of its kind in Europe. I look forward to experiencing this state-of-the-art VR adventure personally!”



         Fly has been created by award-winning film and immersive director, Charlotte Mikkelborg, in a collaboration between the VR teams at Picture This Productions and Novelab, the Oscar-winning motion team from Moco FX, and a team of sensory experts from OWidgets at the University of Brighton and Givaudan, Switzerland.

PROTO is the first digital production facility of its kind in Europe. Created specifically for animators, filmmakers and games developers, offering 3D scanning, motion capture and sound recording in one unique place.






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