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British Airways Opens Virtual Reality Experience Fly at PROTO in Gateshead

British Airways' one-of-a-kind, full motion, virtual reality experience, Fly, which brings the history and future of flight to life, opened at PROTO, Gateshead yesterday (Wednesday 16 October).

Built for British Airways by award-winning VR creators and an Oscar-winning practical effects team, FlyVR is an interactive, multisensory experience that traces humankind’s relationship to flying.

Through a 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.

Tickets to experience Fly can be bought here.

The Leader, Cllr Martin Gannon, said: “What an amazing coup for Gateshead. First seen in London in August at Saatchi Gallery as part of the airline’s BA 2119: Flight of the Future project and this is now, your chance to see it before it jets off to New York! Gateshead in the same line up as London and New York. We opened PROTO, the first digital production facility of its kind in Europe, specifically for creatives to develop special content of this kind. FlyVR and PROTO are the perfect fit.”              

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.

“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.”

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!”

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