UFO simulator looking for South Island landing pad

By Colin Taylor

Artist's impression of the 64-seat Voyager II which projects the movement of a "flying saucer". Photo / Supplied
Artist's impression of the 64-seat Voyager II which projects the movement of a "flying saucer". Photo / Supplied

A 64-seater UFO is being offered for sale for $1,580,000 plus GST with its position yet to be determined in the South Island.

The first UFO prototype, "a state-of-the-art motion simulator", named Voyager I, was built by Space Dome Technologies Ltd at Albany in 2006 and was trialled at Westgate Shopping Centre primarily as a 2D test module before being moved to MOTAT at Western Springs.

"The Voyager I prototype continues to operate successfully and carries over 250,000 passengers per annum," says Peter Nola of Affiliated Business Consultants, who is looking for a buyer for a second Voyager II model which is based on a similar concept to aircraft flight simulators.

Nola has sold the first Voyager II craft to investors who reached an agreement with Skyline Gondola and Luge outside Rotorua to site a new ship at the top of the well-known gondola ride on Mt Ngongotaha off State Highway 5. The "ship" is expected to be on site and fully operational by Christmas this year.

"This ship will be available for demonstration in the Auckland factory in September," Nola says.

The Voyager II is an imposing and sleek "flying saucer" designed loosely to match the public's image of a UFO spacecraft. The seamless design is extremely strong and lightweight and the ship's movement is fully integrated with 3D HD (high definition) images displayed to "passengers" within it.

Nola says Space Dome is seeking to sell just one more Voyager II in New Zealand, located in the South Island, and this will complete the New Zealand installations. "The company has already commenced its marketing efforts for the export market and representatives were in Kuala Lumpur at an Amusement Device Trade Show this month. The initial export focus will be on Southeast Asia and Australia."

Voyager II is described as "an interactive four-dimensional simulator spanning 16m in diameter and featuring 3D/HD images produced at 30 frames per eye, per second".

Dennis Hyde, the founder and driving force behind Space Dome Technologies Ltd, says he is "among the believers" in UFOs which was a factor leading to his decision to design and manufacture a high-tech entertainment simulator capsule prototype that would be proven here and exported around the world.

"We keep a close eye on the competition," says Hyde, "We have not seen a simulator anywhere else in the world that is anywhere near this size or shape on a moving platform and featuring genuine 3D/HD images".

Voyager II's unique motion platform is weight balanced with high performance bearings which travel more than two metres in four directions at a maximum speed of 1.5 metres per second.

The Voyager II is designed for a 20-year commercial life and can operate four rides per hour with up to 64 adult passengers a ride. "Commercially, this is a potentially lucrative business model that will thrive in a high passenger volume site," says Hyde.

Space Dome's mission is to not only manufacture and export the Voyager II capsules but to also produce the film content featured within the ships. Gyro-stabilised camera mounts and exaggerated lens movement have been used to capture high definition aerial footage from high performance helicopters and has helped the company create impressive ride films. The degree of lens shift is synchronised to match the degree of moment in the Voyager II.

"Our ability to project high definition 3D digital content on to an 8.3 metre by 3.2 metre curved screen within a moving capsule delivers us our competitive edge," Hyde says.

The Voyager II is fitted with buttons on each handle grip of the individual seats giving the passengers interactive participation during the show and each seat is equipped with safety belts and safety features.

Hyde says a key advantage of Voyager II is that the ship is built to withstand all weather conditions and can be placed outside at any site without the need for a special building.

Visitors taking the Voyager II ride experience a countdown and an apparent "liftoff", then a full range of motion and special effects, including surround-sound and air spray.

The ride ends with a realistic landing back at the departure point.

- NZ Herald

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