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The Swarm rollercoaster concept art

Thorpe Park has officially confirmed that it will open the UK's first winged rollercoaster in spring 2012, naming the new ride as The Swarm.

The coaster, which had been codenamed "LC12", will be a Wing Rider model manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard. As previously reported, it will feature a post-apocalyptic theme - with guests riding on the wings of a "swarm" of alien invaders that have devastated the earth. Thorpe Park has promised that The Swarm will feature near misses and "gut wrenching" inversions, with the ride starting with a unique 127-feet-tall inverted drop.

The theme for new ride is based around war and destruction, and this is reflected in the official trailer released by Thorpe Park:

The Swarm will be constructed north of the existing Stealth coaster, on an island in Thorpe Park's man-made lake. The attraction will be the second B&M Wing Rider coaster to open at a Merlin-owned theme park, following Raptor at Gardaland. Wing Rider coasters see riders seated either side of the track in a "winged" formation.

LC12 track layout

The Swarm's layout appears to include at least 4 inversions.
Image © Thorpe Park

A number of elements designed to support the post-apocalyptic theme will be dotted around the ride's course. These are set to include life-size replicas of a crashed aeroplane close to the first drop, a crashed helicopter jutting out of a pond and a burnt-out fire engine. The ride's queue will also feature similar theming, with a fire-damaged tree marking its entrance and "damaged" fences along its route.

Crashed helicopter design

A helicopter will succumb to the cause of the "devastation".
Image © Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park has launched a new teaser website for The Swarm, located at www.theswarm.co.uk. Although sparsely populated at present, the site feature a placeholder for a development diary that will chart the construction of the new ride.

You can find out more about Thorpe Park's next major rollercoaster in our in-depth review of the plans for The Swarm.

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

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