30th August 2023
Unique ‘drone dive’ footage captures new perspective of iconic Spinnaker Tower – and spots daring painters 90m above sea level.
Swirling and swooping hundreds of metres above the sea, stunning new footage captures a breath-taking drone ‘dive’ around and down Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower.
The eye-popping video, taken by an award-winning pilot using a tiny and highly manoeuvrable drone, sees the camera soar across the sea and up to the top of the 170m landmark before taking a spinning plunge back down to ground level. Diving the Spinnaker Tower
Along the way it captures abseiling painters dangling more than 90m above the ground to keep the tower’s white surface in pristine condition.
The film was commissioned by Spinnaker Tower from Portsmouth-based drone specialists Compass Photography Services and shot by award-winning pilot Hugo Healy using a GoPro camera mounted on an agile “First Person View” (FPV) drone.
The film-makers were given special permissions and unprecedented access under strict safety protocols, enabling them to create truly one-off results.
Brian Bracher, of Compass Photography Services, said: “We are the official drone photographer for Spinnaker Tower and have captured lots of stunning footage, but we wanted to do something from a different perspective.
“There are lots of people flying drones but to master the FPVs you need superb reflexes and skill. The reactions you need to swoop through an intricate structure like that are phenomenal.
“We’d seen some of Hugo’s previous footage and when we got in touch he was really excited, as there just so few opportunities to film ‘dive’ footage like this in the UK.
“It’s not something just anyone can do, not just because of the skills needed but also because you would never usually have this kind of access. It took a long time to set up – we used security marshalls to make sure the site was clear and safe for the public, and we had to get all the relevant permissions to film at the height we needed.
“Because of all this, the date was fixed well in advance, and fortunately the weather played ball with us on the day. We started early to get the sunrise and the light was beautiful – then when it came to flying through the tower, Hugo made it look stunning.“
The painters captured in the footage are fully qualified abseilers who refresh one section of the tower at a time, using a special non-drip paint. If we were to paint the whole tower in one go it would require one tonne!
“They were happy to be involved,” Brian said: “The drone captures how high up they are and what an amazing job they do.
“Of course, Spinnaker Tower is an iconic image for Portsmouth and we’re proud that the footage captures it in a unique way, along with the beautiful location it’s in. We’re delighted that it all came together to create something incredible.”
Hugo added: “It was an incredibly unique and thrilling shoot, one I will always remember! I’m pleased the team put trust in me to dive such an iconic British building.”
Tony Sammut, Spinnaker Tower General Manager, said: “This footage has been captured by highly skilled experts in such a unique set of circumstances that it can’t be replicated. It’s a privilege to see the tower from unique angles and we are blown away by the results, which give us a fantastic new perspective on the tower and the stunning views thousands of our visitors enjoy every year.”
Spinnaker Tower, owned by Portsmouth City Council and operated by Continuum Attractions, is the iconic landmark of the waterfront skyline of Portsmouth.
Visitors experience stunning 23-mile views from three viewing decks and the opportunity to experience a thrilling walk across a glass floor 100m above the harbour.
A recently launched Sky Bar can be booked for visitors to enjoy a premium cocktail experience while drinking in spectacular sunset and night views.
There’s also a kitchen and bar at ground level, a High Tea in the Clouds offer and much more.