21st Century Engineering in Portsmouth


Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth. 
One hundred and seventy metres tall
and weighing in at 30,000 tonnes.
Heritage Projects (Portsmouth) Ltd


Two hundred years after the birth of Brunel Portsmouth is still very much at the forefront of modern engineering. The city is a site of world-class engineering projects across such different disciplines as aerospace, naval and civil engineering.

The most visible sign of engineering prowess within the city is the elegant 170 metre Spinnaker Tower. Built from concrete, steel and composite materials it is the tallest viewing platform in the UK. You can see nearly 40 kilometres from the top and, if you dare, you can walk across Europe’s largest glass floor – but don’t look down!

Portsmouth is also home to a hi-tech aerospace industry, with EADS Astrium one of the key players. In November 2005 Inmarsat 4, the world’s largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellite was successfully launched from a sea-launch platform on the equator. The satellite itself was built and tested in Portsmouth.

INMARSAT in space



Inmarsat 4 F-2, the world’s most sophisticated commercial communication satellite– made in Portsmouth. © EADS Astrium



Type 45 Destroyer under construction
A bow unit of the Royal Navy’s new
Type 45 Daring Class destroyer under
construction at the VT shipyard in
Portsmouth. © VT Shipbuilding
Out of all the different disciplines of engineering, Portsmouth is still best known for its association with shipbuilding. From wooden sailing ships to the first Dreadnought and beyond, Portsmouth has been at the forefront of shipbuilding technology. Today this proud tradition is carried on by the likes of Vosperthornycroft, world leaders in marine technology. The complex bow sections and masts of the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 Daring Class destroyers are currently being built in Portsmouth by VT. The innovative trimaran warship RV Triton was also a product of the VT yards.




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