Spitbank Fort, Portsmouth

I have wanted to fly out to photograph Spitbank Fort for some time. Dave / @OzoneVibe tempted me with his photos last year, but it was never going to happen with my Mavic Air as it was too far.

But with the M2P it was a dream - especially with attaching strobe lights to give extra VLOS.

Spitbank Fort is one of four sea forts in the Solent that were build to protect the approach to Portsmouth Harbour. I know plan to find a way to capture all 4!

These man-made island forts were originally built to protect the eastern approaches to Portsmouth Harbour from attack by enemy forces. The four armour-plated forts were designed by Captain E. H. Stewart, overseen by Assistant Inspector General of Fortifications, Colonel W. F. D. Jervois. Construction took place between 1865 and 1880, at a total cost of £1,177,805. By the time the forts had been completed, the threat of invasion had long since passed and although the forts were armed and re-armed as technology advanced, they were never used in anger. They were decommissioned in 1956 and put up for sale the 1960s, although they were not sold until the 1980s. They have now been transformed into luxury hotels and a museum.


I do still reckon it can be easily done with the Air.
I’ve never flown out/back at anything near max speed - and believe it used to be about 11 minutes for the round trip - including a bit of flying around/over it.

It is a perfect distance (and over water) for that first “Gosh, that a long way!” flight.


With Litchi, but not using GO4 and manual control. My MA was always loosing signal along that stretch due to interference, sometimes when only a 100m out.


Nice pics

1 Like

What was the wind speed/direction when you flew out there?

It was early in the morning and very little wind, so I don’t know about direction. What impressed me was how quickly the M2 flew out and back on sport mode, the speed was incredible compared to the Air.


I’ve videoed the whole round trip, so never went anywhere near as far as sport mode … and it was still only <10 mins. Averaged 32kph, Airdata tells me.

1 Like

Wow, super jealous!

1 Like

Where did you fly from?

1 Like

Sorry for the delay in replying @AprilCoon / Phil

There is a large grass area where I take off and then, once up, I moved to the waters edge as I flew out. I never fly from here later than 8am, and prefer earlier, as it can get very busy during the day.

X marks to spot on the map!

1 Like

I’ve always used the area between the car park and the sea by the bandstand … (circle) …

… and move toward the car park (cross) = comfy seats and good high position … the latter for improved signal (although subsequent flights from Lepe stood on the beach have never suffered any signal issues over a greater distance).

One other advantage, imo, of the side I use is that there’s a wall between the grass and the promenade that’s high enough to dissuade people from climbing it. As a result, people rarely walk across it so one isn’t ever worried by them.

1 Like

Got to get my rear down there, would love to do this flight.:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Thanks Brian and Dave for the information, I think I should get myself down there one morning when the forecast is good. I would imagine Dave’s take off area is less busy even a bit later in the morning. Dave could I get to those comfy chairs on my small mobility scooter, it would make life a bit easier, there is disabled parking close to the path that gets into that area which looks fine.

How far is it from this area to Spitbank Fort, Google Maps told me it is 0.1 miles but no idea how accurate that might be. It would be nice to get out to it if I could.

I don’t recall any steps on the paths I’ve marked in red.
Yellow = Seats

Distances in my AirData screen grab a few posts up.


I don’t think there are steps from the car park, it is very accessible friendly. However, the bandstand itself is in a dip.

1 Like

It is indeed … but level access from the point marked in blue.

(The larger mark. The little one was accidental screen tap. :wink:)

Also, @AprilCoon had an “off road” scooter … he’ll be all over it having fun! Gradients? What gradients? :rofl:


@OzoneVibe @AprilCoon May be we can arrange an early morn meet-up?

1 Like

Indeed! I’m pretty free for most days … once I’ve managed to wake up, that is. Not my strong point. :wink:

1 Like

I have the same problem :sleeping:

But yeah it would be nice to meet, and I will have to get earlier than you two to get there. It’ll take me about an hour and 15 mins according to Google. Need to pick some good weather though.

I’ve been waiting for good weather to go for a fly over Christchuch Priory, tomorrow morning is looking good.