Frequently Asked Questions

Technical

How long will AQ-Y take to get up to full height?

From take off to 65 metres will take approximately 20 seconds.

What will AQ-Y be made from?

The masts and capsule will be made from high strength carbon fibre. The foundations and base will be in steel and concrete.

What colour will AQ-Y be?

The masts will be finished in a mirror finish. The base could be finished in a bronze colour.

How high is AQ-Y compared to the London Eye?

The London Eye is 135m, AQ-Y is 65m. From there you will be able to see a whole city, but still be close enough to pick out the detail.

How long does it take AQ-Y to be built?

Once planning consent has been obtained, we estimate that construction process would be approximately 9 months.

How will AQ-Y be funded?

Private finance. An element of public share ownership may also be offered.

How will AQ-Y work?

Motors will adjust the counterweight to perfectly balance the masts, capsule and passengers as they rise up to experience bird's eye views of the city.

How much energy will AQ-Y use?

The counterbalanced design and low-friction bearings will require very little energy. The motors will re-use the energy generated by AQ-Y's up and down movements.

How will AQ-Y be lit?

Lighting levels will be very low so that passengers can see out. Dinner flights will have mood lighting. The mast and capsule will only be illuminated for special events such as fireworks night.

How easy will AQ-Y be to maintain and clean?

We will design everything to be easy to maintain so that comfort and safety are assured. Being built of carbon fibre, the masts and cabin will not rust, the glass will have a special coating to keep it clean and the cabin will be cleaned regularly, with the host keeping an eye on cleanliness on each flight during the day and evening.

Could passengers overload AQ-Y?

AQ-Y's safety margins will not allow it to be overloaded. It has been designed to carry 42 plus crew.

How strong are the masts?

Magma Structures build masts carrying 50 times as much load as AQ-Y requires, which shows the strength and capability of modern carbon fibre structures.

How heavy is AQ-Y?

The total weight will be about 150 tonnes.

How is movement programmed?

An experienced pilot will fly AQ-Y assisted by an autopilot, which calculates wind, proximity and strain data from sensors embedded into the carbon fibre masts.

Will there be loos on board?

There will be no toilet facilities on board (there are none on the London Eye, which is a longer, 30-minute ride). AQ-Y flights of longer than 20 minutes, such as private dinner parties or special private-hire flights, will descend between courses to allow for comfort breaks. If circumstances demand, a flight can safely return to land within 30 seconds.

 

Environmental and Heritage

Is AQ-Y too modern for heritage cities?

UNESCO believe that the best way to preserve history is to keep it alive with well designed, contemporary architecture yet distinct from the history.

Will nearby residents complain?

In any city, we will take seriously any concerns that people may have and, to the best of our ability, provide factual answers to questions raised.

Will AQ-Y intrude on privacy?

No, passengers will be far above and away from residences.

Will AQ-Y be noisy?

No. We will design the motor housings keep the operational sound quieter than the background sound of the city and the weir. AQ-Y will not operate during hours when most people are asleep.

Will AQ-Y affect bats?

Bats can be confused by bright lights but, since AQ-Y itself will not be lit, except on special occasions, their echo-location ability will avoid AQ-Y in the same way as they avoid trees, buildings and people.

 

The Flight

What will AQ-Y feel like to ride in?

Smooth, safe yet exhilarating! You will see that you are moving through the air but AQ-Y will feel like being in a luxury passenger elevator.

How many people can fly at a time?

42 plus crew

How long will each ride be?

Standard = 20 minutes
Luxury dinner flight = 90 minutes

Will people stand or sit?

Ergonomic, comfortable and fully adjustable stools will be provided, however passengers may stand if they wish. Guests on private dinner flights will sit comfortably around a central table.

Who will control it?

Each AQ-Y will have one pilot and a cabin crew of three who will also have emergency piloting capabilities.

Can I drive it?

Special AQ-Y Pilot experiences may well be possible!

Will I be able to book the capsule for a whole evening?

Yes, we would love you to.

What will the flight deck be like?

The flight deck will be finished to elegant, super yacht quality – you will feel like a billionaire in flight!

Where will people buy their tickets?

Primarily online, but also via travel agents, hotels, Bath Tourism and other Bath venues. Ticket outlets will be confirmed nearer to launch date. We may also reserve some flights for people to book on the day.

Will there be queues?

No, tickets will be purchased in advance for specific flights, so about 50 people will be present at each changeover and will be comfortably accommodated in the reception.

Where will people board the capsule?

You will arrive at reception in time to meet your pilot and host, who will give you a briefing on what to expect and how to make the most of your AQ-Y flight. Your host will then walk you from reception on a level path to the landing promontory which leads, step free, into the capsule.

Can disabled people fly AQ-Y?

Yes, AQ-Y and the whole AQ-Y experience will be fully accessible to all who would like to fly.

How will people know what they are seeing when they are up there?

The quality of your experience is fundamental, so your host will explain how to make the most of your flight. When you book we will ask you for your language and other requirements, to ensure that everything will be ready for your flight. Most people will download an app which will interpret the city views in front of you and draw to your attention the specific points of interest. Your host will also guide you to the current programme of events in the city, so that AQ-Y becomes a bridge to the rest of your stay.

 

Safety information

Will AQ-Y operate safely?

AQ-Y, like any innovation which carries passengers, must pass rigorous safety assessments on every aspect of safety (all the ones you can think of and many more) before they will be approved to carry passengers and must be continually retested to ensure a safe operation.

Might AQ-Y be in the way of helicopters, balloons or microlites?

Every pilot permitted by the aviation authority to fly low over the city must be fully trained and experienced not to endanger life. These pilots would be in the emergency services and they would be familiar with the many hazards in a city at such low levels, and not just AQ-Y. AQ-Y will have the statutory red warning light of a tall structure.

Could AQ-Y crash?

Security will be paramount throughout the embarkation process. For AQ-Y to crash, something very big would have to cause it. A catastrophe sufficient to cause damage to AQ-Y would also damage the area around it.

Could people get crushed under the capsule?

No. The capsule will not touch the ground and the pilot will guide AQ-Y, with the help of sensors, to the docking position.

What happens if there is a fire?

Preventing and responding to a fire is mandatory and the safety analysis will ensure complete safety for passengers.

What about AQ-Y being struck by lightning?

AQ-Y will adopt the highest safety standard used throughout the world on wind turbines, ferris wheels and other tall structures, which are regularly hit by lightning without any consequences.

What happens when the wind blows hard?

For reasons of comfort, AQ-Y will not fly when the Met Office issues a Yellow warning of high winds for Bath. Passengers will be given a refund and the opportunity to rebook free of charge. On past weather records, this occurs on about 4 days per year. AQ-Y will be safe in much higher winds, but people might not enjoy the experience.

 

Consultation

Has the Council been informed?

We have presented AQ-Y to the Councillors and senior officers with relevant roles in tourism, economic development and planning. The advice given by the Council has related to the information we will need to prepare for the preapplication and planning applications in due course. The Council has not been asked to give its formal response to the proposal.

How will AQ-Y fit in with Bath Rugby’s plans to redevelop the Rec

The Trustees of the Bath Recreation Ground Trust recently received a significant judgement in their favour, which paves the way for their scheme. We have discussed AQ-Y with them and the two schemes will only benefit each other. We wish them every success.

 

Engineering information

Is the cantilever long enough?

A 65 tonne counterweight with a 6.5m counterlever equals 455tm (tonne metre – a unit of moment), which balances the combined moment of the masts at 185tm, capsule at 111tm and passengers 130tm. So, yes, the counterweight is heavy, comprising 8.1 cubic metres of steel which has a density of 8.05tm3.


FAQs and RAQs will be updated on this page as the project progresses. If you have any specific questions, please email info@aq-y.com