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Admin
July 26, 2006, 1:34am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Had a spot of luck in getting pointed to the story of this service which operated in the mid 1960s, and that I even remember seeing once. I never even thought to go on a web hunt for it.

Had to add it as a page, even though it's really just an excuse to highlight the link.

Bit like Rothesay's helicopter service in the 80s, it's almost a myth now, but I saw it too, and have proof - it's page currently resides in ButeWiki... follow the link to the contents there, it's on the left.
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Apollo
July 28, 2006, 9:19pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I'll write the next one in Scottish, English is clearly nae use in here

'Tis there in Bute's detailed page. Hovercraft purchase, ownership and running costs are just too high, so they're not sustainable with ordinary ferries as an alternative, as their tickets are priced at a premium. Plus, 1960's hovercraft were still all basically 'development nodels' so were pretty rough, not like today's more established items. They are licenced as aircraft, rather than boats, so that lifts the costs too. 10% to 25% more, so not a few pennies.

Today, they're possibly seen as noisy too (environmental problem and anti-social), and the biggies that used to do the Channel were killed off too.

The military still like them - great big ones to carry troops and tanks over rough country quickly. The Russians, even today, still build them like they used to. Run one of theirs empty, and it's great. Load it up with troops and tanks, and the engines wear out almost before they get to their destination. I forget their name now, or I'd have added a link to the detials - started off on one of the Google aerial photos showing them berthed as they're pretty big.

Ocean Span sounds like a fairly daft idea, probably thought up by a committee or panel of 'experts' paid to come up with good ideas!

I can't see how that would ever have worked, as any vessel that could make the trip across the ocean isn't going to stop short of the European mainland, and add the extra handling costs involved with offloading in Scotland, tranporting to Dover, and then sailing the stuff across the Channel, then distributing by road. They'd just sail to the neareast convenient European mainland port.

Bet the consultants got well paid for thinking up the idea though
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Apollo
June 11, 2010, 10:52am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Today, June 11, is the anniversary of the commencement of the first ever hovercraft service, which began in 1959.

Described then 'a revolutionary new form of transport which can operate on sea and land' the SRN-1 was officially launched in the Solent, off England's south coast.

The Hovercraft was invented by boat-builder Christopher Cockerell, and the Saunders Roe Navigation SRN-1 was an experimental model, 29 feet long, 24 feet wide and 6,600 lb in weight.

After the launch, Saunders Roe announced it plans to build another prototype of up to ten times the size of the first, and weighing 40 tons.
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WM
June 11, 2010, 7:58pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
Enigma
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I too remember this. Iron ore unloaded at Hunterston, transported by rail to Ravenscarig, converted to steel then on to Grangemouth to be shipped to the Continent.
The subject of many of BBC Scotland's "Current Account" current affairs programmes.
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Tartan_Y_Fronts
June 13, 2010, 6:55pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Just read this with interest. I was chatting to my Dad and he mentioned that theres some scheme in the pipeline to get a hovercraft service going over the Tay . He wasn't sure where exactly . Possibly Broughtyferry to Tayport. He's of the opinion that it wouldn't be viable due to the running costs.
I live down south and have the Southsea-Isle Of Wight service to watch. Noisy little buggers when they're moving. I must do a day trip on them. I also live 2 miles from here

http://www.hovercraft-museum.org/index.html

I'm no buff in these matters though only an interested party. I'll see if i can find my camera lead and do some pics next weekend
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Apollo
June 13, 2010, 10:24pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The Forth story has been floating around for a few years now, and although we mentioned it briefly in the Blog:

Forth hovercraft could be floating away « Secret Scotland

We couldn't be bothered later on.

If you do a search of the BBC News site, you should find a few stories from 2009 which detail the trials carried out on the Forth, with machines similar to those that would be used, and which ran over the period of a few days with actual fare-paying passengers, to simulate real operations.

However, if my memory serves me correctly (and let me earn you, that's a dangerous and risky assumption to make) the exercise eventually descended into what I considered to be the usual farce and fiasco that nearly all of these schemes seem destined to become.

Although the actual crossing seemed to be viable, and the equipment could presumably be used satisfactorily, I think the whole thing proved to be an exercise in futility because of a failure by the various parties to agree on the land-based facilities needed, and the location and availability of suitable sites for passenger terminals for the service - and there it foundered, and has stayed foundered ever since.

I don't recall any issues with the running costs, as there were plenty of takers for the service, but the cost of the terminals and other facilities deemed essential nowadays may have been an issue.

As you say, they are not silent, and noise was an issue on the Clyde, and has been cited as one reason they never returned.

The other sad lesson is that during the 1960, you could run your service largely from any suitable piece of shore or beach, today, all you are likely to get is complaints, and people demanding to know what right you had to land on 'their' piece of shoreline - and how much you were going to pay them in order to be allowed to carry on.

The Hovercraft Museum has been quite helpful to SeSco, and granted us permission to use some of their pics on our various Wikis and related sites, so they get a Gold Star for being 'good guys'
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WM
June 14, 2010, 8:41pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
Enigma
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This was the last I read about it.
http://edinburghnews.scotsman......overcraft.5962637.jp
It's supposed to start in 2012, but then so are the trams!
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Apollo
June 14, 2010, 9:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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That's quite recent, I doubt I spotted it back then.

Here's some of the earlier nonsense I referred to:

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Row over Forth hovercraft freeze

Maybe we'll see hovercraft on the streets of Edinburgh before we see trams
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Apollo
June 15, 2010, 9:44am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Something of a coincidence, as this thread come to life again almost on the same day as world's first hovershow (intended to promote export sales of hovercraft)opened in 1966, and the MoD placed a £1 million order: The Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, opened the exhibition at Browndown near Gosport in Hampshire, which was expected to attract up to 4,000 official visitors by the time it close five days later. The government order was for two new prototypes, a fast patrol boat capable of 75 knots and a logistics support craft.

The MoD also confirmed the cross-Channel SRN-6 hovercraft will be used to equip an army unit for service in the Far East in 1968.

Visitors included representatives of overseas shipping lines and ferry operators, but most were military or naval experts.

The SRN-6 model was already the cross-Channel Ramsgate to Calais route, with a larger craft, the SRN-4, capable of carrying cars, due to join the Channel service in 1968.

Hovercraft manufacturers BHC announced plans to build a 4,000 ton freight-carrying hovercraft, capable of travelling at up to 50 knots. Designed for use as a fast destroyer or anti-submarine frigate, it could potentially be developed as a civilian freighter version for other passenger routes.

Then the largest craft in operation, the SRN-6 could not compete on price with ferries, but a larger version would be able to undercut shipping on speed and air freight on cost.

Another innovative project presented at the show was the hovertrain, which used air pads to run on an elevated monorail. The model was designed by a team at Imperial College London and intended to have a top speed of 300mph (483kph).

It's something of a shame to look back on this show, and see how far off the mark the hopes for the future were.

Even the once successful huge car-carrying cross-channel ferries are lying dead now, little more than collector's items or scrap.

As usual, the promised high speed versions never materialised.

They're useless because advantage cannot be taken of their ability to transfer from land to sea and vice-versa without a terminal, because of legal problems with landing on beaches and shores.

They're now of value only to the military, where their ability to travel over sea/land/water/bog makes them uniquely valuable, and for explorers who can use the same advantages.

Other than that, rules, regulations, and complaints mean their advantages are negated in 'civilian-land'.
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JadeFalcon
June 15, 2010, 12:51pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Enigma
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Interestingly enough if you look at this site

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1911699_1912534,00.html

You'll see that the US Military also used the SRN-5 design in Vietnam.  There's some other interesting pictures there as well.

This page has the worlds largest military hovercraft, the Russian Zubr class, pretty impressive looking it is too.

World's largest military hovercraft
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Admin
February 17, 2017, 1:33pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I thought I'd take a quick look for D1 pics, surprisingly only ONE was returned, albeit from a fairly precise search.

And it came from... Source: Korunk technikája, Gondolat, Budapest, 1964.

Still, I guess that's better than the last time I tries, and found even less



But just look at the collection Giz came up with!

31 Levitating Vehicles From the Dawn of the Hovercraft
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Tam Nugent
February 17, 2017, 7:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
But just look at the collection Giz came up with!

Some of those are straight out of The Jestons

I found another article from the same period, possibly from the same press release. This one is from the New Scientist and has a bit more detail (and the same photo).

https://books.google.co.uk/boo.....langbank&f=false

My quest for details of this feature continues...
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March 4, 2017, 5:43pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Almost forgot this - downloaded the pdf and 'lost' the link to it

But I think there was a note of interest in the history, so...

The Denny D1 may have been the first of the SES hovercraft, which has gone on to be developed in various ways in later years, even if Denny did not get past the D2.

SES is sidewall ecnlosed skirt, as opposed to ACV or air cushion vehicle, the more conventional amphibious hovercraft.

This presentation gives examples of more types that have appeared since those early attempts featured by Giz, and also sheds some light on the science, and developments that have taken place.

Click on this link to download the pdf - which is a Powerpoint presentation.

http://www.foils.org/01_Mtg_Pr.....2011%20Rev7x.ppt.pdf

If you want the Powerpoint, then use this link.

http://www.foils.org/01_Mtg_Pr.....y%202011%20Rev7x.ppt
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March 14, 2017, 8:33pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Anyone interested in hovercraft might want to glance at this collection:

Just Hovercraft | Flickr

I'd hoped for better, as I found it thanks to the inclusion of a hovercraft at Rothesay in the 1960s.

Sad to say most of the material is small recent hovercraft, and more recent items, with little from the 'distant' past, but still interesting to see.
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March 15, 2017, 3:49pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Still on the hovercraft asides...

You'll find about half a dozen pics next to this one example from the day -  Taken on March 12, 2008 :

The Griffon 12 passenger Hovercraft having a 3 day trial on the Clyde by Clydefast Ltd to see if it is viable as a regular passenger service, it is hoped to run the hovercraft from Dunoon to Glasgow city centre in a journey time of 52 minutes.

Like all such trials, even up to the present day (the last I recall were actually on the Forth a few years ago, and various objectors made themselves known to the council, and the idea was dropped almost right away), this went nowhere.

It's rather sad that we could at least try innovation back in the 'backward' 1960s, but in today's 'enlightened' times we never even seem to make it as far as a real service trial, and give up after the equivalent of merely 'dipping a toe in the water'.

I'm not suggesting cancellation was either right or wrong, or even that the idea is either good or bad, more that we never even seemed to reach that stage, as political intervention, local activists, and council intervention seemed to trip the whole thing up before it even starts.



Hovercraft on the Clyde
by Graeme, on Flickr
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Tam Nugent
March 15, 2017, 6:07pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
Mystery
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Talking of failed marine passenger projects on the Clyde - anyone remember the Highland Seabird?

   Highland Seabird - The Story of Western Ferries Catamaran by Kintyre On Record on Scribd



I seem to remember a red brick-lined notch being cut into Customhouse Quay in Greenock to accommodate her. I think I even saw her there once while fishing as a teenager in the late 70s.
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March 15, 2017, 6:49pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Fascinating story, not heard of before.

Bigger pic, click on thumbnail:

ShipSpotting.com

© Phil English
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March 15, 2017, 9:42pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The Clyde hovercraft history is growing!

Another example not found in searches years ago...

HM2 hovercraft - ClydeMaritime Forums - http://www.clydemaritime.co.uk

HM2-011

More detailed descriptions can be found online too, as this one was mass produced and went abroad too.

Chance find, not even looking for these at the moment
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Tam Nugent
March 16, 2017, 8:59am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Tam Nugent

I seem to remember a red brick-lined notch being cut into Customhouse Quay in Greenock to accommodate her. I think I even saw her there once while fishing as a teenager in the late 70s.


"Notch" is probably not a good word to describe what I saw back then - it was more like a flight of steps cut into the quay and leading down to the water.

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March 22, 2017, 9:36am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sad to say one of my observations - that items found online a few years ago are being deleted from the web and lost with their pics is proving true almost every time I check

But at least 'new' ones are turning up, albeit with different material...

The CSP Hovercraft HM2-011 berthed at Dunoon. Taken circa 1970.



IM0044
by Ian Murray, on Flickr

Also...

Unlabelled or captioned, I just recognised the subject:



208 | My beautiful picture | john openshaw | Flickr
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April 1, 2017, 1:53pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Chance find of a Russian innovation in hovercraft

The Gaz-16.

A hybrid car prototype that was a car and a hovercraft. You can choose which mode to use depending on the surface: on the highway with the wheels and then as a hovercraft on fields or swamps.



See footage here too:



The American Army had one too, presumably to replace the Jeep for all-terrain running.

But, notably, none of these survived the prototype and testing phases.

Friction is not ALWAYS a bad thing!

Cats know this

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May 7, 2017, 8:21pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Clyde hovercraft - 2017!

7th May photo - Zak photos at pbase.com

Sample from set...

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