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HomeEngineeringHovercraft - What happened to the fastest and most versatile passenger vehicles?

Hovercraft – What happened to the fastest and most versatile passenger vehicles?

Christopher Cockerell, a British mechanical engineer was the first to make progress in the use of a ring of air for maintaining the cushion.
He and his team also developed a successful skirt and demonstrated a practical hovercraft in continued use during the early 1950s.

Technologies used for building a boat, plane, and helicopter were gathered in one vehicle.
Such as a helicopter; using fans hovercraft gathers a cushion of air underneath itself and floats along on top of it.
Such as a plane; using propellers, hovercraft generates thrust and moves forward. Using these engineering principles hovercrafts stay above water and land obstructions, making the vessels magnificently amphibious.

The hovercraft can glide just as easily over water, land, or ice.
In addition, reduced friction and water resistance make it possible to gain much higher speeds than a ship.

So, if they were so great where are those engineering marvels nowadays? Why did they disappear?

Significantly, they are not cost-effective. In spite of the fact that hovercraft effectively carried tens of millions of individuals between Britain and France for over 30 years, they in the long run stopped working following the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the entry of
low-cost ferries and fast, wave-piercing catamarans.

Cheaper than helicopters but much more costly to preserve than ships and vessels of comparable cargo capacity. For the amount of fuel, they take and the upkeep costs, combined with a need for common comforts to the mode of travel, it isn’t a feasible way of transportation in a majority of instances. And so the dream of travel by hovercraft tragically was not feasible. They’re exceptionally loud as well, which can be an issue both for travelers and individuals living close to the ports where they operate and is certainly a downside for “covert” military operations.

See the documentary video below from Mustard for the very detailed and professionally visualized history of hovercrafts.


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