A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

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Hell Razor5543
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I got to ride on the hovercraft from Ryde to Portsmouth and back. My cousin needed a replacement battery for her UPS (the power on the I-O-W could be a bit flaky), and the nearest place to get the right battery was in Portsmouth. Bumpy, fast, but fun.

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CitroJim
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by CitroJim »

Ahh, the two words bumpy and fast used in the same sentence would keep me away from them then :( Fast and smooth I can cope with. Bumpy at any speed is right out!

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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by RichardW »

It'a alright on a nice calm day!

I think the Chunnel was the final straw for the cross channel Hovers. They were already struggling with running and maintenance costs - they had 4 huge gas turbines which were a bit thirsty, and compared to modern stuff (they were 30+ years old) they were cramped and noisy. Never had a chance to go on them - believe my parents went via Hover on their European honeymoon in 1971 - in a BMC 1100!

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white exec
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by white exec »

Travelled on Hoverspeed's Dover-Calais route many times, usually with a car. Richard is right: four Rolls-Royce Proteus turbines. Cramped, yes - bit like travelling on a very noisy bus - but impressively fast. Think they normally scooted across at about 55mph, laughing at anything up to a couple of metres of swell.

Running costs were high (maintenance, fuel, replacement rubber skirts (!)), and the escalation in fuel cost made everything worse. British Hovercraft Corporation (iirc), on the IoW, built four of them (type SRN4), but spares became difficult and first one, then two more were cannibalised to keep the last one going.

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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by elma »

It was age and fuel consumption as far as I remember. They didn't get replaced because hovercrafts are quite inefficient. Someone did buy the old ones, I don't recall who or what for.

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bobins
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by bobins »

One of them still survives - it was in the news recently as the owners of the land it was stored on wanted the land back (I think there were issues due to non payment of rent). The Hovercraft Museum are trying to get it saved.

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

"The worlds biggest Hovercraft, SRN4, are stored onsite with the worlds biggest propellers, 21ft in diameter, with 30 tonnes of skirt apiece. They are not currently owned by the trust but we are working with the owners to secure the craft for the collection. Please see our news page for information about the appeal."

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CitroJim
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by CitroJim »

Thanks all, most interesting :D

55mph on water is a cracking pace!

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daviemck2006
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by daviemck2006 »

I've been at 35mph on the water in a speedboat and it was worse than 140 in a xantia by far, about as bad as 95 in an allegro lol

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Stickyfinger
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by Stickyfinger »

Speed Skiing

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van ordinaire
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by van ordinaire »

My lasting memories were noise, vibration AND the almost overpowering stench of diesel. Fast they may have been - but seriously unpleasant!

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Sloppysod
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Re: RE: Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by Sloppysod »

CitroJim wrote:Thanks all, most interesting :D

55mph on water is a cracking pace!
Technically, it was not on water, hovercrafts flew, I think you needed a pilots licence, not boat licence to drive one.

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myglaren
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by myglaren »

I reckon an Ekranoplan would be an interesting experience.


Hell Razor5543
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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Ah, the Caspian Sea Monster. It did rather scare the US Navy, with the potential for a VERY fast attack.

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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I think that would be an easy target, a pile of bricks in its way would be enough. :)

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Re: A nice pair but too easy for a whatsthisthen!

Post by harryp »

LOL, Floating bricks?

"55mph on water is a cracking pace"
I wish... ah well, crossed in 1971 or 2. "Flight" delayed for an hour due to swell. An incredably rough ride, which if I'm honest (as always :wink: ) I enjoyed :roll: . Down side was that myself and a German gentleman next to me seemed to be the only ones in our cabin not sick; yuk :roll: