In the world of crafts Air cushion vehicles (ACV) are fast catching up. Air cushion vehicle is a craft that travels on a layer of compressed air just above any kind of surface- land, water, ice etc. Their main area of applications are in military vehicles, helicopters and where transportation using wheeled or tracked vehicles are impossible. Air cushion vehicle (ACV) is a craft that travels on a layer of compressed air just above any kind of surface - land, water, ice, sand, mud etc. The compressed air serves as an invisible cushion that eliminates almost all friction between the vehicle and the surface. Air cushion vehicles are also known as Hovercraft. They can carry both passenger and freight. Some air cushion vehicles can travel as fast as 480 km per hour.In this seminars operations of ACVâ„¢s are reviewed.
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There is a 700 page book, with 450 pictures called 'On a Cushion of Air', (available on Amazon or The Book Depository3ysen and Kindle), which tells the story of Christopher Cockerell's discovery that heavy weights could be supported on a cushion of low pressure air, and the development of the hovercraft by those who were there, from the very early days through to the heyday of the giant 165-ton SRN.4, which crossed the English Channel starting in 1968 carrying 30 cars and 254 passengers at speeds in excess of 75 knots on a calm day. It was subsequently widened to carry 36 cars and 280 passengers with an A.U.W. of 200 tones and was later lengthened to an A.U.W of 325 tons and capable of carrying 55 cars and 424 passengers. The amazing point was that from 165 tons to 325 tons only 400 extra hp was required, although a bit of speed was sacrificed, proving conclusively that Christopher Cockerell's theory was sound.
Sadly, for economic reasons, the service came to an end on 1st October 2000. In total 6 SR.4s were built and the two remaining ones are in the Hovercraft Museum at Lee-on-Solent. See onacushionofair.com