The Westland/Saunders-RoeSR.N2 hovercraft first flew in 1961. It weighed 27 tons and could carry 48 passengers. Although only one was built it can be regarded as the prototype for commercial hovercraft, following on from the SR.N1 research craft. It was demonstrated on the Saint Lawrence River, Canada in 1962 and operated as a ferry on the River Severn in 1963. It was then fitted with deeper (4 ft) skirts to improve its performance in rough seas. Southdown Motor Services and Westland Aircraft ran the SR.N2 on the Solent between Eastney and Ryde in 1963/4, carrying 30,000 passengers. It was eventually broken up.