British Hovercraft Corporation

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British Hovercraft Corporation
Faterenamed Westland Hovercraft
HeadquartersEast Cowes, United Kingdom
BHC Hangar in East Cowes

British Hovercraft Corporation was the corporate entity created when the Saunders Roe division of Westland Aircraft and Vickers Supermarine combined March 1966 with the intention of creating viable commercial hovercraft. The shareholdings were Westland Aircraft 65%, Vickers 25%, National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) 10%.

None of the Vickers designs were 'taken forward', the existing production of the Saunders Roe designs continued (SR.N5 Warden Class and SR.N6 Winchester Class) and the Saunders Roe designed Mountbatten class hovercraft (SR.N4), was completed and entered the cross-channel service.

Only one new design was produced (1969) by the British Hovercraft Corporation, the BH.7 (Wellington Class).

In 1970, Westland Aircraft acquired the shares of the other parties.

In 1971 the British Hovercraft Corporation acquired the Cushioncraft company from Britten-Norman.

In 1984, the company name was changed to Westland Aerospace – hovercraft design/manufacture had effectively ceased and the company was involved with the manufacture of composites for the aerospace industry.

The British Hovercraft Corporation was responsible for the largest Union Flag in the world. They painted it on the doors of their hangar on the seafront at East Cowes in 1977 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Queen – the flag is visible on the enlargement of the picture right.


Inherited designs from the Saunders Roe division of Westland Aircraft:



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