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The Westland/Saunders-Roe SR.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 by P & A Campbell as a ferry crossing the Bristol Channel between Weston-super-Mare and Penarth in 1963.[1] 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.

SR.N2 Specifications [2][3][edit]

Length 19.80 m (65 ft 0 in)
Beam 9.14 m (30 ft 0 in)
Height (hovering) 8.20 m (26 ft 11 in)
Height (landed) 7.43 m (24 ft 5 in)
Max speed 73 kn (84 mph)
Hoverheight [Original] 0.77 m (2 ft 6 in)
Engines 4 x Bristol Siddeley Nimbus turboshaft engines 608 kW (815 hp) each (2 lift, 2 thrust)
Passengers [Designed] 38, 53 or [70]
Steering system Variable-pitch propellers on rotating pylons and one rear rudder

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ James' Hovercraft Site
  3. ^ Bartie's Hovercraft

External links[edit]