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  1. #1
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    Red face Hovercraft Summer 1973

    Please anybody got any pictures or memories of when there was a Hovercraft service Southport <-> Blackpool, plus pleasure trips. It ran from along side the pier.

    It only lasted for the Summer of 1973. Run by Hovertravel. I worked there after my A-levels as a summer job. I certainly remember one day when the tide was all the way in up to the wall and despite all efforts to tell people to move away a few got totally drenched when it started off - we then hid!

    Not to be confused by another Hovercraft pleasure trip offering in the late 80's (I think).

  2. #2
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    Cool Hovercraft, summer 1973

    The service operated several times a day from the side of the Pier to Blackpool (Lytham St,Annes end). Also operated a trip over the sandbanks to Ainsdale and back - I went on it, and the hovercraft moved!

    Service started in May 1973 and operated for most of the season. The service didn't create enough support and ceased at the end of the season.

    During the first week I believe the hovercraft was called into to assist marooned motorist on the beach.

  3. #3
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    More info

    Takes time sometimes - but nice to get a reply to this post at last. I did a google search and just came up with this article from http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaver.../8002/001.html


    SR.N5 001
    The first of this successful series of craft emerged from the Saunders-Roe hangar at East Cowes, Isle of Wight, on 6th April 1964. The craft was similar in size to the SR.N1, and had a jetted skirt. On 11th April 1964 sea trials started, but the large tail made it difficult to steer the hovercraft out of any prevailing wind. Modifications were made and on 20th April 1964 trials resumed with a dorsal fin fitted above the forward end of the cabin, and the fin and rudder area were reduced. Many further modifications were made to the craft. By May 1964, air was bled from the rear of the craft through rudder ducts to improve low speed handling and the dorsal fin area was reduced. The air intake configuration was also changed, with air intake filters fitted.

    In the summer of 1964, Hovertransport were operating a trial service between Appley Beach at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, to Eastney in Portsmouth, with the older SR.N2 hovercraft. This was seen to be an ideal opportunity to try out the new craft in the ferry role, so it joined the service from 17th June until 31st August.

    In September that year 001 appeared at the Farnborough Air Show. High-speed runs were made along the runway in front of the crowds.

    On 16th September 1964 the craft participated in Operation Armada with the Interservice Hovercraft Trials Unit, which was established with the SR.N3.

    The Scanhover company was formed in Norway to operate that country's first hovercraft services. SR.N5 001 left for Norway on 16th March 1965, but the trial was to be short-lived. On 8th April 1965 the craft overturned in Alesund harbour, and was taken back to East Cowes.

    The craft was used for another trial service, this time on the Elbe Estuary, with the Reederei Cassen Eils company starting on the 20th July 1965. SR.N5 001 was to suffer more misfortune when on 14th August 1965 it was damaged when it hit some obstacles on the ramp at Nordeney.

    Early operations of gas turbine powered hovercraft highlighted the problems of running this type of engine in a salty and dusty environment. The original configuration of the SRN5 had a pipe running from the eye of the lift fan to the engine compartment. A mesh filter unit was then added on a fairing on the top of cabin ahead of the engine, but this could still be subject to salt spray. Trials with plenum intakes started on 6 January 1966. These intakes drew air from the plenum chamber under the craft, and passed it through a series of filters.

    The craft had started its life with a jetted skirt, but advances in skirt technology were to be tested from February 1966 when a fingered skirt was fitted to the craft.

    In May 1970 the craft was at the BHC Itchen (Southampton) works, and in 1971 it was acquired by Air Vehicles Limited. This company converted the craft into a flat-deck freighter, and on 31st May 1972 the craft had its first flight after the conversion. On 30th June 1972 the craft was moved to the Wash, where it completed a survey with Hoverwork with some 182 hours running time. The craft returned to the Isle of Wight on on 26th August 1972.

    From 25th May 1973 until 28th September this craft was operated with SR.N6 022 on a service from Southport to Blackpool for Hoverwork.

    In November 1974 the craft was shipped to Australia. In February 1975 it commenced operations in the Torres Strait for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

    In 1977 the craft was lying at the Hoverwork yard at St.Helens, for sale. In 1979 the craft was broken up, after a total of 3148 running hours.

  4. #4
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    And it looked....

    Something like this...
     

  5. #5
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    I realize this is a very old post...

    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    Something like this...
    ... but if anyone is interested, I actually have video (transferred from 8mm flim) of this hovercraft arriving at Blackpool and on the beach at Southport (I rode it from Blackpool to Southport and return).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rennieallen View Post
    ... but if anyone is interested, I actually have video (transferred from 8mm flim) of this hovercraft arriving at Blackpool and on the beach at Southport (I rode it from Blackpool to Southport and return).
    That's Briliant pleas share your vid
    Blackys Dad

  7. #7
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    A piccy I found.
     
    Busy at the allotment

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rennieallen View Post
    ... but if anyone is interested, I actually have video (transferred from 8mm flim) of this hovercraft arriving at Blackpool and on the beach at Southport (I rode it from Blackpool to Southport and return).
    Yes would like to see i went on that hover from southport to blackpool in 1973

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