2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the hovercraft as we know it today. To mark this special occasion, the Hovercraft Museum at HMS Daedalus, Lee-On-Solent, made their annual Hovershow an even more special event. I took a trip to the hovershow to see what was going on, and amidst the hubbub, managed to get a few photographs of a few of the exhibits. If you have any photos from this event, and would like me to display them on this page too, please please get in touch!
Banner for the show outside HMS Daedalus
The queue to get in!
Two SRN4s surrounded by large and small craft from the museum collection
View of the show from across the road
Christopher Cockerell's Coffee Tins experiment
Me on the bow ramp of the museum's first ever craft, donated to Warwick in the late 70s
AP1-88 Freedom 90, the hovercraft with the most service hours in the world, arrives from the Isle of Wight on a scheduled, deliberately diverted, normal Hovertravel trip to/from the island. In the foreground is the superstructure of the SRN6 Twin-Prop craft in which I was sitting at the time Freedom 90 arrived. A strange nostalgic feeling followed.
About a 10-minute short hover-around was afforded to a very lucky few at Hovershow 2009 on the Museum's SRN6 Twin Prop. Piloted by Hovertravel's own (??), and crewed by many SRN6 veterans, this short hop took us about a mile East of the Daedalus slipway, keeping relatively close to shore, but proving that this, the oldest operational hovercraft in the world, is still made of strong stuff some 40+ years on. SRN6 017 (the original Sure, later stretched, and converted to twin-propeller and outfitted for research purposes). This craft carries remnants of old research kit control panels. (See SRN6 TwinProp for more information and a video)
SRN6 017 landed as viewed from the top of the Daedalus approach ramp
SRN6 017 landed on the beach at Lee
As viewed from her bows, landed on the beach at Lee
Landed as viewed from the port bow
Closeup of the bow of the craft showing the RADAR antennae, air scoop, and original front-loading access bow ramp
The lateral "puff port" on the side of the craft, opened on demand by the pilot, supplied by lift air from the plenum chamber
Looking aft toward the two main rear propellers
The engine assembly and two main propellers, along with the rudder and elevator tailfin of the SRN6
Side-on view of the two main propellers and their mountings
Looking forward along the top of the craft, from the side access door
Control panel, lacking Direction Indicator but otherwise still there
The hollow-bottomed partitioned observation pool bulkhead, with BHC logo (presumably post-Hovercraft Museum arrival) emblazoned upon it
Looking right toward Lee-On-Solent from the SRN6, in the foreground is one of the four "puff ports", and the skirt
Shot showing outside of plenum chamber and the skirt showing
A Hovertravel pilot took the role of flying the N6 for this trip, a new experience with jet turbine hovercraft!
View from the (rather salt-spray stained) front window during Solent trip
Looking forward during Solent trip
Page updated: Saturday, September 13, 2014