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Southdown/Westland Saunders Roe Nautical 2 - SRN2

Southdown/Westland Saunders Roe Nautical 2 - SRN2

Southdown Motor Services and Westland Aircraft ran the SRN2, a 48 seater craft, between Eastney (Google Maps) to Ryde (Google Maps) across the Solent, in 1963/4. This experimental service was a precursor to the route still used by today's AP1-88s operated by Hovertravel. The SRN2 was replaced after 30,000 passengers proved the concept viable, with the SRN5 and later SRN6 and AP1-88. The SRN2 underwent various changes during its short operational life such as the deepening of the skirt further to air cushion research going on at the time. Features of the SRN2 are quite similar to those on the SRN4, in terms of the design of some of its parts such as the propeller pylons, air intakes and rudders. The propeller pylons were also used on the SRN3, a craft primarily used by the British Armed Forces' IHTU (Inter-service Hovercraft Trials Unit).

Performance specifications for the SRN2 hovercraft

Source: Barton, 2004

Feature Specification
Length (m) 19.80
Beam (m) 9.14
Height (hovering) (m) 8.20
Height (landed) (m) 7.43
Max speed (kts) 73
Hoverheight (m) 0.77
Engines 4 x Bristol Siddeley Nimbus engines (2 lift, 2 thrust)
Main Engine Power (kW) 608
Passengers [Designed] 38, 53 or [70]
Steering system Variable pitch ropellers on rotating pylons and one rear rudder

SRN2 in the Solent

The SRN2 in cruise (Sent by M. Gardner)

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Page updated: Saturday, September 13, 2014