Hovercraft Grand Prix
Hovercraft are great fun, whether racing or personal leisure use, and ofcourse there are many commercial, rescue and military patrol applications. If you are building your own hovercraft, you should consider weight versus power, safety and durability to get the best performance, as well as understand terms such as Hump and Plowing. www.hovercraft.org is a general website to provide details of everything you want to know about hovercraft.
There is a 700 page book, with 450 pictures called 'On a Cushion of Air', (www.Amazon.com or www.thebookdepository.com and Kindle), which tells the story of Christopher Cockerell's discovery that heavy weights could be supported on a cushion of low pressure air, and the development of the hovercraft by those who were there, from the very early days through to the heyday of the giant 165-ton SRN.4, which crossed the English Channel starting in 1968 carrying 30 cars and 254 passengers at speeds in excess of 75 knots on a calm day. It was subsequently widened to carry 36 cars and 280 passengers with an A.U.W. of 200 tones and was later lengthened to an A.U.W of 325 tons and capable of carrying 55 cars and 424 passengers. The amazing point was that from 165 tons to 325 tons only 400 extra hp was required, although a bit of speed was sacrificed, proving conclusively that Christopher Cockerell's theory was sound.
Sadly, for economic reasons, the service came to an end on 1st October 2000. In total 6 SR.4s were built and the two remaining ones are in the Hovercraft Museum at Lee-on-Solent. See www.onacushionofair.com