The History of the Hovercraft

Hovercrafts have had a long and interesting history that is filled with amazing discoveries.

These discoveries have led to the modern day hovercraft through numerous trial and error attempts trying to understand the principle of high air pressure below a hull. This means numerous hovercrafts have been made to the extent that some can hardly be classed as hovercrafts due to design.

The early efforts of the construction of hovercrafts were not always successful and mainly focused on the idea of creating lift through forward motion. This is technically not a hovercraft so you can say this isnâ??t part of the hovercrafts history but most experts would disagree. These designs were instrumental in later efforts and the successful creation of the hovercraft.

It was in 1915 the first water effect craft was made. It was propelled by four engines that drove two propellers under it. It was created for war but due to lack of interest and several other factors it was never truly optimised or used and eventually was discontinued.

Progress increased after WW2 and inspired many different groups to pursue the idea. There were many developments especially in the Soviet Union where they managed to create several vehicles that seemed to hover although none could be actually classed as hovercrafts due to their reliance on wings and other devices to lift them off the ground. This meant they only hovered at fast speeds unlike a traditional hovercraft.

The SR.N1 is the biggest breakthrough in hovercraft technology and began the era of the actual hovercraft as it had a fan underneath which actually provided lift for the craft making it hover even when stationary. This was an amazing achievement making its first actual hover in 1959 famously crossing the English Channel. This begun the changes to design to allow more commercial and powerful hovercrafts to go into design and production.

The most common design changes to the original SR.N1 were the changes to the skirting and fans. It was decided that it wasnâ??t the best idea to have the lift fan as also the fan that allowed for forward thrust so extra fans were added to give more power and speed. These changes allowed for the hovercraft to more readily used and this lead to its commercialisation.

The hovercraft is an amazing invention that took years of research and failed projects to effectively work. This included the making of several crafts that arenâ??t technically hovercrafts as they would not hover when stationary. This was all done because of peoples interests in understanding how high pressure would work on a craft. This is why they have such a long history and have only just made it to a decent level where they can be considered hovercrafts.

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