A Preposterous Hovercraft Tour

Jeremy Thorpe spent the early weeks of the [October 1974 general election] campaign on a preposterous hovercraft tour of English seaside resorts, providing broadcasters with plenty of pictures of himself “struggling ashore in bedraggled oilskins” while aides toiled miserably to restart his unreliable vehicle.

Dominic Sandbrook, Seasons In The Sun : The Battle For Britain 1974-1979 (Allen Lane 2012)

One thought on “A Preposterous Hovercraft Tour

  1. There is a 700 page book with 450 pictures and a foreword by the The Duke of Edingburgh, also available on Kindle, called ‘On a Cushion of Air’, (www.Amazon.com or http://www.thebookdepository.com), which tells the story of 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 carry 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 tons 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.
    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 http://www.onacushionofair.com

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