Monday , November 30 2020
Home / Madsen Pirie /The hovercraft

The hovercraft

Summary:
On December 12th, 1955, Christopher (later Sir Christopher) Cockerel patented the new mode of transport called the hovercraft. It used fans to lift the craft on a cushion of air so it could glide over land or water with minimal surface friction.Cockerel was an inventor with a very original mind. He experimented at home with two concentric tins, one coffee and one cat food, using a hair-dryer to blow air between them. He found that the craft could be stable of air were blown through outlets surrounding a disc or oval shape, and later found that a flexible ‘skirt’ of rubber or similar material increased the efficiency and enabled it to pass over small obstacles without mishap. He tried to win financial backing, but despite numerous demonstrations on Whitehall carpets, the military was

Topics:
Madsen Pirie considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tyler Durden writes 2021 Would Be A Great Time To Audit The Fed

Tyler Durden writes Cali Mansion Once Listed For 0 Million Sells For “Only” .4 Million

Tyler Durden writes The Strangely Unscientific Masking Of America

Tyler Durden writes The 2021 Liquidity Supernova: Step Aside Fed – US Treasury Will Unleash .3 Trillion In Liquidity

On December 12th, 1955, Christopher (later Sir Christopher) Cockerel patented the new mode of transport called the hovercraft. It used fans to lift the craft on a cushion of air so it could glide over land or water with minimal surface friction.

Cockerel was an inventor with a very original mind. He experimented at home with two concentric tins, one coffee and one cat food, using a hair-dryer to blow air between them. He found that the craft could be stable of air were blown through outlets surrounding a disc or oval shape, and later found that a flexible ‘skirt’ of rubber or similar material increased the efficiency and enabled it to pass over small obstacles without mishap.

He tried to win financial backing, but despite numerous demonstrations on Whitehall carpets, the military was unimpressed. The navy thought it was a plane, the air force thought it was a boat, and the army was “not interested.” Finally, though, Cockerel persuaded the National Research Development Corporation to finance the construction of a full-size version, to be made by Saunders Roe. It became the SR.N1.

Early versions carried passengers and eventually cars, and in 1968, the SR.N4 entered service with Hoverlloyd and Seaspeed to carry passengers and cars on a regular cross Channel service. Hovercraft have been used in many parts of the world for passenger and sports services, and in particular in disaster relief operations, and for some large-scale military purposes, carrying tanks, trucks and troops into terrain otherwise inaccessible.

I’ve travelled on many of them. I used to use them regularly on cross-Channel trip from Dover to Calais or Boulogne, liking the fact that they crossed in about half the time it took a ferry boat. One of my best trips was from Carnoustie to St Andrews during an Open Golf tournament. The trip there had taken me neatly two hours, but the hovercraft trip back took about 12 minutes across the Tay estuary before pulling up outside the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse in St Andrews.

I’ve piloted a one-person sports hovercraft, and was bemused to find no steering controls. The craft was manoeuvred by throwing one’s body to the side you wanted it to turn towards.

 ommercial hovercraft have tended to be replaced by hydrofoils and high-speed catamarans that do not have to expend energy in lifting the vehicle, but they are still in use on a daily basis on services between Southsea and the Isle of Wight, and elsewhere in the world on vital but non-commercial uses.

The economist Mariana Mazzucato claims that it is public money that funds the discovery of most inventions, which she says private enterprise profits from. But she misses utterly the essential point that even publicly-funded breakthroughs do not become successful commercially until people work on the technology to turn them into viable products that people will buy to add value to their lives. When public bodies try to do that part of it themselves, they have a habit of performing poorly because they are doing it with other people’s money, rather than putting their own finances at risk. Cockerel’s hovercraft was not discovered by government. It did have a government grant to validate the system, but it was commercial companies that developed and refined the craft to turn them into a useful mode of transport.

Media enquiries: 07584 778207 (Call only, 24 hour)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *