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Report - - SRN.4 "The Princess Anne" Hovercraft August 2011 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - SRN.4 "The Princess Anne" Hovercraft August 2011



sidibear

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
In addition to the report by MissC on the SRN.4 Princess Margaret at Lee On Solent here is the other large hovercraft.
See at the end of the photos on how to gain access, its legal and above board, you just have to contact them and ask.

The craft entered commercial service in August 1968, with the Princess Margaret (of British Rail's Seaspeed) initially operated between Dover and Boulogne but later craft also made the Ramsgate (Pegwell Bay) to Calais route. The journey time, Dover to Boulogne, was roughly 35 minutes, with six trips a day at peak times. The fastest ever crossing of the English Channel by a commercial car-carrying hovercraft was 22 minutes, recorded by the SR.N4 Mk.III Princess Anne on 14 September 1995,[2] for the 10:00 a.m. service.[3]

In 1972 the first SR.N4s were temporarily withdrawn for conversion to Mk.II specification which would to provide for seven further car spaces and 28 more passengers. The first of the enlarged craft, the "Swift", entered service at the beginning of February 1973.[4] The capacity increase was achieved by removing an inner passenger cabin in order to accommodate the extra cars and widening the outer passenger cabin: this was achieved without changing the overall footprint of the craft.[4] New aircraft-tyle forward-facing seats created an atmosphere of enhanced sophistication, and a redesigned skirt was intended to reduce window spray, enhancing the view out for passengers, and to give a smoother ride in rough seas: contemporary reports nevertheless commented on the "unsprung" nature of the ride.[4] From 1976 two SR.N4s were refitted with new deep skirts and stretched by almost 56.1 ft (17.1 m), increasing capacity to 418 passengers and 60 cars at the cost of a weight increase to almost 265 long tons (269 t). To maintain speed the engines were upgraded to four 3,500 shaft horsepower (2,610 kW) Rolls-Royce turboprops fitted with four 21 ft (6.4 m) diameter steerable propellers. The work cost around £5 million for each craft, and they were designated Mark IIIs; the improvements allowed them to operate in seas up to 11 ft 6 in (3.5 m) high and with 57.5-mile-per-hour (92.5 km/h) winds. The stretched SR.N4s (Super-4's) became the world's largest hovercraft, holding this title until the Russian's Zubr class LCAC hovercraft's arrival early in the 21st century.

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