SRN6 Twin-Prop (Mk. 6) Trip

SRN6 Twin-Prop (Mk. 6) Trip

At Hovershow 2009 I was extremely lucky (and thus remain forever grateful to the Hovercraft Museum team and the SRN6 crew that day, ex-Canadian Coastguard engineer Paul Augusta and pilot Colin Shew, and Hovertravel pilot Robert Trussler) to have both seen, climbed aboard, and had a flight in an SRN6 hovercraft.

Parts of this particular craft once boasted the name "Sure", of the two Hoverlloyd twin craft to operate between Pegwell Bay and France back in the 1960s during Hoverlloyd's first years of service. An amalgamation of two craft, other components were from SRN6 "Freedom" (Mark, 2009). She then went on to a life outside of the passenger field, touring the world. This craft was then stretched, and converted to a twin-propeller configuration to reduce operating noise. Most recently, before purchase by the Hovercraft Museum, SRN6 017 acted as a marine research vessel, bearing the onboard equipment and electronics to match such a role.

The SRN6 Twin-Prop design was created to, among other things reduce operating noise from the craft's "angry wasp"-sounding propeller, the original tips of which were so fast that they broke the sound barrier due to the propeller's size and high speed. Twin Props reduced each blade's diameter and thus tip speed, subsequently negating the requirement to go supersonic to provide the necessary thrust to drive the craft forward.

This page contains photos from around the Museum's SRN6, and a link to a video(s) page of the short trip around the Solent infront of HMS Daedalus. Click for more information about the SRN6.

Canadian Coastguard

Paul worked with the Canadian Coastguard since 1968 initially as a rep for Westland Aerospace in the UK, initially having started out as an apprentice for Saunders & Roe hovercraft. He was chief engineer with Hovertravel, involved with hovercraft activities in the Middle East and the Arctic to do with oil exploration back in the '60s. Canadian Coastguard operated 5 SRN6s in total, 2 from Vancouver and 3 from Yellowknife (??). They now operate 4 AP1-88 craft for Search and Rescue and Ice Breaking roles.

SRN6 Twin-Prop Walkaround and Flight at Hovershow 2009

About a 10-minute short hover-around was afforded to a very lucky few at Hovershow 2009 on the Museum's SRN6 Twin Prop. Piloted by Hovertravel's own (??), and crewed by many SRN6 veterans, this short hop took us about a mile East of the Daedalus slipway, keeping relatively close to shore, but proving that this, the oldest operational hovercraft in the world, is still made of strong stuff some 40+ years on. SRN6 017 (the original Sure, later stretched, and converted to twin-propeller and outfitted for research purposes). This craft carries remnants of old research kit control panels

Click here for video of this trip.

Page updated: Saturday, September 13, 2014