SEAGOING SAUCERS (Jan, 1959)

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SEAGOING SAUCERS

By Frank Tinsley

THIS radical new ship is now under development by the British government. According to the London Daily Mail the Saunders-Roe Aircraft Co. is now hard at work on preliminary research.

The idea is essentially the same as that proposed for Ford’s futuristic “Wheel-less Car.” (See Oct. ’58 MI) The MI design calls for an elongated saucer form with a horseshoe-shaped cavity underneath. Compressed air is expelled from nozzles in the top of this cavity, which contains the pressure and directs it against the sea’s surface, lifting the saucer a few feet above the water. Airplane-type propellers, driven by gas turbines, propel the skimmer at high speed. In docking or lying at anchor, the pressure is gradually reduced and the ship lowers to the water. A water propeller and rudder are provided for surface maneuvering.

The British expect saucers to carry up to 1,000 passengers, hit over 100 mph. Development will probably take about ten years.

6 comments
  1. fred says: April 2, 20102:08 am

    wow

  2. Stephen says: April 2, 20106:25 am

    I think this must be a distorted impression of the SR.N4 hovercraft ferry, to an article about which I have linked. It first flew in 1968, which is indeed “about ten years” after the article published in 1959. It was, however, nothing like the ambitious luxury craft described here: it was a ferry with a tunnel through the middle and passenger seating on either side. The design in the illustration above shows a very poor understanding of hovercraft: it’s too high out of the water and has no retaining “skirt”. This means that, even by hovercraft standards, it would have been very inefficient.

  3. r peltier says: April 2, 201011:21 am

    WOW!!! One of the very few things this magazine reported on that actually went into production.

  4. KD5ZS says: April 2, 201011:28 am

    I wonder if the hovercraft ferrys are still be used between England and France.

  5. Firebrand38 says: April 2, 201012:08 pm

    KD5ZS: Wonder no more

    http://archives.cnn.com…
    http://www.hovercraft-m…
    Last service in England is offered by these folks http://www.hovertravel….

  6. KD5ZS says: April 2, 20101:27 pm

    Thanks! Very interesting.

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