A new hovercraft--a boat-like vehicle which skims along on a three-foot blanket of air--made its American debut Thursday (30 July) in Block Island Sound, off Long Island, New York.
MS boat going overland
CU hand on controls
MS boat going from land to water to land (2 shots)
CU windshield wipers moving
MS boat going from land to water to land (5 shots)
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Background: A new hovercraft--a boat-like vehicle which skims along on a three-foot blanket of air--made its American debut Thursday (30 July) in Block Island Sound, off Long Island, New York.
Carrying 22 passengers, the craft skimmed smoothly over water, soggy marshes, mud flats and land. It rides on the downdraft of air generated beneath it by the downdraft of two of its four gas turbine engines. It is propelled horizontally by the other two engines.
During a 40-minute run, the 55-foot long vehicle sped over water at 45 miles an hour.
The craft is being tested by Republic Aviation for possible use by the Navy's Marine Corps in amphibious operations. It was designed by Vickers, Great Britain, with which Republic has a licensing agreement.
Republic said it foresaw a wide range of potential uses for hovercraft. It mentioned commuter ferries, cargo carriers, amphibious buses, exploration craft and a variety of military vehicles.
The company said it did not expect hovercraft to compete directly with trucks, trains or ships. But where such transportation is marginal or non-existent, the company said prospects for hovercraft were excellent.
The hovercraft Republic is testing is called the VA-3 and was used in experimental commuter service between two English towns on the North Wales coast in the summer of 1962.