• Short Summary

    The United States coastguard has been testing a modified hovercraft specially adapted to sea rescue requirement.

  • Description

    The United States coastguard has been testing a modified hovercraft specially adapted to sea rescue requirement. And, after exhaustive tests, in cations are that the craft is well-suited to its new task.

    Gliding along on a cushion of air generated by a seven-foot fan, the hovercraft cruises at 35 to 40 miles-per-hour (54-64 kph). But the vehicles have clocked better than 80 miles-per-hour (128 kph) over water -- and more then 100 miles-per-hour (160 kph) over arctic ice.

    The hovercraft has a range of 300 nautical miles with enough fuel to keep it going for six-and-a-half hours. On land, it can clear ditches of up to 12 feet wide (3 metres) and eight feet (2 1/2 metres) deep at a speed of about 20 miles-per-hour (32 kph).

    SYNOPSIS: Exhaustive tests have proved this hovercraft well suited to sea rescue work.

    It's been specially modified to meet the specific requirements of Coast Guard missions -- including search and rescue, the ability to combat oil pollution and law enforcement.

    Carrying a crew of three, the vehicle is equipped with sophisticated navigational aids, and has a cruising speed of thirty-five to forty miles-an-hour. But the craft has clocked speeds of eighty miles-an-hour over water -- and more than a HUNDRED miles-an-hour in tests over Arctic ice.

    This model can tackle coastal missions in all weathers. And with tanks providing enough fuel for more than six hours, it has a range of about three-hundred nautical miles. The Coastguard expects to complete evaluation toots of these vehicles within the next few months. But so far trials indicate that it can perform MORE rescue missions than normal equipment in LESS time.

    Before modification, the United States Ne??? used the craft in Vietnam combat condition proving a series of tough, practical tests. On land, the hovercraft can clear ditches of up to twelve feet wide and eight feet deep -- at a speed of better that twenty miles-per-hour. Another model specially equipped for the Arctic, is being tested off the Alaskan coast in a programme conducted by the United States Defence Department.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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