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July 25, 1959 – SR.N1 Hovercraft crosses the English Channel

On this day in 1959 the first practical hovercraft crossed the English Channel in just more than two hours. The vehicle was built by British aero- and marine-engineering company Saunders-Row Limited on the Isle of Man. It was dubbed SR.N1 (Saunders-Roe Nautical 1). It first flew on June 11, 1959 in a demonstration for the press showing its capability to cross both land and water.
On the 50th anniversary of Louis Bleriot’s cross channel flight, the SR.N1 cross the English Channel from Calais to Dover. The crew were Captain Peter Lamb (pilot), John Chaplin (navigator) and Christopher Cockerell, the inventor of the momentum curtain as applied to the hovercraft principle. The vehicle now resides at the Science Museum at Wroughton.

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