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Tag: hovercraft

July 25, 1959 – A hovercraft crosses the English Channel
This Day

July 25, 1959 – A hovercraft crosses the English Channel

The air was calm, the sun was out, and the seabirds were cawing, but nobody could hear them. The birds’ cries were drowned out by the motors of the first practical hovercraft, which was idling on the banks of the English Channel in Calais, France. It was on this day in 1959 that the first practical hovercraft, dubbed the SR.N1, or Saunders-Roe Nautical 1, would make a daring attempt to cross the Channel. It was no coincidence the event was taking place 50 years to the day that Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly across it in an airplane.  Captain Peter Lamb, navigator John Chaplin and Christopher Cockerell, the inventor of the momentum curtain as applied to the hovercraft principle, waved goodbye as a crowd looked on, everyone unsure what would transpire during the craft’s...

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