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HOVERTRAVEL: New Hovercraft

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Hovertravel have been showing off their new design hovercraft to the press today.

 

Apparently they have two front doors for quicker turnarounds...be interesting to see how front loading works at Southsea. I'd imagine the craft are a fair bit smaller than the AP1s...

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Loading back to the front of the vessel like the old SRN6 craft. What goes round..comes round again. Surprised they have gone for smaller capacity rather than more. Guess they feel they have peaked in terms of numbers and cannot see a future whereby significant increase will be seen. Will they keep one of the older APT-88 for back up, I expect they will at the start to ensure bedding in but also with festivals etc quite regular and Hovertravel being unable to gain the kind of increase in vessels Wightlink do, they surely could do with the 3rd as stand by.

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Loading back to the front of the vessel like the old SRN6 craft. What goes round..comes round again. Surprised they have gone for smaller capacity rather than more. Guess they feel they have peaked in terms of numbers and cannot see a future whereby significant increase will be seen. Will they keep one of the older APT-88 for back up, I expect they will at the start to ensure bedding in but also with festivals etc quite regular and Hovertravel being unable to gain the kind of increase in vessels Wightlink do, they surely could do with the 3rd as stand by.

 

 

I think it highly unlikely they'll retain a third craft. The benefits don't outweigh the costs. They don't have a third at the moment, and retaining a third of a different type would make even less sense in terms of maintenance, crew training, craft certification, pilot certs etc.

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Press Release from Hovertravel:

Hovertravel has, today, announced a series of updates on the introduction of its new craft.

“As well as giving an insight from myself,” explained Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, “we will be introducing you to our engineers, pilots, crew and other staff to give you updates into this momentous project.”

Following on from Freedom 90 being used as part of Griffon Hoverwork’s sea trials programme on the sandbanks just off the shore at Ryde last week, this craft will be tested at Griffon and on the Solent, possibly visiting Ryde and Southsea, over the next four to six weeks. Once these are completed, the first craft will be delivered to Ryde for a further two to three month period of comprehensive training with Hovertravel.

Neil adds: “We will be training pilots, engineers, crew and staff, as well as conducting loading trials during this time. This programme is a safety critical element of the introduction of our new fleet and it is essential to note that until this is completed to the satisfaction of the Marine & Coastguard Agency, we will not be able to use the craft for customers. “

Following a recent Hovertravel User Group (HUG) meeting, here are some questions and answers which have already been raised:

1. Why is it white?

The new craft are currently plain white as the branding is applied just a few days before they are delivered to us. The new livery is dynamic and exciting and will make a great impact on and off the water.

2. What is its capacity?

The new craft can carry 80 passengers, and as you know we are the only ferry crossing company for foot passengers that allows you to book your seat to make sure your preferred time is secured for your comfort.

3. Will bikes be allowed on board?

Yes, we will be carrying bikes, although the exact number will determined by the loading trials in April.

4. Will the new fleet be more reliable?

We are going to see a number of efficiencies, but as with any new car, train or plane there will be a time required for the craft to settle in.

5. When will it be in service?

It has always been our aim to have both new craft running our timetable in the summer. We are currently on schedule to achieve this aim and expect to have both craft operational in the early part of the summer.

Hovertravel is keen to receive further questions about the new craft via email ( info@hovertravel.co.uk ) and is urging anyone interested in the project to follow the progress on Hovertravel’s Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Hovertravel have announced that their new craft will be called SOLENT FLYER and ISLAND FLYER. They have also revealed their new rather striking colour scheme, which I think looks rather bond-esque! http://bit.ly/21zdvDF

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Well I was over on the island yesterday, and finally managed to see the Solent Flyer. She doesn't look quite so bad, but still prefer the AP1s. Got a pic of the two craft together:

 

DSCN3624.jpg

 

She doesn't look as small as I expected, strangely, but the pax area looks smaller

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Went on Island Express today, left Portchester at 0953 by train and arrived in slipway at Ryde 1040. £13.65. Saw Solent Flyer go out and do some spinning around etc. At one time all 3 out on the water as peak service started so both oldies were on. Coming back does not work out so well being just over the hour to home. Great walk as well. Lunch at The Crab Shanklin as The Village Inn looked a bit pricey at 13.95 for chargrilled chicken breast. Cost more than getting there. 3 ladies in The Village Inn suddenly were in The Crab for food, stating too pricey as well.

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Oh and they wont be in service for IOW Festival.....Likely July. A few issues with the ramps as they had wires attached to lower but these keep curling up so probably back to manual handling. Thought they may have gone for fully auto stairs like some Aeroplanes.

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So Yesterday was the "Solent Flyer Inaugural Charter Run", which I managed to get myself on. These are certainly interesting craft. Boarding features doors at the bow, as mentioned. one contains a retractable stair, and the other a ramp. Onboard there is a area for bikes and I assume luggage and parcels. Beyond this is the passenger area, with a 2-4-2 seating arrangement despite the lack of forward widows she is very bright inside and they do have a tv which can show a camera facing forward.

 

Crew were talking about the size, and she is only about a meter shorter then the AP1s, and actually slightly wider. She hovers a lot higher, and the skirt is now visible outside the window when inflated. She does seem to be more related to the SRN4s as well with only two engines, which control both lift fan and thrust prop. Went out for a ride, and despite the slightly windy conditions she had a smooth ride. I am looking forward to seeing her in full action (naming ceremony tomorrow (Mon) and then in service.

 

Even the Bretagne gets a look-in onboard!

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So Yesterday was the "Solent Flyer Inaugural Charter Run", which I managed to get myself on. These are certainly interesting craft. Boarding features doors at the bow, as mentioned. one contains a retractable stair, and the other a ramp. Onboard there is a area for bikes and I assume luggage and parcels. Beyond this is the passenger area, with a 2-4-2 seating arrangement despite the lack of forward widows she is very bright inside and they do have a tv which can show a camera facing forward.

 

Crew were talking about the size, and she is only about a meter shorter then the AP1s, and actually slightly wider. She hovers a lot higher, and the skirt is now visible outside the window when inflated. She does seem to be more related to the SRN4s as well with only two engines, which control both lift fan and thrust prop. Went out for a ride, and despite the slightly windy conditions she had a smooth ride. I am looking forward to seeing her in full action (naming ceremony tomorrow (Mon) and then in service.

 

Even the Bretagne gets a look-in onboard!

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So Yesterday was the "Solent Flyer Inaugural Charter Run", which I managed to get myself on. These are certainly interesting craft. Boarding features doors at the bow, as mentioned. one contains a retractable stair, and the other a ramp. Onboard there is a area for bikes and I assume luggage and parcels. Beyond this is the passenger area, with a 2-4-2 seating arrangement despite the lack of forward widows she is very bright inside and they do have a tv which can show a camera facing forward.

 

Crew were talking about the size, and she is only about a meter shorter then the AP1s, and actually slightly wider. She hovers a lot higher, and the skirt is now visible outside the window when inflated. She does seem to be more related to the SRN4s as well with only two engines, which control both lift fan and thrust prop. Went out for a ride, and despite the slightly windy conditions she had a smooth ride. I am looking forward to seeing her in full action (naming ceremony tomorrow (Mon) and then in service.

 

Even the Bretagne gets a look-in onboard!

 

 

I would have done that myself but £40, I passed! It would have actually cost me £60 including all transport from where I am to get to Ryde. For the sake of a few minutes flying around the solent and a quick tour, I thought £40 was way too steep!

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So Yesterday was the "Solent Flyer Inaugural Charter Run", which I managed to get myself on. These are certainly interesting craft. Boarding features doors at the bow, as mentioned. one contains a retractable stair, and the other a ramp. Onboard there is a area for bikes and I assume luggage and parcels. Beyond this is the passenger area, with a 2-4-2 seating arrangement despite the lack of forward widows she is very bright inside and they do have a tv which can show a camera facing forward.

 

Crew were talking about the size, and she is only about a meter shorter then the AP1s, and actually slightly wider. She hovers a lot higher, and the skirt is now visible outside the window when inflated. She does seem to be more related to the SRN4s as well with only two engines, which control both lift fan and thrust prop. Went out for a ride, and despite the slightly windy conditions she had a smooth ride. I am looking forward to seeing her in full action (naming ceremony tomorrow (Mon) and then in service.

 

Even the Bretagne gets a look-in onboard!

 

 

I would have done that myself but £40, I passed! It would have actually cost me £60 including all transport from where I am to get to Ryde. For the sake of a few minutes flying around the solent and a quick tour, I thought £40 was way too steep!

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Well I have booked a return for £5 under their offer on Sunday. Hope I get a newbie.

I think it's unlikely. The two 1-88's seem to be in use all the time, Solent Flyer seems to do the odd trials now and then, and Island Flyer is nowhere to be seen. Presumably still a few bugs to iron out.

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Well I have booked a return for £5 under their offer on Sunday. Hope I get a newbie.

I think it's unlikely. The two 1-88's seem to be in use all the time, Solent Flyer seems to do the odd trials now and then, and Island Flyer is nowhere to be seen. Presumably still a few bugs to iron out.

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