Reference Entry

hovercraft

in The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea

Second edition

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780199205684
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191727504
hovercraft

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also known as a ground effect machine and air cushion vehicle. It supports its own weight by generating and containing an air cushion beneath its hull. The air cushion, usually generated by fans, is created by blowing air beneath the hull. This air hits the surface the vehicle is travelling over and, because it cannot escape, it turns back upwards which lifts the hull clear of the surface. More air coming in keeps the hull off the surface, and air escaping from under the hull ensures an equilibrium is maintained. Flexible skirts contain the cushion of air and raise the hull higher to allow it to clear obstacles....

Reference Entry.  692 words. 

Subjects: Maritime History

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