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John_Cillis

The world's lowest flying aircraft

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Pity the UK discontinued hovercraft service.  I went from Dover to Calais and back last year in a much larger ship/ferry, biggest vehicle I have ever been driven on in my entire life,  It was indeed exciting, even if it was not a hovercraft and took around two hours for the Channel crossing each way.  I enjoyed seeing the white Cliffs of Dover, very similar to the cliffs at Pt. Reyes national seashore I went to with my college earth science class back in 1980.  The geology was impressive to see, on the Hawaii side of the North American plate, just to the west of the San Andreas fault that gave us our big 1989 earthquake in California during our Bay Bridge world series.

John

 

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Always wanted to try one of those.....


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A bit more details here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SR.N4 . I didn't realize it's been almost 20 years since they were retired.........Doug


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I thought the worlds lowest flying "airplane" was the Russian Ekranoplan.  Fantastic piece of machinery now rusting away in a northern port.

However Russia is now considering bringing it back and loading it with missiles.

 

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Thank you.

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4 hours ago, 188AHC said:

I thought the worlds lowest flying "airplane" was the Russian Ekranoplan.  Fantastic piece of machinery now rusting away in a northern port.

However Russia is now considering bringing it back and loading it with missiles.

 

I would agree, The advantages of the Ekranoplan was it's ability to carry much heavier cargo using the ground effect for lift, technically I would consider this a type of airplane.

A hovercraft is an aircraft not an airplane.

No surprise they are considering bringing them back, they are good at evading radar and too fast for the navy. But I think their concept of underwater cruise missiles are a much bigger threat, even though they are slower they can work their way into any harbor undetected and go boom, that is a major advancement. Even an underwater blast off a shoreline would set off a tsunami that would be more wide spread devastating then a bomb

Edited by Matthew Kane

Matthew Kane

 

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Technically a hovercraft is and ACV (Air Cushion Vehicle) which is operated like an aircraft. The operator is also referred to as a pilot. But so is the person responsible for directing ships into port. Interesting things about the English language. One word can have multiple meanings.

On topic, I consider the huge hovercraft that operated as ferries, troop carriers, and  numerous other uses, marvels of design and engineering. I've seen both large ones and small ones down to single person recreational vehicles. Pretty exciting to watch them operate.

It would be nice if they could be made more efficient and were put to greater use. If nothing else, it would be interesting to just sit and watch them work.

Thanks for posting the video, John. It was very interesting.

 

 

 


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I think the disadvantage of hovercraft for military use is the cushion is more vulnerable, not much for armor on them compared to conventional landing craft. Good for support though and military budgets are keeping them going:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-cushioned_landing_craft

Edited by Matthew Kane

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On 1/1/2019 at 5:17 PM, Matthew Kane said:

I think the disadvantage of hovercraft for military use is the cushion is more vulnerable, not much for armor on them compared to conventional landing craft. Good for support though and military budgets are keeping them going:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-cushioned_landing_craft

Landing craft have always been vulnerable, as was evidence in D-Day, so they just made swarms of them, one has to outnumber the enemy at least 2 to one, better even 3 or four to one, in order to succeed in the beginning.  It is said Eisenhower had prepared two speeches in case D-Day failed and fully expected to give the speech for losing that day, but we fooled the German's that we were going to land on another beach using Patton's fake army.  The German's hedged their bets and tried to protect Normandy to the best they could, and even after Normandy it took a while before our troops could have their breakout.  One also must remember "A Bridge Too Far" when we tried to go behind enemy lines to capture the Rhine bridges near Arnhem.  Although we did not, we did weaken the enemy more than we did ourselves, Ali's "Rope A Dope" strategy, works in wars too.

John

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2 hours ago, John_Cillis said:

Landing craft have always been vulnerable, as was evidence in D-Day, so they just made swarms of them, one has to outnumber the enemy at least 2 to one, better even 3 or four to one, in order to succeed in the beginning.  It is said Eisenhower had prepared two speeches in case D-Day failed and fully expected to give the speech for losing that day, but we fooled the German's that we were going to land on another beach using Patton's fake army.  The German's hedged their bets and tried to protect Normandy to the best they could, and even after Normandy it took a while before our troops could have their breakout.  One also must remember "A Bridge Too Far" when we tried to go behind enemy lines to capture the Rhine bridges near Arnhem.  Although we did not, we did weaken the enemy more than we did ourselves, Ali's "Rope A Dope" strategy, works in wars too.

John

Of the two I would take an armored landing craft over a hover craft. Those landing craft on D-Day were vulnerable to artillery but held up to the machine guns, it was when they opened the doors you had to face the machine guns. A Hovercraft on D-Day they would have just shot at the rubber cushions.


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2 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

Of the two I would take an armored landing craft over a hover craft. Those landing craft on D-Day were vulnerable to artillery but held up to the machine guns, it was when they opened the doors you had to face the machine guns. A Hovercraft on D-Day they would have just shot at the rubber cushions.

The most intense D-Day movie I ever watched was "The Big Red One".  I have met D-Day veterans and they are not only a band of brothers, they became brothers with me because even as a civilian I remembered and respected what they did, and felt their pain, and felt their wounds.  My oldest Uncle lucked out in WWII, he was Gene Autry's driver.  I do not know much about Gene Autry other than he was famous around that time.  That Uncle and my other Uncle, on my Mom's side, bought a cottage at Cedar Lake Indiana which we all owned a small share in, so we'd go there from Chicago, or after we moved from California, we'd go there, and finally on my 1975 Choir tour I went there and stayed there with my two great Uncles, who could tell me so many stories.  Cedar Lake was hit by a Tornado and my Uncles sat and watched it tear thru the neighborhood, leaving them untouched.  I have been in so many Tornadoes, even with the vortex over me, and I did not get sucked up into the sky like Dorothy, it only felt like I did as if every limb in my body was going to be torn off.  But after every Tornado I felt stronger, and less scared, and I have not been in one for almost a decade now, small ones hit Arizona from time to time.  You know the fog of war when you go through a life threatening event like a Tornado, I was pelted by rocks in one in every direction, all scratched up and nearly blinded, I felt like I was in an Iron Maiden or shooting gallery.  But some unseen hand of power saved me, every single time, I call it my higher Power.  We all must have one, in War, those who survive, and even those who do not.

John

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