Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, is the home to the Hovercraft Museum which houses the world’s largest collection of hovercraft designs, including some of the earliest and largest. Much of the collection is housed within two retired SR.N4 hovercraft, and many hovercraft in the collection are operational.
Hovercraft are still in use between Ryde on the Isle of Wight and Southsea on the mainland. The service, operated by Hovertravel, runs many times an hour and is the fastest way of getting on or off the island. Large passenger hovercraft are still manufactured on the Isle of Wight.
World’s Largest Civil Hovercraft – The BHC SR.N4 Mk.III, at 56.4 m (185 ft) length and 310 metric tons (305 long tons) weight, can accommodate 418 passengers and 60 cars.
World’s largest military hovercraft – The Russian Zubr class LCAC at 57.6 meters length and a maximum displacement of 535 tons. This hovercraft can transport three T-80 main battle tanks (MBT), 140 fully equipped troops, or up to 130 tons of cargo. Four have been purchased by the Greek Navy.
English Channel crossing – 22 minutes by Princess Anne MCH SR.N4 Mk.III on September 14, 1995
World’s Hovercraft Speed Record – September 18, 1995 – Speed Trials, Bob Windt (USA) 137.4 km/h (85.87 mph), 34.06 secs measured kilometre
Longest continuous use – The original prototype SR.N6 Mk.I (009) was in service for over twenty years, and logged a remarkable 22,000 hours of use. It is currently on display at the Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England.