Hovercraft Museum Trust DVD5 Preview - The Seaspeed Story





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Published on May 20, 2011

Excerpts from 'The Seaspeed Story' - DVD No.5 from The Hovercraft Museum Trusts official DVD collection available to purchase via our eBay outlet:


Seaspeed was set up by British Rail in 1965 - and began by experimenting with with Hovercraft on the Solent. This was later followed by the giant SRN4 across the English Channel.

They started operations with the 38 seat SRN6 Mk1 on the Southampton to Cowes route in 1966. The craft were stretched during the Winter of '71 and fitted with more powerful 1000shp Gnome engines. The improved MK1s had a payload of 58 passengers - and the craft entered service in February 1972 taking 20 minutes to make the crossing.

Services were set up between Portsmouth to Cowes in 1967 - and Portsmouth to Ryde in 1968. The route to Ryde saw Seaspeed experiment with the new Hovermarine HM2.

By 1976 all services across the Solent ceased in order for Seaspeed to concentrate on their cross channel operations. These services had commenced in 1968 with two SRN4 hovercraft 'The Princess Margaret' and 'The Princess Anne'. Work began to lengthen these craft by 56ft in 1976. The new MKIII 'Super 4' were capable of carrying 418 passengers and 60 cars.

A new hovercraft was built for Seaspeed in 1977 by the the French company SEDAM. The striking N500 'Naviplane' alas failed to live up to expectations - and was plagued by technical and operational issues. Of the two craft built - only one entered service - and was taken out of operation to be broken up in 1985.

This four part DVD is a fascinating insight into Seaspeed's operations - both across the Solent and the English Channel. This rare archive footage has been transferred by the Hovercraft Museum for your viewing pleasure!

All rights of the producer & owner of the recorded works preserved. All unauthorised copying - public performance - broadcasting - hiring or rental of this recording prohibited. Copyright The Hovercraft Museum Trust 2011.


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