sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Australian Hovercraft promises silent travel over reefs and high seas
Australian Hovercraft promises silent travel over reefs and high seas

'Velocity 30'    . ©
Wing in ground effect, or WIG as it’s known in the realm of hovercrafts, is something Michael Fane from Australian Hovercraft is proficient in and something he says is the future of transport.

'When I was 22, I built little hovercraft. I went in to mining, then over to Asia and worked around the region. By the time I was 35 I built Lady Bernie, finished in 1989. We sea trialled it to Rottnest Island in the highest seas, carrying eight plus Captain and it was very efficient.'

With a background in Accounting and Business Law, Fane is also a mechanical fitter by trade with a private pilot’s license, electrical workers license, cockswain ticket, and is a registered CPA and registered tax agent.

The Wing In Ground-effect vehicle is a vehicle that cruises little more than a few feet over flat surfaces, most often water. It can be seen as a transition between a hovercraft and an aircraft. WIGs are also classified as Ground Effect Vehicles, or Sea Skimmers.

This seamless ground to water to air craft is something that has consumed Fane for decades. Based in WA, his company has completed for commercial use the flagship in the range, the Velocity 30 which is capable of operating in a confined harbour and on open seas.

'It can go from A to B over reefs and sand bars in shallow water and people can see everything! Added to that, with my model, there's no sea sickness, no matter what the sea conditions are.'

Fane continues: 'With my WIG we take off as hovercraft, leave the water at 45 knots with 30 passengers, or 90 in the case of Hoverflight 90, and can go 75 knots with engines running at 60% with a 700 nm range fully loaded – about the same as a Catalina seaplane. Like the Catalina, if we only carry fuel up to a tonne with passengers or half a tonne with their luggage on board, but if we put 3 tonnes of fuel our range extends to 2,5000nm.'

There is already a market. Hovercraft is currently in use by Broome Hovercraft which has been operating for about 30 years and was designed and made by Airlift in Queensland. There is one in use around the Isle of Wight and one used to be operating across the English Channel, 'before it wore out'.

The average cruise speed is 25 knots, even though they can do 60, says Fane. 'But you have to consider the passengers and the sea states and waves. If you go airborne, it can be dangerous.

The hovercraft has been endorsed by Lloyds and has IMO approval.

Fane is confident there is a massive market. 'Tourism, transportation between islands, luxury tenders and regular transport. The military, rescue and patrol would be another application.'

The current model Velocity 30 uses 375 HP Caterpillar engine and 8 foot seven blade Pitch in motion 700 RPM Propeller and is marketed as 'super silent'. At 14.45 metres long 5 metres wide it accommodates 30 seats and cruises at 25 to 30 knots. The price is UAD$900,000.

Says Fane: 'It has directional control similar to a good handling boat. Most hovercraft do not have this control at low speeds and thus avoid harbours and hover onto concrete pads or land only. Many hovercraft have to gain speed before entering water as they will not gain enough speed to hover over the water hump from a water start.

Transferring passengers to boats at sea is simple and easy operation for this 30 passenger seat craft. 'We can build for superyacht tender, coastal patrol, airport rescue, military service, or any commercial operation specified.'

Hoverflight 90 for military coastal patrol or rescue work -  .. ©  


On open oceans, the craft is totally stable, asserts Fane. 'On one trip to Rottnest Island our cruise speed varied between 22 and 25 knots up to 30 knots for short periods as per our GPS. Seas were one metre.

Noise and impact on the environment are minimal, states Fane. 'The propeller is so silent in operation, the birds and seals to not change behaviour as we pass close by. This is possibly the only hovercraft manufactured in the world today that does not disturbed wildlife. Passengers travel on the outside deck at speed and are able to talk to each other.'

This silence is the result of years of Research and Development into both silent propellers, sound absorbing ducts and lift fans. 'A paint with micro ceramic tubes is on all surfaces in the engine room preventing transmitting of sound and heat.'

The new Build Velocity 30 Hovercraft will be 17 metres long 7 metres wide with additional props and space within, and a price of around AUD$2 million.

'Hovercraft is the future for environmental tours and for high speed passenger transport Hoverflight is the answer. For the same speed and same payload, it uses one third of the fuel.'

What Fane is now waiting on is investment for manufacturing. Given the shortage of skilled labour in WA and a lack of factory sites on the watersedge, he is considering relocating interstate or offshore to mass produce these craft.
More at www.australianhovercraft.com


by Jeni Bone

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=96918

1:26 AM Mon 7 May 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI














Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay








Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe fourth at mid-point of 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT