Hovercraft For Every Application
Hovercraft are highly versatile vehicles with a multitude of applications. Modern hovercraft are efficient, highly developed vehicles with low noise levels, excellent performance and are cost-effective to purchase and run.
HMA Members manufacture everything from tiny 2m long kids hovercraft through to 30m commercial hovercraft with a 20 tonne capacity. In the middle are recreational, utility, commercial and rescue hovercraft.
Hovercraft offer unique transport opportunities in shallow and estuarial waters and with an ability to reach approximately 80% of the world's beaches, can provide transport solutions in places no other vehicle can access. This unique ability has seen a surge in demand for hovercraft in developing nations where river access is often the only viable way of travel and supply.
At a fraction of the operating costs of a helicopter, and with impeccable 'green' credentials, hovercraft have a growing and secure future in both recreational and commercial roles - as well as providing a cost-effective rescue vehicle for mud, shallow water and ice environments.
Aside from their sheer 'usefulness' - hovercraft are as Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson said "The most fun you can have with an engine!" and are becoming more and more common as a recreational toy. HMA members sell numerous hovercraft each year - both as kits and fully built - to thrill seekers looking for a new toy as an alternative to the traditional boat or jets ski. .
Ice & Mud Rescue can be a lethal business. Mud rescue traditionally consists of crews dragging sledges and equipment across mud or sand to victims who have become stuck or cut off by rising tides. This of course means rescue crews having to take the same risk to reach the the victims whilst carrying mud lances and stretchers.
Contrast that with organsations such as 'BARB' who operate a small hovercraft in Somerset, UK. WEBSITE HERE used to quickly and safely snatch potential victims out of the mud in an extremely tidal area.
Ice rescue is another area where hovercraft offer a huge advantage, with their low pressure footprint, they are less likely to break the ice, and when set down have a flat bottom which provides a safe working platform.
Fun & Games - Hovercraft for Fun!
Travel over land or water, sandbanks, mudflats, lakes, rivers, ice and snow - hovercraft can take you places nothign else can. When added to the sheer fun of driving a vessel suspended on a cushion of air, and its 'slip/slide' steering - you can quickly understand why hovercraft are becoming more and more common alternatives to jetskis and boats.
Hovercraft are very 'green' - they don't exhaust into the water and create no wash to damage riverbanks, they have no propellor or jet drive to damage the river bed and use around one third of the fuel of a conventional boat (more fun for the money!)
You can launch your hovercraft at any tidal state (rivers and estuaries can become whole different worlds as the tides change) and there is a great social side to hovercraft cruising with regular events and organised meetings.
Commercial & Utility
Whether it's driven by the postman on frozen rivers in the Stockholm Peninsular, collecting mud samples in a tidal estuary, filming with a television crews, environmental surveys, crew transfer or inspecting salmon farms in frozen conditions, there's a thousand uses for which hovercraft provide transport solutions. HMA Members manufacture hovercraft supplied to small businesses for intertidal work - right through to 150 Seat passenger services.
In the UK, the laws relating to commercial operation of small hovercraft have changed in 2014, with HMA members successfully producing the 2014 Hovercraft Code of Practice. This means small hovercraft are now a viable, cost effective solution for many small businesses transport issues in intertidal, frozen or estuarial locations.
There is more air-cushion vehicle experience within the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association than anywhere else. ACV & Hovercraft technology has been successfully utilised in many different applications, and the HMA is almost certain to contain the knowledge within it to make any project successful.
Just some of the projects on which HMA members have consulted includes the BBC Top Gear 'Hovervan,' Guy Martin's attempt on the hovercraft speed record and the 'Die Another Day' James Bond movie.
Hovercraft have been modified by HMA members and specified for work ranging from UXO Detection in Kuwait, to military landing craft and for inspecting cockle beds! Each craft needs to be designed with knowledge and experience - by companies who understand the abilities and limitations of air cushion vehicle design.