Hovercraft Powered By Balloon – Shocking Headline Floats The Idea

Can you imagine what people would have made of such a mystical and amazing vehicle as a hovercraft when it first ran?

With the first commercially viable hovercraft design built in 1955, the papers of the time led with some seriously inaccurate headlines - the worst of which believed that the hovercraft built by Charles J Fletcher was actually powered by a balloon and used a balloon to keep itself up off the ground!

All though Charles Fletcher was not the first to think of the idea and principles behind the hovercraft - that was Sir John Isaac Thornycroft in the mid 1870s - he was the first to actually make a working model.

Sadly for him, as soon as he trailed it and proved the concept, the US Department of War appropriated it!

But common sense prevailed over the years and now, you can buy (or even build) your own hovercraft easily.

Now admittedly, the hovercraft and associated magic it possesses is something that appeals far more to boys than girls.

We think it is the serious height of cool to watch a hovercraft as the fans spool up, the air cushion around the body fills with air, fans whir, spray flies up and the whole beast starts to slowly float on air, gliding down the ramp and onto the water before throttling up and shooting away from us.

You stand there with a huge smile on your face, rooted to the spot until the hovercraft becomes as small as a dot, only the faint spray from behind marking it's position. Your brain knows it is quite possible and logical for such a craft to be able to stay afloat but that sense of boyish adventure and fascination with such things still subconsciously mugs your brain, hobnailed covered boots of disbelief kicking away at you, trying to convince you that any minute now, it'll sink!

Yet this subconscious knowledge still wouldn't stop you climbing aboard with glee if anyone was ever foolish enough to utter those words all men love to hear "Care to have a go yourself?"

I frequently have to travel to the Isle of Wight on business. Whenever I do - I head straight to the Hover Terminal. To hell with the sensible, plodding and slow ferry - I'm for the bouncing and vibrating hovercraft and I don't care if it does sink - at least I'll go with a huge smile on my face as well as a small, hobnailed boot mentally kicking me, saying "I told you so!!"

Source by Rufus Steele

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