The BHT series craft are highly versatile air cushioned vehicles (ACV) able to work in a wide variety of operational roles. Designed to handle a high level of usage on daily scheduled operations, the British Hovercraft Technology (BHT) range of craft is available as a full well deck variant and a half well deck variant, meaning it can carry passengers and cargo with a combined weight of up to 22.5 tonnes.
- The structural design is highly robust with an aluminium transverse rib construction similar to that used in aircraft wings.
- Side decks are fixed and can be fitted with added cargo carrying pods.
- In the well decked configuration, access is via a bow ramp for wheeled vehicles and other freight.
- Comfortably able to operate in sea state 4 and with significant wave heights of up to 2 metres, the BHT can also operate in inshore waters.
- The craft are powered by 4 diesel engines, 2 providing lift and 2 providing thrust, offering both high levels of power and some redundancy in the event of an emergency. They are fitted with bow thrusters to provide control in yaw, which is considered highly beneficial when manoeuvring a large craft in tight spaces.
- Optional equipment can be fitted to the BHT hovercraft, for an additonal cost, please ask for further details.
Environmental considerations have been a major factor in the design of the BHT series, with particular reference to noise and disturbance of the surface over which the craft may operate. The use of large diameter, slow speed propellers ensure low noise levels, whilst low cushion pressure allows the craft to operate over low load bearing surfaces, such as mud flats, marshland and sandy beaches without causing permanent damage to the surface.
The Canadian Coast Guard have relied on an earlier generation design of this craft for patrol, search and rescue, buoyage management and coastal/inland ice breaking duties for over 40 years. Hovertravel is the longest running hover passenger ferry service in Europe, operating between Ryde, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, delivering a high speed connection in less than half the time of any competing fast ferry service.
Image Credit to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.