On Wednesday 26 June Griffon Hoverwork joined with other key hovercraft organisations, past and present, at The Hovercraft Museum in an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of SRN4 "The Princess Anne" currently held there. Accompanied by our sister company Hovertravel, operate a fleet of 12000TDs between Southsea and the Isle of Wight, HRH Princess Anne attended in person to visit the iconic hovercraft named after her and show her support to the industry's enduring legacy and future. HoverAid, the humanitarian charity supplying lifesaving aid by hovercraft, who are currently operating in Madagascar, were also in attendance.
The SRN4 is currently the largest commercial hovercraft to have been manufactured at 56 metres in length whilst carrying up to 400 people and 55 cars across the English Channel from Dover to Calais. Although no longer in service the museum has done a tremendous job of maintaining the craft with a view to restoring it in the future.
Demonstrations of the 995ED alongside Hovertravel's 1200TD the Solent Flyer took place during the day to show how far the industry have come since the days of SRN4. A focal point of comparison and discussion for those viewing was the change in noise levels for modern hovercraft. With ducted propellers allowing for slower tip speeds from the rotor blades both Griffon craft on display quietly exhibited their manoeuvrability in front of the Princess Royal whilst Spitfires flew overhead.
The day was concluded inside the SRN4 with the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate Princess Anne and the vehicle etched into hovercraft history.
Photos of HRH kindly supplied by Blitz Photography