Hovercraft operate on a cushion of air and during their earlier years were considered to "fly" above the surface below. They generate a volume of lift air, maintained by a flexible skirt at a higher pressure than the atmospheric pressure above. Their weight is therefore balanced by the lift that is generated.
Our hovercraft use commercially available technology, are diesel powered, and use aluminium as the primary hull structure to make them easy to maintain and repair in the field.
There are a range of advantages of hovercraft and some limitations:
Griffon Hoverwork Hovercraft are highly adaptable:
• They can travel over almost any non-porous surface.
• They can operate from any unprepared beach or slipway.
• They are fast when compared to a conventional marine vessel.
• They can operate in some combinations of fog, ice and wind when no other transport can safely operate.
Griffon Hoverwork Hovercraft are cost effective:
• They are considerably cheaper to operate than helicopters.
• They can be maintained by engineers with a good understanding of common user machinery.
• They are easy to operate and maintain.
Griffon Hoverwork Hovercraft are environmentally
• They make minimal wake or wash.
• They have no underwater pressure signature and have no impact on marine life.
Users should have some understanding of their limitations:
Hovercraft are constrained to a given payload:
• Like aircraft, their weight must balance their lift.
• But the operating costs per kilogram and kilometer are far lower than an aircraft.
Hovercraft sea keeping ability is dependent upon their
size and skirt height:
• High winds and heavy sea states have an unfavourable affect on performance.
• We will always recommend a solution that meets your conditions.
Hovercraft need regular scheduled maintenance:
• Like aircraft they need a degree of inspection and maintenance.
• They ideally need to be stored under cover out of climatic extremes.
• But the skills and time required is considerably lower than an aircraft.
Hovercraft cannot operate on steep slopes:
• They are susceptible to side slipping forces.
• They are used for marine applications but in conditions unsuitable for conventional boats.
• But they are based from land (or for amphibious operations on a 'mother ship').