Quiet Hovercraft! Our Coastal-Pro Noise Test Results.

added by Emma on January 26, 2015 at 05:52

Noise is the biggest challenge faced by hovercraft designers and builders. In the last year we've been conducting a significant project to develop new, more quiet hovercraft, and the Coastal-Pro is the first to benefit from the results.

Much of the credit for this work must go to Keith Oakley. Keith has been involved with hovercraft as a passionate enthusiast for a very long time and over the last few years has tested over 150 hovercraft for their noise signatures. Using the information gained from this, we've worked together to improve noise levels using his knowledge together with our experience and engineering facilities. Keith's work is hugely respected within the hovercraft community - what he wants to achieve is a greater acceptance for hovercraft in both commercial and recreational applications, and to have him working so closely with us to achieve this is a fabulous opportunity for us. Basically (without giving away commercial secrets!) there are about ten significant factors which are responsible for the noise. Some improvements are fairly straightforward and generally understood  such as bigger ducts and slower fans. But Keith's research has also identified some more subtle factors which when addressed as part of an overall design,  contribute significant reductions in overall noise levels.  

We knew the Coastal-Pro was good but we had only had a chance to run some rough tests. What we were keen to do was to thoroughly test it for 'flyby' noise - the most relevant test for a dynamic machine (as opposed to a static test) but had to wait for a calm day without wind to skew the results.

The outcome was extremely satisfying. After averaging three runs, maximum noise at full power measured at 25m was 78dbA. However, at cruising speed (approximately 20 knots) the noise was just 74dbA. This is way down on traditional hovercraft noise levels and we believe it is demonstrably the quietest commercially built hovercraft available anywhere in Europe. In real terms, if you're standing on a river bank and a Coastal-Pro passes by, the noise simply isn't unacceptable or offensive.

This is just the first application of the project results to our range of craft, and in some ways the easiest to apply. But our 'crusade' continues, and we promise more results in due course. Make sure you 'like' our Facebook page and you'll be the first to hear about them!

Commercial Regulations : MCA Meeting tomorrow!

added by Emma on January 14, 2015 at 09:28

Big Day tomorrow! For those of you that have been following our work with the MCA on the HCoP, you'll understand why we're rather excited that the code is now to face the whole working group for - hopefully - the discussion which will finalise the code ready for implication. The code has been largely prepared by the HMA members, lead by Griffon Hoverwork and ourselves and is based on the MGN280 commercial workboat regulations. Like or loathe our current government, this has come about because industry regulation is now encouraged by government to be industry lead, which is exactly what the Hovercraft Code is. This means that the regulations contain a ton of common sense and can be clearly understood and implemented by those operating hovercraft for the first time.  

The MCA granted permission for the Ultralight Category hovercraft to commence commercial operations back in June 2014 and we've quickly seized the opportunity with the formation of Coastal Transit Services, which has been busy providing crew transfer and survey services since last year. However, the larger categories (Light : Up to 100kgs and Small : Up to 24m) have taken more work with particular emphasis on engine choices and propeller specifications.

So - tomorrow will be interesting - let's see what happens and we'll obviously update this page and our facebook page with updates as they happen.

Russ

 

Demonstration Day

added by Emma on January 14, 2015 at 07:46

Demo Day

Want to try a hovercraft out?

We have a last-minute demo day this Friday for those that move quick. For those that like to plan things a little more, you have another opportunity on Saturday 24th January. Long range weather report looks pretty good with bright blue skies, so drop us a line or call to reserve your slot. We'll have a Snapper, Marlin and Coastal-Pro available for you to try and an 'on-the-day' insentive if you wish to take the plunge into hovercraft ownership.

Call us today on 01304 619820 or email us on info@britishhovercraft.com to book your demonstration

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