BHC Hovercraft have been developed over the course of more than 30 years. Living in a house overlooking the old Pegwell Bay cross-channel hovercraft port meant it was inevitable that Ivan Pullen would end up hooked by these incredible machines. His first working machine was trialed in 29th July 1981.
By 1998, the hobby had become a business and the intervening 20 years has seen BHC manufacture over 1000 hovercraft. Initially, the small, single-seat hovercraft were built for our own ‘driving events’ corporate activity business where the public could come along a drive a hovercraft. True-to-form, the public then demonstrated every possible way in which a vehicle can be broken and provided priceless experience in producing a hovercraft designed to survive plenty of rough and tumble! The company sold this part of the business off 10 years ago to concentrate all our efforts into manufacture.
In 1997, we also discovered a passion for racing these awesome machines, and it’s impossible to exaggerate how much it has taught us – both from our own successes and failures and the help, input and advice from the super-talented enthusiasts and designers who compete in the sport. Racing really is at the forefront of small hovercraft design so a 2003 National championship win in the Formula 50 category was a great achievement, but back to back 2005/2006 wins in the challenging 'Coastal Series' championship was a real high-point, as we raced over beaches and tides in physically demanding one-hour races.
In 2008, we thought we'd achieved the 'big one' when two of our personal hovercraft crossed the English Channel from Dover to Calais, driven by Russ Pullen and Nelson Wood and passing across the treacherous Goodwin Sands and the busiest shipping lane in the world. The hovercraft then cruised home, taking under an hour each way and using three gallons of fuel for the entire trip. No small hovercraft had managed that feat before and we were very chuffed with ourselves. In 2010 we did it again, this time with 2 people on board! Yet again the 2 way crossing was completed, this time with pilot Benn Bristow and his Passenger Mark Leeming - just to prove the first time wasn't a fluke!
It's this spread of knowledge from building personal, commercial, corporate events and race-winning hovercraft that make the BHC range some of the most accomplished recreational hovercraft available anywhere in the world. All our hovercraft are made by us, here in the UK, starting with a roll of fiberglass and some very talented fitters and laminators as well as some amazing creative talent.
We have now sold hovercraft in over 50 countries and want to reach 100 within the next five years under the new boss James Halligan and the team, without whom the craft would not get built.
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