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New book reflects hover history

July 6 - On a Cushion of Air: The Story of Hoverlloyd and the Cross-Channel Hovercraft captures the heroic upsurge and unavoidable demise of one of the country's most dominant cross-Channel service providers.

Penned by Robin Paine and Roger Syms after nearly 3 years research, the book tells an intriguing story of young men and women who painstakingly worked to make Hoverlloyd the fearless cross-Channel giant it once was. Detailing near disasters, Government fall-outs and eventual roaring success, the book also tells the sad tale of the cross-Channel hovercraft's eventual demise. The story begins with the history of Saunders-Roe and their involvement as a result of the discovery by Christopher Cockerell in 1953 that heavy weights could be supported on a cushion of low pressure air and that the concept could be practically applied.

"We felt it was important to tell the whole story of hovercraft development in order to put the part played by Hoverlloyd into context." says Robin Paine, who, together with co-author, Roger Syms, were once pilots on board the company's huge SR.N4 hovercraft.

Beautifully laid out over 700 pages, including 450 historic photographs and heartfelt testimony, On a Cushion of Air easily proves that success can come with both feet firmly off the ground.

This book is available to order from most bookshops in the United Kingdom, and is also globally available via UK-based Internet book retailers.

Of course, in addition to the passenger varants the amphibious qualities of hovercraft can be put to work delivering heavy and out-of-gauge equipment to riverside locations, in shallow seawater without the need for dredging, and in marine civil engineering, supply and pipe-laying capacities.

They become competitive on sites where you would otherwise have to start building or improving infrastructure.

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