May 21 - One of the United Kingdom's most historical and notable transport locations has been recognised by the award of a striking commemorative plaque to a museum in the south of England which now occupies the site.
The UK's Transport Trust presented the Red Wheel Plaque to the Hovercraft Museum in its 21st year at Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire to mark the site's past and future involvement with the hovercraft.
Frances Cockerell, daughter of hovercraft inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell, unveiled the plaque in the centennial year of her father's birth.
Far from being a technology of the past, hovercrafts are being developed for heavy lift shipping activity, especially for the oil and gas industries operating in some of the most difficult land areas of the world. For two decades from 1961, the site served as the location of the original military trials for the hovercraft. New craft on are trail at the site: recently one from Sweden and brand new craft for the UK's Royal Marines.
"We are delighted that the museum has been recognised with such an outstanding award,'' said museum trustee Warwick Jacobs. "The Transport Trust is the only national charity established to promote and encourage the preservation and restoration of Britain's unique transport heritage and to be honoured in this way recognises the importance of the site.''
Local company Hovertrans Solutions, a manufacturer of hoverbarges for heavy lift operations in difficult terrain in the global oil and gas and specialist transportation industries, is designing an amphibious hoverbarge capable of carrying thousands of tonnes in payload over swamps or wetlands, tundra, ice and shallow water.
The hoverbarge exerts only 1psi ground pressure whilst on hover, minimising any environmental footprint, says the company.