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Russian Military Hovercraft

The Soviet news outlet Pravda has reported a unique movie with footage of the planet's largest hovercraft or air cushioned vehicle. The huge floating hover ship is called Mordovia, and is shown firing shells at test objects, and obliterating targets while going through it's drills in the Baltic's. The Soviet Zubr-class ACV is intended to transport water going assault platoons, comprising soldiers and armored vehicles to locations in difficult environments, in addition to carrying and setting munitions to destroy naval targets.

The hovercraft can transport several full size armored vehicles, a number of smaller support trucks abut 150 soldiers. The 200 foot long craft displaces over five hundred tons of water and can travel at speeds of 80 miles an hour. With a full load, the vehicle can traverse a 5-degree slope on rough terrain and easily get over four foot high walls or other obstacles!.It can stay seaworthy in quite heavy weather conditions, with waves up to 7 feet high..

As well as from launching projectiles towards targets on sea or dry land, the monster can sea-lift armored full-track carriers and soldiers to a completely new and isolated location very quickly, and the vehicle has now joined the Baltic Fleet. In perhaps the strangest piece of Soviet weirdness, a massive hovercraft bearing military insignia and sporting state of the art weapons of war just happened to float onto a busy public beach. It seems that the nation would like to be the region's own private penitentiary.

The enormous Zubr hovercraft are supposedly the biggest of the lot , and probably the biggest craft of it's kind in the world and is capable of transporting armored tanks in addition to four hundred marines. So why did it appear on a beach chockerèblosk with holiday-makers? Unfortunately nobody has any idea, or at least they are not saying. A Soviet spokesman for the government said:

Landing on a sandy beach is just a normal thing to do. The important question to ask is what were holiday makers doing on this beach where military exercises were taking place? Well, if the beach (it's in in Mechnikovo) is actually strictly out of bounds, it's obviously many people have just been terribly ill-advised, to allow several thousands of tourists to gather on a beach where hovercrafts tend to land now and again, or even regularly. It's possible nobody will ever know what really occurred, but at least it's too far away to bother us here - it'll be much safer buy personal hovercraft in UK .

Leisure Hovercraft In The Outdoor Activity Market

Marine and sea leisure sport activity is a major commercial market and growing fast. At last small personal hovercraft are becoming recognized as a great deal of fun! Many people are asking where and how they can buy a hovercraft, often searching for hovercraft manufacturers on the internet. Although an air cushioned vehicle of this type is not cheap, most beach and sports type activity is practiced by the under 40s, who tend to have money to spend on that kind of thing.

In the 60s a new craze swept America and Australia - surfing! Teenagers wanted the freedom of the beach, excitement and speed - surfing provided all of these things. Soon afterwards, some bright mind fitted wheels to a smaller version and the skate board was born. Back to the beach, and the jet ski was added to the available sports, together with the sail board and the paragliding surf board.

On dry land, other vehicles like the quad bike provided an equally exciting experience. Then along came a a vehicle that could operate on dry land, on river or lakes and also the sea! Floating a few inches over any surface was sure to give a smooth ride and challenge new people thirsty fro new experiences. After all, this was a different kettle of fish from driving on land, or steering a speed boat on water. For one thing, when you told it to go right, it didn't move immediately, so a lot of skill was needed to pilot it.

The demand for a personal hovercraft came from two areas of the leisure market - racing and fun. It goes without saying that racing is almost by definition fun, but there is an element of danger implicit in the activity, a danger which some people don't really want. A family man prefers comfort and a high degree of safety if he's going to trust a craft with his children. A hovercraft design for speed is completely different from one designed for family use. You can find some design criteria on this site

Racing craft are built for speed, so the designer needs to make everything as light as possible. Traditionally, the hull would be made from glass fiber and the skirt fabricated out of a tough sail cloth that doesn't rip, or polyethylene. The engine would be light weight, which means spinning at high revolutions to create the power need for lift and forward thrust. Such craft almost always have just one two stroke engine.

A leisure hovercraft doesn't have to be so fast, so the hull can be thicker and made from a heavier material which won't split if it hits an obstruction. The engine could be a four stroke type, which is quieter and more reliable.