World’s newest passenger hovercraft named by America’s Cup hero Sir Ben Ainslie

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Hovertravel Naming Ceremony bottle smashing -sHovertravel’s two new state-of-the-art passenger hovercraft have been named by Sir Ben Ainslie as part of a traditional dedication and blessing ceremony conducted on the Isle of Wight, UK.

The new craft, Solent Flyer and Island Flyer, are both liveried with a dynamic representation of the union flag which combines red, blue and the white background of the craft to create a traditional look with a contemporary feel.

“The names of our craft describe what our hovercraft do and where they do it” said Neil Chapman, Managing Director of Hovertravel.

“We chose these names to promote the fact that our craft fly at 1.5 metres above the water. The addition of ‘Solent’ is to identify the specific stretch of water where we operate and we added ‘Island’ to demonstrate that we connect two islands. Our new craft fly the flag for Britain with their union flag livery and we are delighted to have Ben Ainslie, a great British hero, take time off his busy schedule of training for the next America’s Cup event, to name our hovercraft.”

Hovertravel’s new craft are highly innovative designs which combine enhanced ergonomics alongside weight and energy efficiencies. The £10 million investment will improve passenger comfort through speedier and easier boarding, a quieter ride and better visibility.

Sir Ben said: “The Hovercraft was a revolution in sea travel and has become a real iconic British invention. It’s great to see these two new innovative vessels continue to show off the strength of the British marine industry right now. Whilst out training on our development boats, we often ‘fly by’ each other during their trips from the mainland to the Isle of Wight – in addition, since moving to the Island recently, it is also an extremely fast and reliable way to travel.”

In the next month Solent Flyer will be used on an ad hoc basis to service the Hovertravel timetable.  This phased strategy of implementation allows the teams at Hovertravel to gradually introduce the new procedures and policies associated with the new craft without disrupting the daily operation.