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The Story Of The Film
About Me...
SRN4 hovercraft
Filming at Dover
My name is Nick Smith and between 1977 and 1986 I worked with both Hoverlloyd and Hoverspeed and became fascinated with hovercraft in general, and with our massive cross-channel machines in particular. Many of the people working at the hovercraft companies felt the same, we were aware that we were dealing with a unique piece of engineering in a pioneering field. Our passengers also loved the machines, both for their speed, but also they enjoyed the unique experience of 'Flying the Channel'.

Even after leaving, I maintained my interest and used to think 'Someone should make a film about that'. Eventually in 1995 I decided that I would do it - and there started a huge amount of work and a very long story to the film's eventual completion in late 2008 (very late) ! I now know why there are so many people listed at the end of a tv programme !

I hope the resulting film does justice both to the story of the craft, and to the many and various people connected with it who gave so willingly of their time in making the film what it is. I am very grateful to you all.

Nick Smith - April 2009

Please let me have your feedback on the film.

About The Film...

Hovercraft SRN4 at Dover From it's inception in 1958, in just 10 years, British designers and engineers took the basic principle of the hovercraft envisaged by Sir Christopher Cockerell and produced a large, practical and reliable machine. It was capable of carrying cars and passengers across the English Channel in a fraction of the time taken by conventional ferries. This hovercraft was known as the SRN4.

Operational Life
Between it's introduction in 1968 and it's withdrawal in the year 2000, this remarkable machine carried over 60 million passengers. Six of the giant SRN4 hovercraft were built. They plied routes between Ramsgate and Dover in the United Kingdom and Calais and Boulogne in France.

The Story
SRN4 Radar This film tells the story of the SRN4, the history leading up to it's creation, the design challenges and achievements, and the teams of people who made it possible. During 1995 and 1996, with help from it's operators and many of those who had been involved in the project, extensive filming was carried out showing the SRN4 in operation. Included is footage filmed at the hoverports and on board the hovercraft, including on the flight deck. We also show behind the scenes sequences of how the craft work and how they are maintained.

The People
Interviews are featured with a number of key people who were involved in designing, building, testing, flying and maintaining the SRN4. Archive film and photography illustrates the earlier phases of the story.

Overall the film provides a comprehensive collection of material telling the story of the SRN4 throughout it's long life.

The DVD
The DVD has no Region coding (R0). It is in PAL format only - see note on purchase page regarding international viewing. It is in the conventional 4:3 aspect ratio as filming was done prior to the adoption of widescreen tv standards.

Content (c) Copyright: Nicholas Smith
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Updated:  April 2009
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