Hovercraft old and new go on display at annual show

See a range of hovercraft during Hovershow 2012 in Lee-on-the-Solent this weekend
See a range of hovercraft during Hovershow 2012 in Lee-on-the-Solent this weekend
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More than 100 hovercraft will be on display all this weekend as the Hovercraft Museum at Lee-on-the-Solent hosts its largest-ever Hovershow.

The annual show attracts hundreds of visitors and will be officially opened by BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory’s Jem Stansfield at 11.30am tomorrow.

During the event, visitors can view the world’s oldest lift fan from the 1962 Vickers VA.3 hovercraft, one of two giant fans that carried 27 passengers at 70 mph across the Dee estuary on the world’s first hovercraft service 50 years ago.

This service proved that hovercraft were viable passenger craft – and today more than 100 million people have travelled this way.

Weather permitting, you will be able to get out on the water too, with hovercraft rides taking place throughout the show.

There will also be demonstrations and flypasts of craft throughout the weekend from The Hoverclub UK.

Tomorrow lunchtime (again, weather permitting) Griffon Hoverworks will be staging a flypast of its 8000 series hovercraft, with the craft landing on the slipway.

Plus, the Gosport Aviation Society has arranged for David Webb to exhibit his restored cockpit section of a Hawker Hunter WV381.

This aircraft is of particular interest as it was involved in an abandoned take-off from HMS Daedalus at Lee in November 1972.

The pilot, Lt Mike Sharp, ejected from the aircraft at low level and fortunately escaped relatively unscathed. Mike will be at the show to share his experience.

Other attractions include interactive displays, models, a land train, films, children’s amusements, props, fans and engines, hover hockey and vintage bus rides.

Admission costs £20 for a family of five. Tickets are available from hovercraft-museum.org or you can call (023) 9255 2090.

Hovershow 2012 takes place in the Seaplane Hangar area of the Daedalus site, just off Marine Parade West. Entry to the show is through the main gates at the top of the slipway.