Navigational tips and beauty spots around the north-east coast of the Isle of Wight.
Saunders-Roe. Photo: Ruth AS
While you’re arranging your fenders and lines, you’ll notice on your port side a large shed and a concrete slipway. It was here, on 11 June 1959, that Sir Christopher Cockerill watched the inaugural flight of the SR-N1 (Saunders-Roe Nautical 1), the world’s first hovercraft. It was commissioned by the NRDC (National Research Development Corporation) and built in the hangar above the slipway by the same company that designed and built the Black Knight rockets tested over Scratchell’s Bay. It is fitting then that the UK’s only scheduled hovercraft service is to the Isle of Wight.