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AirCushionVehiclesin theGreekMaritimeIndustry: AnUnknownStory

Dr.GeorgeGougoulidis

Neoteric

BriefHistory 1960s BD680/1969,FEK211Regulationfor passengerferriesAirCushionVehicles 1970s Natouro I&II(HM2) 1980s PD 797,FEK 209 10/8/1981Regulationfor thesafetyofdynamicallysupportedcraft

1990s GoldenOlympics CatamaranII(CIRR120P) CatamaranI(CIRR120P) Ntantos I 2xSAH2200fortheHellenicCoastguard (neverdelivered) GKLFEK444 26/4/1999Fastandother leisurecrafts 2000s 4xZubr fortheHellenicNavy SeaStar(CIRR120P)

ThePioneer CaptainAndreasVomvoyannis

HellenicHovercaft Lines
4HM.2hovercraftswereordered,2deliveredin73 andtherestin74 Alotofpublicitywasgivenbythemediabeforetheir arrival Excitingfirstimpressions CutdownthetriptoSpetses from4.30to1.50hours Duetoproblemswiththeenginesandthefingersthe other2craftswereneveracquiredandtheline ceasedoperations

HM.2Brochure

HM.2Brochure

HM.2intheZeaPort

HM.2Underway

CIRR120PMainParticulars
Builder Length (m) Breadth (m) Draft (m) Passenger capacity Gross tonnage Max speed (kt) Service speed (kt) Construction material Brdrene 35.25 11.50 2,10 320 271 55 49 GRP

TheBeginning A.Vomvoyannis ordered2vessels ThefirstdeliveredinFeb1990 Nevergrantedoperatinglicenseforthe Cyclades ThelicensewasgiventoP.A.N.E.Peiraiki MaritimeCompany Theshipyardterminatedthecovenant Bothcraftsendedupundertheownershipof P.A.N.E.in1991

GoldenOlympics

TheOwnerandtheCrew

CatamaranI and II Underway

CatamaranI Interior

CatamaranI Advertisements

TheBeginningoftheEnd
OnSept1,1992CatamaranI,inanefforttopassa ferrybeforeenteringthePiraeusPort,crashedinto thepierataspeedof45kt Theshipwasconsideredatotalloss Themaritimecommunitywassurprisedbythe survivabilityofthevessel Hullbreachof20x2.5m,butthevesseldidnotsink In1995,thecompanywentbankrupt,and CatamaranIIwasconfiscatedbyNedship Bankand soldtoNavigargano

CatamaranI attheNAVSIFacilities

CatamaranIs DamagedSide

CatamaranII asZenithOperatedbyNavigargano

NTANTOSI MainParticulars
Builder Length (m) Breadth (m) Draft (m) Passenger capacity Gross Tonnage Max speed (kt) Service speed (kt) Construction material Beliard Polyship 29.60 10.80 1.70 192 317 48 45 GRP

TheUnfortunateLifeofNTANTOSI
A.T.(AdvancedTechnology)Cruisesordered5vessels DesignedbyNigelGeeandbuiltinBelgium Onlyonedeliveredbecausetheshipyardwent bankrupt Thefirstwasbuiltin1993 Thesecondone(Alexandros),although90% complete,wasneverdelivered NooperatinglicensesweregivenforArgosaronikos andtheIonianIslands

TheUnfortunateLifeofNTANTOSI
Enteredservicein1994andoperatedinthefollowinglines:
RhodesTurkey PaxoiCorfuBrindisi India(BombayGoa)

In1995,onthewaybacktoGreece,ithitacoralreefoutside Jeddah Resumedoperationsin1997(PiraeusVlora) In1998PatraVloraBrindisi OnFeb14,1999hitasemisunk objectintheCorfuStraitand wasseriouslydamaged NotworthrepairingtotallossandbeachedinKynosoura CompletelydestroyedbyfireinJan2010

NTANTOSI inAigioPort

NTANTOSI BeachedinKynosoura

NTANTOSI onFire

SAH2200

In 1999, Janes High Speed Marine Transportation mentioned that 2 SAH 2200 hovercrafts were ordered by the Hellenic Coast Guard, probably for the Olympic Games of 2004, but they were never delivered.

SeaStar

Another CIRR 120P SES was bought in 2003 by Tilos 21st Century Maritime Company and is in operation until now The craft was built in 1990 and the original name was White Bird

SeaStarUnderRepairin2013

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AZubr CraftUnderway

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Zubr CraftsintheHellenicNavy 4craftswereorderedin2000(2fromRussia and2fromUkraine) Thelargestandmostpowerfulhovercraftin theworld 2xmultiplerocketlaunchers,2xAK630 30mmguns Oneofthemwithdrawnfromservicein2010

ZubrMainParticulars
Builder Length (m) Breadth (m) AUW (tn) Payload capacity (tn) Max speed (kt) Propulsion power (kW) Lift power (kW) Almaz 57.60 25.60 550 130 65 26100 17400

TheFuture?

Since 2005 there are rumors about the creation of a line connecting Piraeus with Crete by using WIGs Although there are several shipowners who expressed interest in the acquisition of such crafts, nothing has been yet realized. WIGs would be ideal for the connection of the islands with the mainland, filling the gap between aircrafts and traditional marine vessels