On 4th August Hovertravel celebrated their 50th Birthday as the first flight, operated by an SRN6 hovercraft, crossed the Solent on 4th August 1965. The freshly repaired aP1- 88/100 hovercraft Freedom 90 (above) was adorned with gold stripes on her livery plus “50th” branding on the cockpit and the propeller ducts.
On the afternoon of 4th August 50 invited guests (selected via a Hovertravel Memories initiative) plus past and present staff members and representatives of the media attended Ryde’s hovercraft terminal for a birthday event. Firstly the Freedom 90 took these guests on a 30 minute charter at 1430, on lively seas, east to No Man’s Land Fort and then back along the coast past Seaview and Appley to Ryde hoverpad whilst sister island Express struggled to maintain the timetable due to heavy loadings and the blustery conditions.
There was also a 50% off travel promotion to mark the anniversary. An afternoon tea followed whilst the Freedom 90 was pressed straight in to service to assist her fleet mate ahead of the peak late afternoon flights.