WORLDKINGS - On This Day – December 12, 2021- Christopher Cockerell received patent of hovercraft, in 1955

12-12-2021

(worldkings.org) Christopher Sydney Cockerell (4 June 1910 – 1 June 1999) was an English engineer, best known as the inventor of the hovercraft.

Cockerell was born in Cambridge, where his father, Sir Sydney Cockerell, was curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, having previously been the secretary of William Morris. Christopher was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk. He matriculated at Peterhouse, Cambridge to read mechanical engineering and was tutored by William Dobson Womersley. He was later to return to Cambridge to study radio and electronics.

After he left the Marconi Company, he bought Ripplecraft Ltd., a small Norfolk boat and caravan hire company, with a legacy left by his father-in-law. The firm made little money, and Cockerell began to think how the craft could be made to go faster. He was led to earlier work by the Thornycroft company, in which a small vessel had been partially raised out of the water by a small engine.

Cockerell's greatest invention, the hovercraft, grew out of this work. It occurred to him that if the entire craft were lifted from the water, the craft would effectively have no drag. This, he conjectured, would give the craft the ability to attain a much higher maximum speed than could be achieved by the boats of the time.

By 1955, he had built a working model from balsa wood and had filed his first patent for the hovercraft, No GB 854211. Cockerell had found it impossible to interest the private sector in developing his idea, as both the aircraft and the shipbuilding industries saw it as lying outside their core business.

Cockerell was awarded £5,000 by the British Government of the 1960s, the only practical official recognition of the value of his work, though he was given a knighthood. The financial award would be worth perhaps £50,000 to £100,000 in the money of 2020.

According to wikipedia


Brian (Collect & Edit) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos : internet )

 

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