An alternate SR-N1 Hovercraft

Back in January I wrote a piece about an idea I had for an alternate Desert Storm set in 1959.

The re-release of the Fairey Rotodyne reminded me of an idea I had for an alternative history background for gaming. The basic premise was a Desert Storm background but with 1950s tanks, aircraft, helicopters and VTOL craft like the Fairey Rotodyne.

My premise was that the British armed forced faced with a new threat would make use of aircraft such as the  Fairey Rotodyne.

I was reminded of this article following the announcement from Airfix that they are going to re-release their 1/72nd scale model of the SR-N1 Hovercraft.

Debuted in 1960, it hasn’t been seen in the range since the 1980s. 

SR-N1 Hovercraft

The SR-N1 was the first practical hovercraft and demonstrated the potential of air-cushioned transport.

On 11 June 1959, the SR.N1 performed its first flight in front of the public. The SR.N1 participated in the test programme for four years prior to its retirement, by which point it had served its purpose in successfully validating the concept and further hovercraft had been developed.

Now I actually remember building the Airfix kit, but I painted it up as a military version. I think it was all over black to be used by special forces.

Airfix on their site talk about the military application of the SR-N1.

The SR-N1 Hovercraft is an experimental machine with space for the pilot and his observer, although on demonstration it has carried 20 fully equipped soldiers. 

If I was to go down the Desert Storm 1959 idea, then I think I would get some SR-N1 hovercraft (well at least one) and build it as a troop carrier, or an armed version.