The characteristics of the supporting air cushion system are key to the cross-country mobility and overwater performance of Air Cushion Vehicles and Surface Effect Ships. The direction of developments in this technology are discussed, and the primary cushion design variables are identified. The historical sequence of air cushion development is reviewed, and it is concluded that current and future advancement will be based on “3rd generation” systems, in which the cushion system design is tailored to the specific application.
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