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Vanair Hovercraft Ltd.
Vanguard 18

Vanair Hovercraft Ltd. sprouted in 2000 picking up some of the remnants of the fallen Canair company. The Vanguard 18, or VG18 for short, has its origin in the JKA Type 187 by Derrick Jones. When Dave Van Dam of Vanair first saw the "187", he recognized that it had the basis for being the kind of tough workhorse hovercraft he envisaged as being needed for the demands of working in the far north. At the same time, however, he felt that the cabin required some refinements to make it more suitable for use as a tour craft or water taxi elsewhere in the world. To accomplish those objectives, the original front-opening door was replaced with a split windshield and a 60 inch cargo door added to the starboard side. A standard 30 inch crew door was installed on the port side. Other machinery updates included an increase in engine power to 300 HP, the incorporation of a massive muffler and air intake silencing system and the installation of a 72 inch fully reversing Hoffman four-bladed propeller.

The pilotís station is complemented by a totally re-vamped main instrument console, an aircraft-style steering yoke and a side console containing five throttle-style levers: one for each of the lift fans, the elevator control, engine throttle and propeller pitch. The cabin is very well appointed with an upholstered headliner, which conceals extra thermal and sound insulation, with upholstered seating, marine-grade carpeting and a decorative paint scheme utilizing a sound-deadening paint. The end result is a cabin so quiet that conversation is easily possible with only a slightly raised voice. Outside, the engine is barely audible as the main source of sound is the Hoffman propeller. With the propeller in flat pitch, the sound is quite similar to that of a modern turbo-prop aircraft when it is taxiing. When the propeller pitch lever is moved to either forward or reverse thrust, the sound level drops off significantly. 

For more information and pictures see the Vanair Hovercraft web site:

The Vanguard 18 is manufactured by:

 Vanair Hovercraft Ltd.
Kenora, Ontario, Canada
P9N 4B5
Phone: 807-547-2322
Fax: 807-547-2244


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Hovercraft Club Of Canada