The AIRCAT® is a Surface Effect Ship(SES) which has both an air cushion, like a hovercraft, and twin hulls like a catamaran.
Air is projected between the two hulls of a catamaran. This air forms an air cushion surrounded by the hulls on each side, a soft rubber skirt at the bow, and an inflatable bag at the stern.
The air cushion is at maximum pressure during transit, resulting in a significant reduction in draft and subsequently a decrease in water resistance and frictional forces when the boat is in motion. With a pressure that is 10% greater than the air-cushion pressure, the inflatable bag at the stern ensures sufficient air-cushion sealing.
When the air cushion is turned off, the full weight of the vessel is supported by the buoyancy of the twin hulls.
Immerged volume reduces up to 80% when air cushion is in use. Waterjets are utilized for propulsion since the inlet nozzles are always covered by water.
The air cushion acts as a shock absorber and improves comfort when sailing at high speed.
Maintaining position during transfers
In order for the vessel to maintain its position during transfers, the air cushion pressure is regulated creating an active motion damping. The main advantages are unparalleled safety during passenger transfer and increased comfort. If required, the draft is also adjustable.
Air-cushion pressure controls an active motion damping behavior.
The exceptional active motion damping capabilites of the SES guarantees unparalleled conditions of safety and comfort while using of all possible types of transfers offshore:
- Boat landings
- Personnel baskets & Capsules
- Cargo baskets