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Air cushion vehicle

acv acvs surface compressed

Air cushion vehicle (ACV), or hovercraft or ground effect machine, vehicle that rides on a cushion of compressed air. ACVs have fans that pull air inside and then force it beneath the vehicle, trapping the air between the ground surface and a rubberized skirt on the ACV. This invisible, compressed air cushion enables the ACV to maneuver over rough terrain smoothly because it eliminates friction between the craft and the surface. Though some can reach speeds of over 100 mph (160 kmph), ACVs are designed for short distances. ACVs are most often used to transport passengers and heavy freight over land or water like the one in service across the English Channel.

See also: Ship.

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