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Thread: Hatton and Bass midget and trident in Australia

  1. #1
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    Dec 2006

    Default Hatton and Bass midget and trident in Australia

    Hello...first post.

    finally a google found reference to the hovercrafts i have.

    Having been interested in hover vehicles since young,even designing a vehicle for a school tech drawing project,had led me to keep that interest alive through my other passion of collecting and restoring vintage cars.

    In the collecting process around 25 years ago I acquired 3 Hatton and Bass Ltd. hovercrafts...2 tridents and later on, a midget.

    All in reasonably good condition but missing actual lifting blades.i had one original motor and since picked up a number of replacement motors.

    I had the original motor rebuilt but due to my time spent on my vintage cars never did make any lifting blades which were simply mower style blades with appropriate pitch for lifting..i believe.

    Now due to my doctor wishing to remove my lungs in 3 to 5 years...[i still find that hard to believe,hoping to prove him wrong,] I am forcing myself to sell off my vast collection of unrestored vintage cars.

    That decision may or may not include my hovercrafts as they are at least small,storable and movable,

    but my question is as personal single person hovercrafts go are they worth hanging on to as usable hovercrafts or are they really only collector items.

    They may be the only thing left I will be capable of restoring over the next few years other than my messerschmitt 3 wheeler...but I may find the end result dissapointing....what are your thoughts.

    i dont know how many were made or indeed were brought into Australia...and what year were they produced.And if I had to sell them how much interest would be in them?

    Ive had many people wanting to buy them off me over the years but mostly motorbike type people who were really what I considered the thrash and bash types.

    any advice or stories or contacts appreciated.

    cheers Aussie

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Hatton and Bass midget and trident in Australia

    there is a hatton and bass miget at the hovercraft museum.

    Building 40, HMS Daedalus, Argus Gate, Chark Lane,

    Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire PO13 9NY

    Tel / Fax: 023 9255 2090

    you wana speak to warick.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hatton and Bass midget and trident in Australia

    Performance wasn't particularly startling even for the late '60s when they were made. They were basically limited to operating on flat tarmac surfaces. I think they're collectors items rather than viable hovercraft in modern terms.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hatton and Bass midget and trident in Australia

    thank you for the quick reply

    I had figured they would suit only tarmac use.

    Although the two tridents and the midget use the same moulded fiberglass body the tridents are far heavier by having a strong steel frame included underneath .

    The midget having no frame at all.

    I often wondered how the tridents would fare over the midget lifting that extra weight with only a small 4 stroke mower motor.

    Obviously the midget had a weight advantage but did the moulded body need the stiffness of the frame to carry adults.

    Oddly the propolsion rudder for lack of another word.[ie a rudder releasing the air at rear to push the craft]was offset to one side...I always found this to be strange expecting it to be only conclusion was perhaps it was easier for the fitment of the operating wires?

    Overal these were a very exciting part of my private museum...for want of a better term than merely a possessed Hoarder.tee hee.

    Ironically I used to live by the saying

    He who dies with the most toys win.

    unfortunately it has become

    he who wins the most toys dies....tee hee.[no you cannot use this saying hee hee]

    as to lifting blades I remember clearly having found one resting in the skirt,and remember leaving it there for future reference,unfortunately it must have fallen out during one of its moves.

    So i have no knowledge of its pitch.i may still find it.

    I remember it looked like it mounted like a mower blade and was roughly the same length without the knife edge and had a definate pitch in it.Something to experiment with I guess.

    Would love to know more about thier use...were they actually sold on bulk for fairground use or were they sold individually.

    What was the Australian part of the story.The two trident were purchased together around 25 years ago dragging them home in the back of my Morris Minor panelvan with the rear doors open.

    A few years later I saw an advert for a hovercraft.Not expecting a similar hovercraft when I viewded it I realised to my delight I had found a sister model to my Tridents...but it was slightly different offering a junior model to the range.Trailering this one home behind my Morris Minor sedan.

    the only motor that came with them was a single Tecumsi 4 stroke [sorry spelling?] the indian had a petrol tank peculiar to this application I guess?.I had this rebuilt.

    over the years I had found many similar motors on mowers but all with typical mower petrol tanks connected.Each of these motors has been kept for future use.[Much to the anger of my parents where I originally stored all my junk].

    fortunately a few years ago The council complained and I actually took tons of actual junk to recycling so that helped clear my head a bit.A later welcomed disaster at the time.

    I never could find any info about them until now on this site.Only being on computers for two years every google came up nil.Finally success at the twilight of my ownership.Finding your site and a download from the museum showing a midget with the originator sitting upon it.That midget differing in having racing stripes.

    Having now enjoyed reading many of your forum threads I know I will regularly check out this site just for my own enjoyment.

    Im hoping in the future If I must part with these hovercrafts that I find a hovercraft enthusiast and not your typical Aussie motor bike bush basher who wants it purely because its a motor powered personal craft.Australians are motorcycle bush bashing crazy.

    As these hovercrafts are limited in thier use and not fast if the wrong person gets them they will probably modify them or dump them when they find they are not a collector enthusiast must continue to look after these.

    anymore info,or links appreciated.

    thanks aussie

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hatton and Bass midget and trident in Australia

    Aussiehover here back with the final chapter of these rare old hovers...

    Fortunately I have beaten the doctors forcast and now downgrading my collection, as I have hooked up with a lady and bought a house, due to a general reducing of my collections I have tentatively put the Tridents and Midget up for sale on EBAY in Australia,
    so any Aussies interested in a bit of Hover history feel free to contact me.
    item number 280501106058

    sorry for the spam but these must go to hovercraft enthusiasts not the general bash em up and put in a V8 guys.
    Who will be the next custodian.

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