Advances in Ice Technology: the 3rd International Conference on Ice Technology, August 11-13, 1992, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
hovercraft; iceabreakers; air cavity mode; wave mode
Operational experience in Canada during the early seventies showed that hovercraft can make very effective icebreakers. In low speed mode, the hovercraft is pushed by a ship and causes an air cavity to form under the sheet as it rides onto it. This causes a section of the sheet to become unsupported and fail in bending under the action of its own weight. In 1984, two new low speed concepts were proposed: one circular and one sidewall. In 1988, models of both craft were constructed at MUN at a geometric scale of 1:20 and since that time their performance as icebreakers in ice sheets has been explored in the ice tank at IMD. This paper presents an overview of these tests. It also describes some recent tests on a suction bow icebreaker concept.