U.S. Coast Guard icebreaking activities on the Illinois River this winter will include testing of an Air Cushioned Vehicle (ACV). The Coast Guard Office of Research and Development has contracted with Mackley ACE (USA), Inc. of Washington, D.C. and Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, to lease an icebreaking ACV between December 1, 1977 and March 1, 1978. Primarily, the ACV will be tested on the Illinois waterway between Peoria and Alton, Ill., but depending on the severity of the winter, it also could be tested on the Mississippi River between Cairo and St. Louis. The harsh winter of 1976-77 highlighted the vulnerability of the inland waterways to severe ice conditions. These conditions, which may well recur in this and succeeding years, hampered vessel traffic and pushed conventional icebreaking resources to the limit. During February, fuel oil supplies reached a critical stage. The Coast Guard is testing the ACV to evaluate its usefulness in the Domestic Icebreaking program. The Coast Guard plans to make the home of the yet-unnamed ACV at the Public Boat Launching Facility in Pekin, Illinois. The Coast Guard Cutter Sumac, a river buoy tender normally utilized in conjuction with and aid-to-navigation barge, will be primary pusher vessel for these tests. Literally riding on a cushion of air, the ACV breaks ice by using air pressure to depress the water beneath the ice, creating an air pocket. As the ACV is pushed over the ice, the air pocket extends outward and the ice under the vehicle becomes a cantilevered beam, ultimately breaking under its own weight. The pusher vessel then displaces the broken ice to the sides of the track. Mackley ACE was awarded the $236,563 contract on August 31 and will deliver the ACV to Pekin, Ill. before December 1, 1977. Test operations will be conducted under the direction of the R&D Center in accordance with a test plan they have formulated. (No further info in article).

  • Corporate Authors:

    Department of Transportation

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00173259
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Coast Guard Engineer's Digest
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CG-133
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 26 1978 12:00AM