HISHO, At-sea Air Cushion Type Hybrid Hull Test Ship
Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. have built the HISHO, the at-sea air cushion type hybrid hull test ship which is about 1/2 the scale of the actual Techno-Superliner being developed for realization of new high speed marine transport at 50knots with 1,000t of cargo on board.
Upon completion at the end of June 1994, the HISHO was put in service for half a year to test her performance and strength at wide areas of the actual sea, and it was shown that the HISHO fully satisfies the objectives of the Techno-Superliner as expected.
In 1995, test operations of the HISHO were also carried out along all coastal seas of Japan as an actual experiment in the introduction of a new marine transport system. During such navigational trials, in addition to conducting actual experimental tests of door-to-door transports with actual cargo on board, a vast amount of data on the operation of the Techno-Superliner were obtained. The examples include data on the way the system of long night time high-speed navigation should be, marine traffic rules for safe high-speed navigation on the congested seas near Japan filled with conventional vessels, and similar matters. The HISHO was operated at speeds of about 40〜50 knots for five months including the typhoon season for a total distance equivalent to 3/4ths of the circumference of the earth without any alterations in its schedule, and thus demonstrated the feasibility of the Techno-Superliner.
The Techno-Superliner has now come significantly closer to practical use from the stage of development, and in addition to use as super-speed container ship as originally planned, the application to various other vessels such as large super high speed ferries is expected.
The role of the HISHO as a test ship is over, and it has been decided that she will be used by Shizuoka prefecture as a disaster prevention ship from the spring of 1997 after making some modifications have been made.