The hovercraft, was designed by Sir Christopher Cockerell and built by Saunders-Roe the invention was considered initially only for military use, but was released for civilian use in 1959. The first craft made its maiden trip at Cowes on the Isle of Wight. , the prototype crossed the English Channel. Cockerell first conceived the idea of hovercraft, i.e. a vehicle that can move across land or water on a cushion of air, in the early 1950s. By using a can of cat food inside a coffee tin and reversed airflow from a vacuum cleaner, he proved his theory on the mud floor of his boatyard. The hovercraft is now used in a variety of roles, from military transportation to ferrying cars, passengers, & cargo etc.