Developed by the Swiss firm Sachsenberg Supramar Ltd from the earlier slightly smaller PT.20, the PT.50 was one of the most popular hydrofoil ferry designs used in the 1960s and 1970s. Hydrofoils differ from conventional ships by travelling over water by the lift generated from streamlined 'hydrofoil' planes attached to the hull of the vessel. Hydrofoil construction of this type was undertaken by the Leopoldo Rodriquez Shipyard at Messina in Italy. A Rodriquez-built PT. 50 named 'Fairlight' was operated on Sydney Harbour as a fast ferry on the Manly-Circular Quay service. Thr PT.50 could carry 120 passengers at a maximum speed of 36.5 knots. A smaller PT.20 hydrofoil 'Manly' also operated on Sydney Harbour in the 1960s. The PT.50 featured a rivetted aluminium hull 27.9 metres in length powered by twin MB 820 V-12 supercharged diesel engines. This cut-away model was purchased by the Museum in 1967.

Physical Description

Metal model with red hull and skis and white deck. There is a mast on top. The left hand side of the hull has been sectioned to show the engine inside. Two small support stands removed for Think Ahead exhibition, 2013.

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