March 06, 2009

A Flying Submarine

The Deep Flight Submersible sounds so very cool. CNN has a nice story about them. If I had the cash I'd consider buying one.

"The Deep Flight Super Falcon looks like a fighter jet, with its thin body, two seats, two sets of wings and two tail fins.

"We just had to tear up everything we knew about submersibles and start again on winged subs -- underwater flying machines," Hawkes said.

He said Deep Flight submersibles are designed to be more agile than any creature living in the ocean -- with the exception of dolphins. The company says that because of the wings, the Super Falcon can go barrel-rolling with dolphins while traveling at speeds much faster than other private submarines.The craft can stay underwater for up to five hours and travel at speeds up to 6 knots, the company says on its Web

The first client for the Super Falcon was venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who wanted a toy to keep on his mega-yacht, the Maltese Falcon. The base price: $1.3 million. Another model, which has open cockpits and cannot dive as deep as the Super Falcon, sells for $350,000.

Perkins, writing in Boating International magazine, said he joined the project to take the Super Falcon from prototype to a fully functional craft.

"Like some of my other projects, we didn't finish on time, but also like some of the others, the end result exceeded all our expectations," he said.

The second machine is being built for Hawkes' personal use.

A submarine driver wouldn't recognize the cockpit of the Super Falcon.

"There are no valves, there are no gauges," Hawkes said. "You just power up the thrusters, start your take-off run, put the joystick forward, then the nose goes down. The wings literally pull it down."


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great story and thanks CNN for running it, But The DEHAS Inc, Blue Ridge Nebula Spaceline company has a craft (the Haynes Stingray Saucer) that can fly above and below the atmospheres with out electrical motors. It out performs most aircraft and mini submarines and is register with both the FAA and FAA/AST already. So you don’t need a boat or water flying lessons just go fly. See it fly here God Bless you all.

Phil said...

Interesting "toy" for the ultrarich. As a former officer in US Naval Intelligence, I have to wonder what the Intelligence community (i.e. CIA, DIA, etc.) are thinking of this. It could also make a great terrorist weapon and a great vehicle for smuggling drugs or other contraband in the extra seat. Still, if I had the money to spend, I would snap one up. Oh, well, maybe I will hit the lottery tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

One can only hope that economic matters will put the kibosh on many people owning something like this. We don't need another way to stress ocean fish and mammals; they've got enough stress as it is: noise, explosions, pollution, ship strikes, loss of food, loss of breeding and birthing habitat, over-fishing, etc. Exploration is great, but when it is done by joyriding people with no respect for the animals or places they are affecting, it should not be facilitated.