Deep Flight Super Falcon Luxury Submarine

Super Falcon, a new submarine from Deep Flight is a new submersible craft that can go barrel-rolling with dolphins at speeds much greater than those of other private submarines. The craft can stay underwater for up to five hours.

(Deep Flight Super Falcon submarine)

On one of the submersible's first test voyages, Graham Hawkes' team encountered a group of hammerhead sharks. The sharks were curious and swam around the watercraft. One engaged the sub in a game of chicken, only to veer off at the last minute. It was a great reward, Hawkes said.

The craft is powered by batteries and the turbines that drive the ship were made with special care to be incredibly quiet. The maneuverability also lets it navigate in strong currents that stifle other underwater craft, the creators said.

Take a look at this short and not particularly good Deep Flight Super Falcon submersible video:

(Super Falcon by Deep Flight)

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." That's very different from conventional submarines, which basically dive by changing the ballast of the ship to make it sink. "It's not just that they look like airplanes, they actually are," Hawkes said. "The machines we build underwater should look like airplanes, not submarines. Airplanes don't look like balloons."

Graham Hawkes won't take credit for the idea; he says that the idea of a submarine with fins and wings been around for a while. The 1972 French comic book, "Tintin and the Lake of Sharks," included a shark-like submarine with dorsal fins and a tail. Hawkes said that although the idea of wings may have been obvious, "The prize goes to he that does."

SF fans might also recall fictional submersibles like Tom Swift's Jetmarine and the whale waldoes from David Brin's Sundiver.

Take a look at a couple of dolphin-like submersibles. Read more about Super Falcon and take a look at the material on the Deep Flight website. Thanks to Armisius for contributing the tip and sources for this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/10/2009)

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