In an exciting invention, a British engineer has built a high-tech, winged submersible that claims to “fly” beneath the water.
Dubbed the Super Falcon Submersible (and resembling Thunderbird 4), it can reach a depth of up to 1,500 feet and move through the ocean at 6 knots – that is, about 7 miles a hour. It has a range of nearly 25 nautical miles.
“After 20 years of prototyping, Super Falcon is our most advanced and elegant submersible yet, encompassing all the innovations we made in introducing underwater flight from the surface to the bottom of the ocean,” said Graham Hawkes.
The Super Falcon Submersible, which has a pressure hull made of carbon fibre, encompasses two cockpits with dual flight controls and instrumentation that are familiar to military pilots.
The craft can go down into the water at speeds of up to 200 feet a minute and can come up to the surface twice as fast – at a sped of 400 feet a minute.
According to its inventor, passengers would not have to worry about “the bends” because the cabin pressure remains at one atmosphere.
But the most interesting aspect is that the vessel can be “flown through 360 degrees or in a very smooth, near-silent horizontal flight for observation.”
The Super Falcon’s pitch, roll and yaw are controlled by “fly by wire” – that is, being operated using electrical signals.
Graham Hawkes says his invention is “advanced enough to go barrel-rolling with dolphins, spy-hopping with whales or searching for sunken galleons.”
To be on the safe side, the Super Falcon Submersible comes with an auto-return system that will bring the craft back to the surface in case it runs into trouble while under water. It also possesses life support for 24 hours even if a typical dive will not take more than 5 hours.
Anyone to be the first for a test drive? We’re in if anyone cares.