Thursday, 30 October 2014
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Easy-to-pilot personal submarine set for launch

The inventor of a new personal submarine set to launch next week is hoping to create a new niche market for would-be adventurers who have no professional training in underwater navigation.

 

Source: DeepFlight

The new DeepFlight Dragon craft is an evolution of the company's Super Falcon vehicle (above)

DeepFlight, the company founded by personal submarine pioneer Graham Hawkes , plans to launch its new two-person Dragon model next week at the Monaco Yacht Show.

The all-electric craft was designed to be easily used from a yacht or the shore by anyone who has undergone minimal instruction. It features power and on board monitoring and management systems, uses vertical thrust instead of a ballast and drop-weight system to dive, and automatically floats to the surface when its propulsion system is disengaged.

The Dragon is an evolution of DeepFlight’s earlier “Super Falcon” craft (see video), itself a development of the vehicle Hawke built to enable the late Steve Fossett to travel to the deepest point in the ocean, the Mariana Trench.

 

DeepFlight Dragon:

/i/k/d/DeepFlight_Dragon_submarine_diagram.jpg

  • LxHxW: 4.8m x 1.5m x 2.1m (15.7ft x 4.9 ft x 6.8 ft) 
  • Operating Depth: 120m (400 feet) 
  • Crew: 2 
  • Payload: 230kg (507 lbs) 
  • Air Weight: 1800kg (3968 lbs) 
  • Flight Capabilities: Flight and Hover 
  • Safety Features: Positive Buoyancy 
  • Inflatable launch platform enabling easy entry and egress 
  • Emergency inflatable gas bag system


Readers' comments (4)

  • Not sure about making things that are inherently dangerous and difficult too easy for novices or professionals - Think Air France Flight 447, the pilots had it so easy they failed to take the right action that even in a rookie private pilot flying a Cessna 150 would have done (they pulled up when in a stall!)

    120m is a long way down if something goes wrong, even the positive buoyance has a risk in that it could end up with an uncontrolled surfacing into another vessel, given the places this would be used (and by who), a very real danger!

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  • 'would-be adventurers who have no professional training in underwater navigation.', i think this says it all really.
    A good bit of fun, but really, training should be included / mandatory.

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  • From a lot less than 120m divers have to make a controlled assent with frequent stops to prevent nitrogen narcosis. Surfacing on power failure would be totally uncontrolled and a potentially deadly. I am not surprised the inventor is targeting sales at novices. No trained diver would go near it.

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  • The idea is great and all the effort made by the inventors has to be taken in account. But under my view I don't think it can be a good idea to join this kind of vehicles with the entertainment. First of all because I am not so confident on how bad the fact of a total electric powered engines in a vehicle made to dive can run, any little leackage and two "non experts" persons can become envolved in a 120 depth adventure.

    On another point of view, if this vehicle become only a prototype, I think it can be treated as a inspiration to build a seemed machine but focused in a scientific way, much more useful I think.

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