The Super Falcon Submersible, which resembles Thunderbird 4, can reach depths of 1,500 feet and speed through the ocean at six knots, which is nearly seven miles per hour. It has a range of around 25 nautical miles.
Created by British inventor Graham Hawkes for Hawkes Ocean Technologies, it is the newest and most advanced sub of their Deep Flight series and the culmination of four generations of experimental prototypes.
Mr Hawkes said: ‘After twenty 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.’
The sub has a carbon fiber pressure hull that encompasses two cockpits with dual flight controls and instrumentation familiar to military pilots.
It can descend at speeds of up to 200ft per minute and ascend twice as fast at 400ft per minute. Passengers would not have to worry about ‘the bends’ because the cabin pressure remains at one atmosphere.
Pitch, roll and yaw are controlled by ‘fly by wire’ – this operates using electrical signals and a computer rather than cables and rods. A throttle lever gives the needed thrust.
‘It is advanced enough to go barrel-rolling with dolphins, spy-hopping with whales or searching for sunken galleons,’ Mr Hawkes added.
Those apprehensive about deep sea travel may be glad to learn that the craft has an auto-return that will bring it back to the surface should it run into trouble. It also has life support for 24 hours while a typical dive won’t last longer than five hours.