The Deep Flight Super Falcon Sub Is A Private Airplane For The Sea

I'd never been envious of Tom Perkins' giant sailboat, the Maltese Falcon, until it received a deployable submarine in its belly. The sub, called the Deep Flight Super Falcon, is a 6.5m electric vehicle, bringing aerodynamic principles to the sea.

John Markoff got a ride recently, and reported the craft as being interesting, even in the plankton fog of Monterey Bay, CA.

Each time the 21-foot long electric-powered submarine plunged, my loosely buckled five-point harness left me sliding out of my seat. Each time we started to ascend, I was pushed back into the seat by the acceleration...Unlike a conventional submarine, which uses ballast to plunge into the ocean depths, the Super Falcon "flies" through water. It is slightly buoyant, and it is the speed of its propeller that pushes it downward in the mirror image of the aerodynamic lift of a conventional winged aircraft.It can operate at depths up to 400 feet, has a top speed of six knots and can fly for five hours on a single battery charge.

Deep Flight is helmed by Graham Hawkes, a pioneer in deep sea exploration vehicles. Among other craft, Hawkes built the Deep Rover sub which was used to film Aliens of the Deep by James Cameron in 3D IMAX, the Mantis, which was filmed in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only and the Deep Flight Challenger, a winged sub built capable of reaching 37,000 feet of depth meant for Steve Fossett to break the deep diving record in.

If you're interested, John Markoff's article has a video embedded in it of the dive and a tale of the first ocean dive in the Falcon with Perkins, where they chased Hammerheads. Below, I've included a video of the Maltese Falcon coming under the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as a video of him testing his prototype Super Falcon.

[Deep Flight, NYTimes, photo by Leslie Terzian Markoff and Yachtpals]

Trending Stories Right Now