“The Deep Flight Super Falcon looks like a fighter jet, with its thin body, two seats, two sets of wings and two tail fins.
“We just had to tear up everything we knew about submersibles and start again on winged subs — underwater flying machines,” Hawkes said.
He said Deep Flight submersibles are designed to be more agile than any creature living in the ocean — with the exception of dolphins. The company says that because of the wings, the Super Falcon can go barrel-rolling with dolphins while traveling at speeds much faster than other private submarines.The craft can stay underwater for up to five hours and travel at speeds up to 6 knots, the company says on its Web
The first client for the Super Falcon was venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who wanted a toy to keep on his mega-yacht, the Maltese Falcon. The base price: $1.3 million. Another model, which has open cockpits and cannot dive as deep as the Super Falcon, sells for $350,000.
Perkins, writing in Boating International magazine, said he joined the project to take the Super Falcon from prototype to a fully functional craft.
“Like some of my other projects, we didn’t finish on time, but also like some of the others, the end result exceeded all our expectations,” he said.
The second machine is being built for Hawkes’ personal use.
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.”
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