Deep Water Flying — A Submarine Pilot’s Dream

We have experienced the future of underwater tourism and spectacular personal marine exploration…..a truly amazing opportunity for the inquisitive underwater pilot !

DeepFlight, a company founded in 1996 and based in California, has developed a fundamentally new type of personal submarine that enables the unique experience of underwater flight. Imagine cruising alongside whales, sharks and dolphins; exploring uncharted shipwrecks; or taking friends and family on their first underwater flight. The underwater world, which has remained inaccessible for so long, can finally be opened to private exploration and recreation on a significant scale.

By completely re-designing the concept of a submarine and applying the principles of flight, DeepFlight craft are more maneuverable, easier to launch, recover and operate, offer the unparalleled safety of automatic return to the surface, and have a more inspiring design than any recreational submarine ever conceived. Unlike conventional submarines that use ballast to get heavy and sink, DeepFlight craft dive solely using the aerodynamic principles of downward lift and/or the power of its thrust. Since its founding, DeepFlight has developed six generations of personal submarines, with DeepFlight Super Falcon and DeepFlight Dragon being the newest and most advanced versions.

The Super Falcon was launched in 2007 and was the first submarine to introduce the novel concept of underwater flight. Instead of relying on the classic principles of buoyancy and displacement, Super Falcon dives using the aerodynamic principles of lift and drag, enabling you to barrel roll with dolphins, breach out of the water with whales, or cruise through underwater canyons in safety, comfort and style.   Famous venture capitalist, Tom Perkins, bought the first Super Falcon, and spent three years in the South Pacific, diving his Super Falcon in some of the most beautiful dive locations in the world. One of the highlights of his 3 year South Pacific voyage was flying his Super Falcon alongside humpback whales in Tonga. Commenting on his experiences, Tom Perkins stated, “Super Falcon is a masterpiece. It has exceeded my wildest imagination.” (see image 1 – photo credit: Tony Wu).

Super Falcon going for a dive. Pilot Christian Truter. Passenger Tony Wu.

Sir Richard Branson also took DeepFlight Super Falcon for a spin off of Guadalupe Island, and came face to face with a five meter Great White Shark. Branson said, “I had my first Virgin Oceanic dive training in the DeepFlight Super Falcon submersible. The sub handled beautifully — straight down smoothly, straight up 100 feet, bursting through the surface of the water. The next day we went in search of Great White Sharks when suddenly one appeared. Graham Hawkes, the genius behind the submarine, was shouting like an excited schoolboy, and so was I.” (see image 2 – photo credit: Amos Nachoum/Big Animals Photography)

Red Bull Founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, isn’t one to miss an opportunity. He bought his own DeepFlight Super Falcon and bases the submarine at his private island, Laucala Island Resort in Fiji. DeepFlight trained Mr. Mateschitz and his son to fly Super Falcon. In referring to Super Falcon, Mr. Mateschitz stated, “The value of a thing is not how much it cost, but how rare it is.” Guests of the resort are now being treated to the first underwater flights in the pristine waters off of Laucala Island. Reports from Laucala are that the Super Falcon is in high demand, and that some guests are coming to the island especially to experience a DeepFlight dive. (see image 3 – photo credit: Laucala Island Resort.

DeepFlight’s newest personal submarine is DeepFlight Dragon. The team drew inspiration for the design from quadcopters. Unlike Super Falcon which uses its wings for downward lift, Dragon dives solely using the power from its four thrusters. After successful testing in Lake Tahoe, the DeepFlight team traveled to Europe to officially launch the Dragon at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show. The exhibit was followed by a program of demonstration dives for prospective buyers, client representatives and the media. (see images 4 and 5 from Lake Tahoe and Monaco respectively)

Commenting on their dives in Dragon, Tim Wiltshire, Group Sales Director at Burgess Yachts said, “A great experience; part of the beauty being in the simplicity and safety of the vehicle and the ease of operation.” Jonathan Zwaans, Luxury Yacht Broker at Y.CO added, “[DeepFlight Dragon is] an exciting new addition to the superyacht toy market. The sub takes underwater flight to a whole new level with hover and fly.”

The Dragon continues to deliver on the vision of DeepFlight’s founder, Graham Hawkes, in providing lightweight, intuitive and safe submarines that open up the oceans for personal exploration. He stated, “We are going to explore the ocean. We are going to give access. We have to because until we do, we don’t understand our own planet.”

The Dragon might look like a Formula One racecar, but it’s innovative technology enables pilots to dive, fly and hover easily underwater. DeepFlight Dragon is generating a lot of excitement for the future of underwater recreation and adventure. Robb Report even named Dragon one of world’s most amazing gifts in its December 2015 Gift Guide. (See image 6)

DeepFlight President, Adam Wright, stated, “We are very excited about the future for our DeepFlight personal submarines. In the near future, we anticipate that you will be able to experience underwater flight in our DeepFlight submarines at resorts and other locations around the world.”

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