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For $1.5M, DeepFlight Dragon Is an "Aircraft for the Water"

timothy posted about three weeks ago | from the ok-I-want-one dept.

Transportation 76

Zothecula writes No one with red blood in their veins buys a sports car and hands the keys to a chauffeur, so one of the barriers to truly personal submarining has long been the need for a trained pilot, not to mention the massive logistics involved in transporting, garaging and launching the underwater craft ... until now. Pioneering underwater aviation company DeepFlight is set to show an entirely new type of personal submarine at the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show next week, launching the personal submarine era with a submersible that's reportedly so easy to pilot that it's likely to create a new niche in the tourism and rental market.

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Nice! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47782761)

One single drug run^h^h^h^hdive and the thing has paid for itself.

Re:Nice! (4, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | about three weeks ago | (#47783057)

One single drug run^h^h^h^hdive and the thing has paid for itself.

How long can it dive? What mods does this thing need to lengthen the dive+travel time to a few days or even a week or two, depending on its speed? Extra Oxygen, toilet substitutes, extra battery packs, stronger motors to tug the drugs, etc.

Could maybe be done, but it's not easy. Truth is, I think by now it's actually more feasible for the cartells to get their hands on decomissioned subs and their former crew. Or something along those lines.

Re:Nice! (4, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | about three weeks ago | (#47783205)

The cartels already have been [wikipedia.org] building their own subs. A luxury toy sub is probably not much use to the for the sorts of loads they want to transport. I expect with a little more time they'd be able to develop autonomous subs that navigate from one point to another completely submerged. Such things already exist in the oil industry so it's not hard to imagine one doing drug runs.

Re:Nice! (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about three weeks ago | (#47783791)

Those require crews. This can be piloted by 1 person, and has room for 1 more. So its payload is at least 200lbs. I can think of plenty of things under 200lbs that are worth more than $1.5mil.

That being said, the sub idea is dumb. I'd just sail to the US with a regular boat. My cargo would be under water, towed by a cable. Authorities show up, cut the cable. Very simple.

Re:Nice! (1)

Provocateur (133110) | about three weeks ago | (#47783891)

cut the cable. Very simple.
 
You remember what happened to Han (Solo)? Good luck surviving the carbonite freeze!

Re:Nice! (2)

TWX (665546) | about three weeks ago | (#47784191)

I expect that the cartels have probably begun experimenting with torpedo-like designs for the last leg of their smuggling runs. If you think about it, a length of steel water-main pipe welded shut with a predetermined weight of contraband welded in, balanced for bouyancy a dozen feet below the average surface, with a simple electric battery powered motor and rudimentary guidance system would help ensure that the smugglers themselves aren't caught even if the merchandise is found, and it would also be harder to attribute it to anyone. A deepwater vessel could bring the torpedo in close enough for its final leg of the journey, point it toward a beacon left on by the recipient, and let it find its way in the last bit on its own.

Admittedly I don't really know much about how sonar works in the fairly turbulent water near the surface, so perhaps this wouldn't work so well as I think it would, but if there's no human aboard to get caught then there's no one to testify either.

Re: Nice! (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about three weeks ago | (#47784929)

SONAR is not typically used for navigation by things trying to be stealthy, because, as you can imagine, pinging requires making a loud noise that can be detected and fixed on.

Rather, position and movement can be accurately tracked with small inertial guidance systems (RLGs) and time.

Then you just have to know where you want to go (map, waypoints, whatever)

Re: Nice! (1)

TWX (665546) | about three weeks ago | (#47786323)

As far as sonar is concerned, I meant for the coast guard or the navy or other law enforcement and import/customs people to find the contraband-carrying torpedoes, not for the torpedoes to use sonar. I don't know what the surface conditions will do to attempting to find a torpedo-shaped metal tube close to the surface.

Re:Nice! (1)

DrXym (126579) | about three weeks ago | (#47790053)

One person with perhaps enough battery / oxygen to go a few hours. No where to sleep or eat or go to the toilet. I think the cartels could do better than that for their money. And while I'm sure the inventors would love a continuous flow of orders for subs, I'm sure they wouldn't like the continuous police heat that comes with it.

Underwater aviation (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47782817)

"Underwater aviation" ... stop corrupting language please.

Dissapointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47782841)

With a name like DeepFlight and phrases such as "underwater aviation" I really expected a flying sub, you know, like in X-COM:TftD. Unfortunately, it seems that is not the case.

Re:Dissapointed (1)

peragrin (659227) | about three weeks ago | (#47782933)

Well it is close to the Aero car in design.

Re:Dissapointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783789)

Hydroation sounds bad and hydration is totally different. Aquanautics doesn't roll off the tongue.

Anyway, the sales people for something like this are likely bikini clad models, so the target audience is not likely to even notice "underwater aviation".

Re:Dissapointed (1)

TWX (665546) | about three weeks ago | (#47783977)

at least "Aquanaut" as a word has been used before.

I think the best term they could have written their little diatribe around would have been "hydrodynamics" though.

There are cheaper ways to kill yourself (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47782851)

If not having to learn a lot about one of the most dangerous environments on this planet is meant to attract customers, then this is obviously going to end badly.

Re:There are cheaper ways to kill yourself (1)

flyneye (84093) | about three weeks ago | (#47783051)

At least make it dangerous on a familiar consumer level. I want to see a place to launch torpedoes from. Maybe a couple spear-gun mounts for shark hunting.
If it ends badly, it needs to go out like a sub, not an underwater go-cart. 400 ft., jeez.

Re:There are cheaper ways to kill yourself (1)

Chris453 (1092253) | about three weeks ago | (#47783387)

I want to see a place to launch torpedoes from.

Photon or Quantum?

Re:There are cheaper ways to kill yourself (1)

flyneye (84093) | about three weeks ago | (#47787347)

I was thinking gunpowder, phosphorus and ball bearings; but I like your options better.

Re:There are cheaper ways to kill yourself (2)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783105)

If not having to learn a lot about one of the most dangerous environments on this planet is meant to attract customers, then this is obviously going to end badly.

Calm the hell down. One of the most dangerous things you do as a human is open a car door and step inside.

And like the other 99.9% of potential submarine pilots, you probably do that deadly shit every single day.

Re:There are cheaper ways to kill yourself (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about three weeks ago | (#47783153)

Yeah well that whale should have known I had the right of way.

Re:There are cheaper ways to kill yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783211)

Stupid people getting themselves killed by doing stupid things is a GOOD THING. Stupid rich people getting themselves killed by doing stupid things is even BETTER for society by orders of magnitude. "Too big to fail? Hah, the laws of physics disagree!"

There are reasons for that (3, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | about three weeks ago | (#47782865)

Going too deep and particularly up too fast will get you killed. Going underwater is dangerous. More so than being up in the air where the only risk is basically hitting the ground.

Re:There are reasons for that (4, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | about three weeks ago | (#47782899)

Actually going up in an airplane too quickly can have the same affect. We dont worry about it because modern airplanes are typically pressurized. This submersible appears to be pressurized as well.

Re:There are reasons for that (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47782967)

"effect", dumbass.

Re:There are reasons for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783093)

Calling someone dumbass over a single letter typo, when you don't even know if english is his native language, huge fail.

Re:There are reasons for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783265)

You don't know if he's a "he" either, shitknickers. In any case, Arker deserves it, he's a huge ass.

Re:There are reasons for that (1)

TWX (665546) | about three weeks ago | (#47784017)

Calling someone dumbass over a single letter typo, when you don't even know if english is his native language, huge fail.

However, calling someone a dumbass because they made a point of making their post stand out with styling and still failed on-style with a typo is fair game in my book.

Re:There are reasons for that (1)

dargaud (518470) | about three weeks ago | (#47783819)

Honest typo in this case, I swear.

Re:Pressurized hull (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783005)

I remember reading about the prototype for these subs 20 years ago. The idea then was a ceramic hull that could run straight up from the bottom of the Marianas Trench to the surface at full speed, without any need to depressurize.

Deep Flight [deepflight.com] It seems my memory is a little fuzzy. The prototype was capable of 12 knots and could ascend at 650 ft/min, but was only good to 3300 feet. I do remember they were having trouble finding a sponsor for the full depth model.

Re:Pressurized hull (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783069)

I remember reading about the prototype for these subs 20 years ago. The idea then was a ceramic hull that could run straight up from the bottom of the Marianas Trench to the surface at full speed, without any need to depressurize.

The subs can surface as quickly as they want. The problem is the submariners aren't in a pressurized compartment so they can't surface all that fast.

Re:There are reasons for that (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47783231)

Actually, you would want to be depressurized, or IOW maintain a lower internal environmental pressure. If they can do that down to 400ft in a reliable, safe manner, they may be on to something.

Re:There are reasons for that (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783851)

Going up from sea level to space (the maximum possible change in air pressure) is equivalent to surfacing from a depth of 10m. Coming up from a dive deeper than 10m is more dangerous, in terms of decompression sickness, than ascending in an unpressurised aircraft to any altitude.

Re:There are reasons for that (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about three weeks ago | (#47783775)

Going too deep will be an issue in itself - I bet this things crush depth isn't all that deep...

Re:There are reasons for that (3, Informative)

AlecC (512609) | about three weeks ago | (#47783877)

It is designed aircraft-style with positive buoyancy. So you don't flood tanks or anything like that, you "fly" down using control planes to keep you down just as an aircraft uses wings to keep you up. So, just as an aircraft will descend to the ground if the whirly bits stop turning, so will this return to the surface.

Not so much personal (3, Interesting)

Jesrad (716567) | about three weeks ago | (#47782903)

The idea of a "personal submarine", IMHO, should be more along the lines of this kind of thing [concretesubmarine.com] . Just build it yourself !

Re:Not so much personal (1)

TWX (665546) | about three weeks ago | (#47784065)

Amusing, they appear to be from Colombia, the narco-submarine capital if I remember correctly...

Re:Not so much personal (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about three weeks ago | (#47784995)

I'm still pissed the one I ordered out of a comic book wasn't real.

Re:Not so much personal (1)

Jesrad (716567) | about two weeks ago | (#47814911)

This one [euronaut.org] is real though, 16 meters (52' and a half) long, 60 tons and seven days of underwater autonomy. No idea what's the price tag though.

Please consult a medical expert (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783045)

if you have red oxygenated blood in your veins...

Re:Please consult a medical expert (1)

gumbi west (610122) | about three weeks ago | (#47788783)

what color do you think blood in your veins is, exactly?

Double cockpit (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about three weeks ago | (#47783091)

I predict that these will sell poorly because the people who can afford them want comfort, and room to fuck their secretary/mistress.

Re:Double cockpit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783711)

Yeah, at that price one would expect it to come with a jacuzzi. Until said bleached-hair female unplugs the drain by mistake....

Nice foil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783099)

Must be artist's impressions rather than actual design drawings. I can't imagine any subs travel with a 30 degree nose-up angle very quickly or efficiently.

Meh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47783103)

Get back to me when they can supercavitate.

Re:Meh (1)

Elad Alon (835764) | about three weeks ago | (#47783411)

There's not much sense going fast when doing recreational diving. You don't get to see much, and scare away the fish. That's why diver propulsion vehicles are unpopular. If you do manage to find a dive shop that has any, they'd most likely tell you they're not sure they're operational, as they've not been used for the last 18 months, but that they're willing to check...

Re:Meh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47783513)

Going really fucking fast is an end unto itself, my friend!

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47784201)

Going really fucking fast is an end unto itself, my friend!

This is the only correct answer.

Seriously? (0, Offtopic)

jeffasselin (566598) | about three weeks ago | (#47783107)

No one with red blood in their veins buys a sports car and hands the keys to a chauffeur

This is such a ridiculous sentence, I couldn't get past it to read the rest. First of all, veinal blood is really dark, not red. But most telling is that the writer assumes people like cars, want to drive cars, and can drive cars. I don't like them, I don't drive, and I don't own one. If I was to ever buy one, I would have someone else drive me. So according to this un-enlightened individual, I don't exist.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783157)

No, you're just not manly.

Re:Seriously? (2)

ultranova (717540) | about three weeks ago | (#47783167)

Hardly. What he's said is: "!E(x) hasredblood (x) && handskeystochauffeur(x)", which is equivalent to "A(x) !(hasredblood(x) && handskeystochauffeur(x))". Since according to you you already fail the first part of the conjunction by not having red blood, the second part is not constrained by it.

In other words, you can hate driving as much as you want, since you don't have red blood ;).

Re:Seriously? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about three weeks ago | (#47783263)

In fairness, have you ever seen a car seat that a horseshoe crab would find comfortable?

Re:Seriously? (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about three weeks ago | (#47783275)

Pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783313)

I agree, but if I were to buy a car to hand to a chauffeur it wouldn't be a sports car. It would be a nice comfortable roomy car where I wouldn't mind being a passenger, so the sentence checks out.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47783317)

you wouldn't be buying a sports car then you fucking idiot

Re:Seriously? (2)

jimbolauski (882977) | about three weeks ago | (#47783569)

Let me help you with what he said, "No one with red blood in their veins buys a sports car and hands the keys to a chauffeur". Now because you are not a car person I suspect you wouldn't know what a sports car is. Most sports cars are two seaters, the few that are four seaters an infant would not have enough leg room, the back row is strictly for lower insurance rates, so you would be sitting in the front seat of your chauffeur driven sports car, not a typical chauffeur chauffee relationship. Secondly sports cars are not very comfortable they have low profile tires, firm suspensions, and rigid seats, they are designed to drive fast around corners not smoothly on the highway. What you want for your chauffeuring is a sedan, suv, or van.

Re:Seriously? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about three weeks ago | (#47783783)

So let us accept your interpretation -- how the heck does it apply to submarines?

Re:Seriously? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about three weeks ago | (#47785019)

By definition a 'sports car' is a two seater.

Four seaters (no matter how small the rear ones are) are, at best, sports coupes.

Re:Seriously? (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about two weeks ago | (#47806539)

By definition a 'sports car' is a two seater.

There is no such definition for a sports car. The Porsche 911 turbo s has 4 seats and would be home on a track day, which is the requirement to be sports car. The 911 turbo has a 0-60 of 3.2 sec, it's fully stock Nurburgring time was 7:38. The 911 GT2, which is a road legal race car, 0-60 was 3.4 sec and a fully stock Nurburgring time 7:34. The 911 turbo hands down is an excellent track day car having two seats in the back does not change it from being a sports car.

Re:Seriously? (1)

gsslay (807818) | about three weeks ago | (#47784167)

If you'd read on, it gets worse.

A personal submarine is like a sports car, apparently.

New class definition (1)

Anonymous Bullard (62082) | about three weeks ago | (#47783143)

"The DeepFlight Super Falcon (pictured above) was our first positively buoyant craft. If you get in one, and you've previously flown an aircraft, you'll realize that you're flying an aircraft, just in a different but very similar medium: water. The Dragon is effectively an aircraft. I know we can't use that name, but it is in fact an aircraft for the water."

Wataircraft.

The coral will need guard rails around it (5, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | about three weeks ago | (#47783451)

A tourist with 30 minutes of training piloting a sub near coral reefs is a bad idea, the pilots will be looking at all the neat things and not paying attention. Depending on how powerful the currents are they could get swept out and run out of fuel fighting the current. These things are far from idiot proof and you should expect drunk or stoned college students on spring break to be using them. It's a great idea until you realize you are giving dumb-asses a $1.5 million dollar vehicle to drive through priceless and breathtaking wildlife sanctuaries, while we are at it let's start renting out Bugatti Veyrons to drive through the Louvre.

Re:The coral will need guard rails around it (3, Insightful)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about three weeks ago | (#47783717)

So give the thing a low power sonar system and automatic collision avoidance system. Give it instructions that if the battery gets below a certain point, it shuts down the engines, auto-surfaces, and starts up a rescue beacon.

Re:The coral will need guard rails around it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47784657)

>So give the thing a low power sonar system and automatic collision avoidance system.

Any kind of sonar that is actually useful for this purpose will be far more damaging to the reef's ecosystem than having the occasional sub bump into it.

Re:The coral will need guard rails around it (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about three weeks ago | (#47785525)

Any kind of sonar that is actually useful for this purpose will be far more damaging to the reef's ecosystem than having the occasional sub bump into it.

You're not trying to find submarines hiding on the other side of a thermocline. You're just trying to track any obstructions within a couple dozen feet.

Re:The coral will need guard rails around it (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about two weeks ago | (#47807493)

Sonar will not help, you would need to detect within the stopping range, lets say 10'. It is too difficult to determine weather the obstruction is directly in front of you, below you, or a multi-path bounce at those ranges. Radar systems have this problem too there is a doughnut hole around their systems. Lidar systems would work better and will have less impact on the ecosystem.

Re:The coral will need guard rails around it (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about three weeks ago | (#47785037)

I'll be first in line to hot lap the Louvre. Do I get bonus points for roosting slag onto the Mona Lisa?

Re:The coral will need guard rails around it (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about three weeks ago | (#47786271)

"These things are far from idiot proof and you should expect drunk or stoned college students on spring break to be using them."

Think of it as evolution in action.

Misread title (1)

q4Fry (1322209) | about three weeks ago | (#47783623)

Misread title as ...is an Anti-Aircraft for the Water

Bad turbulence ahead (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about three weeks ago | (#47783749)

If I read TFA correctly, this only stays submerged because the quad fans (ok, screws) are madly driving water vertically. Somehow I don't see this as enhancing the view, especially if one gets near the ocean floor and significant sand/sediment is stirred up.

Re: Bad turbulence ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47784045)

Stop it. Can't you see we are talking about cars here? /s

Re:Bad turbulence ahead (1)

TWX (665546) | about three weeks ago | (#47784105)

Or the fish and other marine life that are puréed in the process...

Re:Bad turbulence ahead (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about three weeks ago | (#47784993)

Bouillabaisse!

Patents and 'Exclusivity'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47784213)

So why would we want to give these snobs more mindshare than we have to?

What an Idiotic Design Concept (2)

the monolith (1174927) | about three weeks ago | (#47785371)

Please bear in mind that 'Water, for all intents and purposes, is an incompressible mass.' We teach this to student divers.

Look at the following points...

Fore-planes - they are curved and cannot act in an 'aerodynamic' manner (wings create lift by causing air to reduce in pressure as the air moves in a longer path over the wing than under it,) so they are really just flow directors, and the curves will create permanent turbulence and disrupt flow behind them - the forward vertical thrusters.

Forward vertical thrusters - turbulent flow will create beta on the blades (uneven flow vectors to different blades) destroying efficiency. The fenestration/cowl that surrounds the thrusters will cause turbulence also.

Forward hull - the hull immediately around the area of the forward thrusters is voluminous and bluff to the flow of water when under way. Turbulence and drag will ensue, and this will run toward the stern gear - thrusters, aft planes, pusher thrusters and elevator.

Stern vertical thrusters - similar flow conditions will exist for these units as they exist for the forward units.

Pusher thrusters - will receive all turbulence created by gear that is forward of their position, and reduce efficiency accordingly.

Elevator - single piece curved flow director, similar to the fore-planes in intended down-thrust effect. Same problems of turbulence and drag. Potential for anti-asynchronous oscillation from turbulence caused by all equipment forward of its position.

I saw the previous version of this craft, the Super Falcon, when it came for a demonstration in Jordan in April 2011, and was unimpressed with what I saw. This concept version is not an improvement. They should get proper designers to work on it, not people that just happened to see an aircraft, or read a few pages of Wikipedia.

I am sure it will not be legal in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786219)

Homeland security is not going to allow us to have personal submarines.

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