After personal jets and personal yachts comes the turn of a personal submersible. What used to belong only to the military and advanced scientific expeditions can now be accessible to anybody with $100,000.
The killer whale personal submarine is the latest in a long line of personal submersibles. In 2006 TFOT covered the Dolphin personal submersible – an older, smaller version of the new killer whale personal sub. While the older Dolphin dub could achieve speeds up to 48 kph (30 mph) on the surface and 32 kph (20 mph) below the surface. The new killer whale personal Sub can reach an even higher speed of up to 50 mph on the surface and 25 mph underwater.
The killer whale personal submarine has a place for two people and it includes an integrated snorkel in the "dorsal fin" which takes care of supplying airflow to the engine when the sub is underwater up to a depth of 5 feet. The sub uses a 225-horsepower Rotax supercharged engine controlled by dual foot pedals that control the thrust.
The killer whale sub is a kind of a luxury sub with an advanced interior that includes, amongst other things a dedicated LCD display which is used to show a view from the rear of the sub as well as Vinyl seats with closed-cell foam upholstery and four-point racing harnesses ensure pilot and passenger safety who are also protected beneath a watertight 1/2"-thick acrylic canopy. The sub itself weighs just under 1500 pounds and measures about 17 feet long.
You can find more information on the Hammacher Schlemmer website.
TFOT has previously reported on many other innovative submarines including the Hyper-Sub powerboat capable of operating as either a surface boat or a submarine, the small two man Triton 1000 personal submarine, the sQuba car that turns into a submersible, and the unmanned Airacuda capable of diving and rising much like a traditional submarine. Other stories we covered include Exploration Submersibles, SubAviator Fast Sub-Plane, and the sQuba – part car part sub. More recently we covered the SMX-25 a Ship-Sub Hybrid – developed by the French company DCNS as a stealth submarine which can operate very close to the surface of the water and will be equipped to deploy SEAL teams and their delivery vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVsas well as heavy weaponry including 16 missiles, 4 heavy machine guns and torpedoes operated by a crew of 27 plus about 10 commandos.
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.
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