This Underwater Airplane Flies Through The Ocean Unlike Any Submarine Before It

09/21/2013 05:27 pm ET | Updated Sep 23, 2013
  • The Huffington Post

It all started with a little crab.

While conducting tests with a conventional submersible that crawled on the bottom of the sea, ocean engineer Graham Hawkes came nose to nose with a little crustacean that was poised to fight the underwater machine.

"I remember stopping and laughing," Hawkes told The Huffington Post. "But I thought, 'That crab has got it all wrong. These fish are moving in three dimensions. This guy is scurrying along the bottom. So am I. We've both got it wrong.'"

Inspired by the movement of fish, Hawkes designed and built the DeepFlight Super Falcon, a submarine that flies through the water like an airplane, instead of taking on water to sink itself. Similar to how hot-air balloons release weights to fly up, traditional submarines have compartments that fill with water to sink down.

Hawkes started a company out of his garage to create the DeepFlight Super Falcon in 1995. Today, Hawkes' dream has become a reality. "What we're doing is really, really obvious," Hawkes said. "There's nothing that clever about it. We actually build a thing that has wings, we build up speed, and it just flies underwater."

"Ninety-four percent of life on Earth is aquatic," he said. "We live on an ocean planet. We need to understand that. We need to be connected. This is a tool that can do that."

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