DeepFlight Adventures' Super Falcon 3S model has become the first composite-built, personal submarine to comply with Lloyd's Register's (LR's) Rules for the Construction and Classification of Submersibles and Diving Systems.
The Super Falcon 3S has been developed by DeepFlight to provide “underwater flight experiences” as a complementary service for tourists and luxury resort hotel guests. The 7.6m x 3.3m vehicle features three mini-cockpits, all offering 360degs views, enabling a trained pilot to escort one or two guests to depths of 100m, whereupon they can visit shipwrecks and reefs, for example, and/or enjoy close-up views of marine wildlife and fauna. The submarine can move at speeds of up to 4knots and has an endurance of eight hours.
The Super Falcon 3S has a maximum payload of 375kg and is powered by lithium ion phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. System voltage has been limited to 40V, to protect nearby fish, marine mammals and human swimmers from the risk of electrocution and/or electric shock drowning, and the submarine cabin also boasts two onboard oxygen systems, capable of providing emergency life support to its inhabitants for a period of 72 hours. The sub also incorporates a buoyant design, so that it can, in the event of power loss, float back up to the surface, and its cabin is developed to be pressure-proof.
Discussing the sub’s compliance, a spokesperson for LR comments: “Plan appraisal work has been backed up by the use of materials from LR-assured sources worldwide. Survey of component parts has been undertaken in the UK and the US, alongside the auditing of fabrication facilities. Subsequent to final assembly, both prototype and production hulls have been successfully pressure-tested.”
Following the conclusion of final trials – scheduled for November 2017 – DeepFlight intends to ship two of these units to the Maldives.