Monday, November 15, 2010

If money does not matter

then diving will also get boring some day...

"Then I will build a flying sub." Nothing is passed on but when you are on the website of the Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson you can imagine how the British entrepreneur thought just that when he ordered the "Necker Nymph, a sub from the generation "Merlin" of the British engineer Graham Hawkes. With specialists of Hawkes' company Branson puzzled out state-of-the-art technologies.

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... descriptions which make you think you are dreaming: „Underwater flight takes ocean exploration to another level. Gliding on the water’s surface like an airplane on a runway, one of the three pilots will operate the joystick to smoothly dive down, and the thrilling experience begins. Uncover ancient shipwrecks, fly side-by-side with dolphins, or spyhop with whales; the options are endless. With the flexibility to glide peacefully over glorious reefs or bank adventurously in 360 degrees turns, the sub is hydrobatic. Individual “wind shields” remove the pressure of slipstream, enabling comfortable speed and ranges previously unthinkable without enclosing the pilots. The open cockpits afford near ideal 360 degree viewing for occupants, creating a uniquely open experience.”

According to the Hawkes Ocean Technologies (HOT) website the technical marvel is not only safe for people but also no problem for the environment: „Importantly, all DeepFlight craft, have near-zero environmental impact. Its positive buoyancy prevents the sub from landing on a reef, and its low light and noise emissions ensure the fragile ocean ecosystems remain undisturbed.”

This is really a toy which degrades every water slide, however great it is, or sub to a "if there is no other choice" alternative. Mr Branson knows what he is doing, whether it is about space travels or boredom on water, no billionaire must feel bored. As the Merlin sub is extremely light thanks to the missing pressure chambers (it weighs just 400 kg), it can so far only fly 44 metres deep. By the way, it 'flies' because the "Necker Nymph" needs buoyancy under the just 5 metre long wings like an airplane. You can only rent the light carbon fibre vessel providing space for two passengers and the pilots in a package with one week on Branson's luxury catamaran "Necker Belle" for about 64,000 euros - the price for the "Necker Nymph" for one week is another 18,000.

Well, if the ocean is not enough for you, then try with the universe: here too, Sir Branson has attractive options on offer:


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