Karen Hawkes (415) 717-9729
DEEP FLIGHT SUPER FALCON WINGED SUBMERSIBLE UNVEILED
SAN FRANCISCO (May 13, 2009) — The California Academy of Sciences and Hawkes Ocean Technologies are pleased to announce that the Deep Flight Super Falcon submersible was unveiled today at the Academy, where it will be on public display through Sunday, May 17, 2009. Deep Flight Super Falcon is the newest and most advanced winged submersible designed and built by renowned engineer, Graham Hawkes. With its unique ability for underwater flight, enabling unprecedented range, speed and maneuverability, Super Falcon offers exotic new capabilities to explore one of the least understood parts of our planet. Hawkes will speak about his newest submersible at the Academy's NightLife event on Thursday, May 14.
With the Deep Flight submersibles, Hawkes has made the same transition sub-sea that the Wright Brothers did in air, transitioning from ballooning to fixed wing aircraft. Deep Flight Super Falcon is the culmination of four generations of experimental prototype winged submersibles that have succeeded in proving the concept of underwater flight, and introducing the next generation of ultra-lightweight manned vehicles that can access the oceans at all depths.
The Super Falcon is the first production-model winged submersible, and was originally commissioned by venture capitalist Tom Perkins for his yacht S/Y Maltese Falcon. "When I was looking for a submersible, I wanted a fighter jet, not a blimp," said Perkins. "The Super Falcon is a resounding success and has exceeded my expectations. I believe the Super Falcon is the future for underwater adventuring."
Graham Hawkes stated, "After twenty years of prototyping, Super Falcon is our most advanced and elegant submersible yet, encompassing all the innovations we made in introducing underwater flight from the surface to the bottom of the ocean. We look forward to working with scientists and explorers to promote a new era of ocean exploration and conservation. We're also looking forward to bringing the public down on sub-sea excursions with our Flight School and VIP in the Sea programs."
One of the first projects for Super Falcon is the launch of VIP in the Sea, a program created by Hawkes Ocean Technologies and NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries to enable communicators - scientists, politicians, policymakers, educators and artists - to experience the oceans as never before, bringing them on flights beneath the sea. The program’s goal is to allow VIPs to experience the oceans first-hand, thereby making that critical personal connection that is the necessary first step in promoting education, exploration and preservation of our ocean planet. The first VIP dives are scheduled for this summer in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
"We are very excited to help launch VIP in the Sea," says William J. Douros, West Coast Regional Director of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. "It is an excellent way to showcase our national marine sanctuaries and call attention to the need to conserve and protect our ocean territories. Until now, the technology was not available to take VIPs safely and comfortably into the deeper parts of the oceans. We see Super Falcon as an Ambassador to the Seas."
Dr. John McCosker, Chair of Aquatic Biology at the California Academy of Sciences, will be among the first participants in the VIP in the Sea program. "I eagerly await my flight in the Super Falcon," says McCosker, who has conducted submersible-based research in such exotic locales as the Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica’s Cocos Island. "Quiet and stealthy, fast and maneuverable, I can imagine many unique applications for Super Falcon to ocean science." Submersible-based research has allowed McCosker to discover previously unknown sharks, eels, skates, scorpionfishes, and many other denizens of the deep.
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