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‘Hydrobatics’ headed to Tahoe

Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com
Hawkes Ocean Technologies / Provided to the TribunHawkes Ocean Technologies' DeepFlight Super Falcon prepares to launch during a expedition in the Red Sea in 2011.
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A Bay Area submersible company is taking Lake Tahoe’s “Lake of the Sky” moniker literally.

Staff from Hawkes Ocean Technologies is set to perform “hydrobatic” testing of its DeepFlight Super Falcon, an advanced manned submersible, at Lake Tahoe this October.

“Hydrobatics is like aerobatics underwater,” said Adam Wright, principal mechanical engineer for the company.



The Super Falcon, a 22-foot-long, two-person submersible with a maximum speed of just more than 7 mph, is capable of maneuvers that would be impossible with other underwater craft, Wright said.

Exactly what maneuvers the submersible can accomplish is part of the reason the company is coming to Lake Tahoe for performance testing. The submersible has logged more than 200 dives, but its capabilities have never been fully investigated, Wright said.



One of the company’s goals is to be the first to complete an underwater loop.

“To our knowledge, that has not been done before,” Wright said.

Exactly how big the loop would need to be is unknown. Calculations suggest the submersible could perform a loop with a 300-foot diameter, Wright said.

But the company’s planned October exploration isn’t just an underwater air show. Hawkes Ocean Technologies is hoping that a better understanding of the craft’s abilities will lead to a broader understanding of the world’s oceans.

“We see this type of craft being a very useful tool for exploration of the oceans,” Wright said.

He used the possibility of tracking a pod of whales to previously impossible depths as an example of how the submersible could be used.

The company has started a Kickstarter campaign in a effort to extend the amount of performance testing it can accomplish at Lake Tahoe.

The company’s “DeepFlight Hydrobatics Expedition” page on the website accepts donations of between $10 and $10,000. In return, donors get anything from their name listed on the company’s website to their logo on the side of the submarine and two dives in the submarine during the Lake Tahoe expedition.

“If we do get the Kickstarter funding, it will be a much longer, larger endeavor,” Wright said.

The company’s Kickstarter page can be found at http://tinyurl.com/tahoesub. The company’s website is at http://deepflight.com.


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