What to get the bazillionaire who has everything? Why, a personal submarine! Today I'm reporting on the most cutting-edge personal submersibles available, made by Hawkes Ocean Technologies. See them at www.deepflight.com.
These are revolutionary subs because they have wings. They're really underwater airplanes...without the air. The subs, which cost about $10 million, allow you to "fly" through the water, with the fish, unlike traditional submersibles, which just sort of sink like lead balloons.
Graham Hawkes has been building the most extreme version of one--the Deep Flight Challenger--for multimillionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. Fossett wanted to take it to the very bottom of the Mariana Trench, 37,000 feet down. But the man who broke so many air and sailing records is gone--Fossett has been declared legally dead after going missing on a flight over Nevada last September. Hawkes plans to complete work on the Fossett sub--the deepest a previous model has gone is 3,000 feet down--and look for a new buyer. When I asked Graham Hawkes, "Is Richard Branson interested?" he stared at me and said nothing. "No comment?" I asked. "No comment."
Meantime, they're building a different sub for venture capital guru Tom Perkins.
But the folks at Hawkes are trying to figure out what to call their winged personal submersibles. Should they be called "Underwater Fliers"? "Winged Submersibles"? "Sunken Treasure"? (heh, heh). Send me your ideas.