Transportation has evidently become way to mundane for human beings. We don’t want a sports car – we want an electric sports car that can drive itself. We don’t want a plane, we want a hybrid that can transform from a passenger car to an aircraft in handling any type of commute. And evidently neither a speedboat nor personal submarine is good enough when you can possibly have both.
At least that seems to be the thought of Reynolds Marion. About 10 years ago, he began work on the prototype of what would become the Hyper-Sub. Drawing from the fantasies of his and countless others' childhoods, Reynolds couldn’t shake the concept of merging a speedboat and a submarine.
And while many others have tried, Reynolds is in rare air with a working model that has piqued the interest of the military and many other deep-pocketed market segments. On the surface, pun intended, the 45’ long, 15-ton Hyper-Sub features a curved, fully-enclosed racing-style cockpit and twin 480-horsepower Yanmar diesel engines that help it hit a top speed of 38 mph. It can be launched from any traditional dock.
What’s unique, of course, is that the craft can also switch to submarine mode. Depending on the battery option selected, the craft can travel anywhere between two to hundreds of miles. Below the water, it depends on twin electric-powered thrusters in hitting a top speed of just over 6 mph. According to the folks at Hyper-Sub, the craft can submerge and resurface as frequently as it can re-charge the batteries and re-fill the oxygen chambers. Or, with the help of a snorkel, it can even sail semi-submerged.
The Hyper-Sub’s module design is what has drawn so many suitors. The functional Sea-Frame houses the ballasts, engine, batteries, and dive chamber. So, it’s responsible for both surface and submersible operations. The Dry Chamber is completely customizable, meaning it could handle everything from law enforcement personnel, search-and-rescue divers and tourists, to military payloads, marine exploration equipment, or supplies for oil and gas rigs.
Although commercial availability is still unknown, everything does indeed have a price – with the tag on the Hyper-Sub coming in an estimated $7 million.
*Italicized content reflects updates made after original publication.*