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SCI/TECH: Dolphin Design Fulfils Lifelong Dream

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posted on Dec, 17 2004 @ 08:07 PM
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The Bionic Dolphin or Variable Attitude Submersible Hydrofoil (VASH), a dream of a young surfer, is a machine that a person could ride in that would move in and out of the waves just as a dolphin would. Thomas (Doc) Rowe had this dream almost 30 years ago and today at 52 he has dedicated his life to building his machine. One of his Bionic Dolphins, built by Rob Innes, recently appeared at "Big Boy’s Toys," a New Zealand Expo. Described as the world's first underwater flying machine, Rowe and Innes have another pair in production that will have 400hp engines seating for two and body components made from Kevlar weighing 600lb. Rowe and Innes are looking at a finish date some time in 2007.
 



www.cnn.com


The Bionic Dolphin in action

(CNN) -- When Thomas "Doc" Rowe told people almost 30 years ago that he wanted to build a bionic dolphin, people thought he was crazy. The young surfer dreamed of sitting in a mechanical capsule that would move in and out of waves just as a dolphin does. Now 52, Doc has dedicated most of his life to building the machines. The concept recently made waves -- literally -- around the world when one of the bionic dolphins, built by Doc's protégé Rob Innes, appeared at a New Zealand expo named "Big Boys' Toys.” The dolphin, described by Doc as the world's first underwater flying machine, attracted a huge amount of media interest during a test drive around Auckland harbor, in New Zealand. It has also appeared in the Austin Powers' film "Goldmember."
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Innes has a one-man model that runs an 110hp jet ski with a fighter jet canopy and can leap and dive and barrel roll. They sound like they could be a lot of fun for the laymen, I wonder if the Navy has something the same or are looking at these prototypes.





[edit on 17-12-2004 by Banshee]




posted on Dec, 17 2004 @ 08:12 PM
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Oooo...Ahhhh..... It looks like so much fun. Most likely the Navy will develop there own version complete with gray paint and high tech electronics. I wonder how much one costs and how safe it is. I'll bet these could be popular in a few years of production.



posted on Dec, 18 2004 @ 07:10 AM
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I have always liked the idea of using fully enclosed crafts like this for travel on the seas, they are so safe looking and I don't think it matters too much if you capsize, etc. I wonder how she would handle rough seas? I am thinking that it could be quite fun bouncing around in the big waves...



 
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