DeepFlight Dragon submarine front 3/4 FS magazine (David Bush)DeepFlight Dragon submarine front 3/4 FS magazine (David Bush) © Copyright

The personal submarine

Sharks and shipwrecks are just seconds away thanks to the world’s first personal submarine

When was the last time you really ventured out into the ocean? Yes, you may dip a toe in on holiday from time to time. You may occasionally splash out among the waves, and you probably wade in up to your waist for a secret wee. But when was the last time you really explored the deep, dark oceans around you?

Unless you’re a marine biologist or a deep-sea diver, the truth is you probably never have, and likely never will. Or so you thought. But what if some super nerds in California had just built the world’s first personal, two-man submarine – a contraption so brilliantly simple yet so advanced that it promised to make exploring the oceans as easy as tying your laces? Well, meet that very contraption, the DeepFlight Dragon.

DeepFlight Dragon submarine FS magazine (David Bush)


A game-changing cross between a boat and a plane, the Dragon is built of the same 21st-century materials found in NASA spaceships, and is designed to be piloted by pretty much anyone. All-electric, it is the only personal submarine that boasts enough power to rely solely on an almost idiot-proof vertical thrust to dive – all the others use a complicated ballast system that requires years of training to take them down.

It’s large enough to hold two people, light enough to not need a truck to transport it, and capable of hitting a speed of four knots (4.6mph) – that’s quick enough to keep pace with whales and dolphins, and to outrun Jaws, should the need ever occur. Crucially though, it’s also designed to hover while stationary. “This allows complete freedom to cruise alongside big animals or stop and hover over ancient shipwrecks,” marvels Graham Hawkes, DeepFlight’s founder. It should probably be mentioned that it comes with a hefty $1.5m price tag, but it would be cheap even at twice the price. As Hawkes says, “With the Dragon, you have the freedom to chart your own course and explore a piece of the planet no human has seen before.”

DeepFlight Dragon submarine underwater FS magazine (David Bush)


He’s not joking, either (just in case you thought he was…). The sub comes with the in-built DeepFlight Dive Manager system, which monitors and manages depth control and battery use, thus eliminating the need for a professional pilot – or someone to sap the fun out of the experience, as we have come to know them. The sub comes with lithium iron batteries capable of lasting up to six hours between each charge, and a buoyancy system that will return you naturally to the surface with the flick of a switch – just in case things go wrong. Considering it can take you down to depths of 120m, where all natural light disappears, you’re unlikely to run out of watery playground either.

Not content with a personal exploration of the depths? The DeepFlight has you covered, as Marine VHF allows communication with the outside world, while a mic’d-up CCTV system lets you and your companion point out fish and mermaids to each other. Or simply scare the bejesus out of one another by shouting “shark!” every so often.

DeepFlight Dragon submarine rear FS magazine (David Bush)


Chatting to those on dry land is good, but showing them what you’ve been up to is better. Let’s face it, who does anything these days if they can’t then head straight to social media to brag about it? Thankfully, the Dragon agrees. A tweak of the sub’s front area will allow you to add a forward-facing lighting system and a GoPro HD underwater camera, meaning you can capture your adventures on film. Remember those spooky opening shots in Titanic? Picture those, but with seaweed, sand and the odd fish instead of the world’s most famous ship. Just imagine the number of re-grams you’ll get for that! #SeaLife

As someone clever once said, “Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool, or you go out into the ocean”. Are you happy in the shallow end? Thought not! Now, where did we leave that $1.5mill?


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