While Gizmag was at the Green Air Show in Paris, designer Minh-Lôc Truong and high flyer Stéphane Rousson showed us a new pedal-powered personal submarine they've been working on. The streamlined carbon fiber Scubster is currently being built in the south of France by Rousson and a team of University engineers to designs supplied by Truong. Rousson will also strap on a wet suit and get tanked up to pilot the submarine.
The first test run of the 13.78 x 7.87 x 4.92 feet yellow submarine will hopefully take place by the end of June in the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Nice.
To get things moving up to the desired 10kph (6.2mph) speed, Rousson will need to pump away at the pedals with his legs, which in turn will drive the blades on each side of the sub via a customized gear mechanism and belt drive from a Strida bike. Controls inside the pilot compartment help to guide the Scubster up, down, left and right as well as taking care of angle of incidence and forward or reverse motion.
The goal of the project is to take part in next year's International Submarine Race, which is scheduled to be held at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock Division, Bethesda, Maryland between June 27 and July 1 2011. It'll be the first time a French team has entered the race and, with luck, the first one to win.
UPDATE: The first successful test run has just taken place, see photos below.
And here are some photographs of the second test run at Passable Beach on the 28th of July 2010: