Triton's Project Hercules: Highway to the eighth-of-a-mile-low club
Triton has taken its innovative stretched-bubble pressure hull in a new direction for its latest luxury submersible design. Project Hercules offers ... well, an extremely private and intimate experience for two, with the pilot tucked away in the back.
Created in partnership with Dark Ocean Design and yachtmaker Espen Oein, project Hercules uses the same flattened-out acrylic pressure bubble that's designed to seat up to nine people in the 660/9 submersible we wrote about last year.
Here, though, the bubble pokes forward from the body of the sub – the priority is not so much on offering great underwater views to lots of people, but on offering spectacular, panoramic experiences to fewer people. Indeed, depending on the interior configuration, as few as two. With big, relaxing chaise lounges. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Know what I mean? Say no more, eh?
Not just that, but Triton is happy to stick your poor pilot right down the back, operating the sub via screens or a VR headset, and separated from the action up front by "two interior bulkheads, between which is included a day head and mini bar." Yep, that pilot will have noooo idea what's going on in the main bubble. Nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh? Eh?
Too many luxury submarines seem to expect the marine environment to provide the entertainment. Well, not this one. Indeed, with the right company, you can put on a show for the fish as you trundle electrically through the depths at up to 8 knots. In an act of extreme oversight, Triton has capped the maximum depth at just 200 m (656 ft), so technically you'll only be joining the one-eighth-of-a-mile-low club. It's sure to be popular; it's capable of going down with up to 10 hours of endurance, although that seems a perilous expectation to set.
Enough of the smut, you say? Fair enough. That interesting-looking extension platform at the front must serve some fascinating scientific purpose, surely? Well, apparently it helps to balance horizontal trim, and it can be used as a forward collision fender, not that any of Triton's other subs appear to need this kind of gear. Oh, and it'll also have an integrated high-definition camera pointing back at the cabin.
Yes, folks, you may well be looking at the world's most expensive selfie stick. Perfect for a little photography, Eh? Candid, eh? Snap snap, wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean, eh? Say no more!
Will it get built? Sure, maybe, why not? This world suffers from no shortage of superyacht-rockin' billionaires who crave weird and novel experiences – although most that we've seen are, shall we say, more Project Homercles than Project Hercules. Either way, Triton says that for the next step, it's going to do some "fluid dynamic analysis of the model." We bet it will.
Source: Triton Submarines