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The Surf Shark helps humans swim like a fish

October 27, 2005 NEW IMAGES UPLOADED The Surf Shark and the Electric Dolphin are electric aquatic vehicles with a difference – instead of holding onto them as with all other diving and swimming aids, the Shark and Dolphin attached to your feet and propel you from behind, just like a fish and nearly as fast. The Surf Shark is the pick of the pair for speed, having two motors, each delivering 82 pounds of thrust and capable of pushing a swimmer through the water at more than 5 knots (10km/h) – that’s roughly twice the speed of Grant Hackett at World Record 1500 metre pace. The Dolphin has just one motor but makes up for its lesser speed with twice the life, being capable of delivering about half that speed for over an hour before needing a battery swap.  Read More

US Navy orders Trimaran Littoral Combat Ship

The US Navy has announced the award of a construction contract for the Austal designed General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project. The US $223 million contract for the first of two planned “Flight 0” vessels follows a similar order for the single-hulled Lockheed Martin LCS last December. The two LCS ships will be evaluated and the contracts allow for up to two of each of the two designs to be constructed prior to a decision on how many of each will be ordered, with a fleet of between 50 and 100 LCSs expected to be required over the next 30 years. The General Dynamics LCS is a far different ship to the Lockheed Martin LCS with the secret to its remarkable speed and agility being the aluminium trimaran hull. The LCSs will be the most advanced high speed military craft in the world and are intended to operate in coastal areas globally. As a key part of the US Navy fleet, they will be highly manoeuvrable and configurable to support mine detection / elimination, anti-submarine and surface warfare. The trimaran hull form permits the ship to carry a large capacity of weapons packages with space to land two helicopters.  Read More

The Amfibidiver: an amphibious submarine

Belgian diving enthusiast and inventor Rene Baldewijns found that dive boats were rarely available when or where he wanted to dive and that a lot of dive time was lost looking for the area he wanted to dive in. So he conceived a boat that that could drive itself off the trailer, along the road and into the water whilst carrying larger quantities of air and equipment than any diver could carry. His dream boat could travel to the dive area like a speedboat and then literally ... pull the plug out and dive. Whilst dived, it had to be able to cruise around underwater until he found the right area, then park on the bottom as an underwater base to support diving activities for two. When finished, the idea was to blow the ballast, surface, and return to land at high speed, driving out of the water and onto its trailer. The prototype he built has achieved all those aims.  Read More

NightConqueror Thermal Imager to Be Installed on U.S. Navy's Fastest Ship

September 14, 2005 Thermal imaging goes way beyond infrared imaging in most situations and it's not surprising that the US Navy will be using advanced thermal imaging in its next generation of warship. The fastest ship in the US Navy is the Sea Fighter FSF-1, which can operate at speeds greater than 50 knots and has a range of approximately 4,000 nautical miles. The Sea Fighter is currently being fitted with an advanced NightConqueror thermal imager. The produces unmatched high-resolution thermal imagery for 24-hour observation in degraded weather conditions (smoke and obscurants). Sea Fighter, previously known as Littoral Surface Craft Experimental or "X-Craft," will be used to evaluate the hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility and propulsion system efficiency of high-speed vessels. Sea Fighter will also serve as a test bed for developmental mission packages and as a risk reduction experimental vessel for the Littoral Combat Ship and Deepwater Program concepts of operation development at sea.  Read More

Underwater mask offers five times the view of conventional masks

Snorkelling and diving is fun, but with the narrow view afforded by most dive masks, situational awareness and hence safety is greatly restricted. For over a decade, it has been Jon Kranhouse’s mission to revolutionize underwater vision and to perfect his designs, Kranhouse hired the same engineers NASA sought to fix the once-fuzzy Hubble Space Telescope. It worked, and Hydrooptix’ first mask lets divers have a view almost five times wider than the view available through conventional flat masks and the vision is completely distortion free, significantly improving the vision, enjoyment, safety and situational awareness of the wearer.  Read More

Alinghi clean sweeps Louis Vuitton act 6 America's Cup lead-up

August 31, 2005 Since 1851, the America’s Cup has transcended the sport of sailing to become a symbol of the pursuit of excellence. So it has been interesting to watch as the lead-up races to the next America’s Cup to be held in 2007 in Valencia, Spain play out. Racing for the 32nd America’s Cup (Valencia) began with a series of Louis Vuitton Acts in 2004. The competition continues in 2005 and 2006, with several more Louis Vuitton Acts in Malmo-Skane (Sweden), Trapani (Sicily), and Valencia, the Host City of the 32nd America’s Cup. Currently, ACT 6, a series of seven days of match racing in Malmo Sweden has just concluded with the Defender, Team Alinghi, clean sweeping (11-0) and maintaining an unbeaten record in the 2005 match racing season under helmsman Jochen Schuemann . Act 7, a series of fleet races over three days begins on Friday.  Read More

Among the first technologies tested will be an underwater discharge waterjet from Rolls-Ro...

August 27, 2005 The US Navy christened its Advanced Electric Ship Demonstrator (AESD) this week, naming the futuristic ship SEA JET and showing it to the media for the first time. The 133-foot vessel will serve as a model representing a destroyer-size surface ship and will be launched on Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, where it will be used for test and demonstration of various technologies. An underwater discharge waterjet from Rolls-Royce Naval Marine called AWJ-21, will be among the first technologies tested. It allows vessels to operate in shallow water with increased maneuverability and stealth.  Read More

Sealegs unveils rugged aluminium amphibious craft

August 24, 2005: New Zealand-based Sealegs has unveiled an all-new aluminium amphibious craft. The 5.6m amphibious D-Tube features a 4mm marine grade aluminium hull with 3mm aluminium D-Tube shaped pontoons. An inboard air-cooled 16hp Honda engine powers hydraulic wheels motors, allowing the D-Tube to drive at up 10kmph on land and 60kmph on the water. Once in the water, a button is pushed to hydraulically retract the wheels and the Sealegs D-Tube becomes a normal sea-going boat. The boat is based on the boat which halved Sir Richard Branson's English Channel record in June. The standard SeaLegs boat cut the previous record of one hour, forty minutes and six seconds to 43 minutes and 12 seconds ( see pics inside of record). Gizmag has covered a wide range of amphibious vehicles in recent times, including the original launch of Sealegs, the Gibbs Aquada Sportcar, the Gibbs Humdinga 4WD amphibian, the Platypus 4WD amphibian, the Rinspeed Splash, the Phibicat and the Amphicar.  Read More

The technology behind the new superyachts

August 15, 2005 New Zealand super maxi 'Alfa Romeo' has the potential to shatter race records around the world, predicts owner and skipper, Neville Crichton, having spent two weeks testing the new super maxi prior to the Hahn Premium Race Week at Hamilton Island (20-27 August 2005). After the Whitsundays regatta, the first major record in the sights of Neville Crichton is the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race mark of 1 day 19 hours 48 minutes 02 seconds for the 628 nautical mile race in the Tasman Sea. "Given a relatively constant breeze of 15 knots with slightly sprung sheets the new boat will average 22 knots and we can sail the course in 1 day and 5 hours," he says with confidence.  Read More

UKP14,000 yacht takes handicap win in Rolex Fastnet Race

August 13, 2005 One of the smallest yachts in the fleet, a Nicholson 33, has won the Rolex Fastnet Race on handicap. Jean-Yves Chateau and his six crew sailed Iromiguy across the line at 1224BST yesterday afternoon after more than five days at sea. While there are other yachts still bowling in moderate westerly breezes towards Plymouth, none can better Iromiguy's time. For a race traditionally dominated by big boats, Iromiguy's victory is a dream come true, proof that just occasionally the Corinthian weekend enthusiast can prevail in an unremarkable boat. What is remarkable is that you have to go back 30 years, to 1975, for the last time that a yacht less than 40 feet long won this offshore classic. And the boat that won it then was Golden Delicious, a Nicholson 33, the very same design as Iromiguy.  Read More

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