43 km/h above water, 50 m below

Italian company iSpace2o has announced the start of production of the first hull of its Deepseaker DS1 submersible hydrofoil. This vehicle will hydrofoil out of the water at speeds of up to 23 knots (43 km/h), or dive up to 50m deep for underwater mischief.

It is the first boat of this type, according to the company itself, because no other fast boat is also capable of diving.

Plus, it’s fully electric, powered by quiet “Deepspeed” jets, designed and built by Sealence.

Electric boats often have very limited range, but if you can get that boat up to displacement speed, its hull will lift out of the water, greatly reducing drag and increasing effective range.

iSpace2o has not yet specified battery size or range estimates, but notes that it is investigating a alternative hydrogen propulsion system of greater autonomy.

Another key innovation, according to the company, is the partnership with Like-A-Fish, which will provide the Deepseaker with “almost unlimited oxygen” for the DS1’s four-person cabin. This technology uses an electric centrifuge to put seawater under low pressure, extracting dissolved oxygen to power the submarine’s respiratory system.

This device, which consumes around 150W of power per person, was reportedly prototyped to some extent around 12 years ago, but Like-A-Fish hasn’t updated its website since around 2015.

iSpace2o promises “Tesla-style” artificial intelligence navigation, inflatable airbags to bring the spacecraft to the surface in an emergency, an augmented reality-inspired display, built-in GoPros, hydrophones for underwater audio sailor and a double-hull structure that can keep the cabin protected even when a collision compromises the exterior.

The company says it is starting to produce the first DS1 headset, paid for with a loan from Invitelia. The Giancarlo Zema Group will put the final touches on the design, and the F1 H20 Blaze Performance team “will take care of the construction of the hull and the development of the vehicle”.

What is this thing for? Well, to fill superyacht garages and provide “immersion experiences” through tour operators, like the vast majority of small submersibles.

iSpace2o says it opted for 10 ships from a major cruise line. Some aspects of this project make us think it’s a long one, but it’ll be great if all goes well.

Going through ispace2o.com

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