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Monday, January 4, 2010

Pedal-powered submarine to go on the market

A pedal-powered submarine capable of diving up to 30 metres has been developed by a Russian company.


Peda-powered submarine the alternative to the traditional holiday pedalo ride

Peda-powered submarine the alternative to the traditional holiday pedalo ride Photo: SOLENT NEWS

The craft can be powered by two people with no specialist training and moves at about walking pace.

The pedallers sit side by side in the craft, most of which is made from a special acrylic glass.

Its designers say this will give occupants "spectacular underwater views".

Apart from two sets of pedals, controls are limited to a steering wheel and a few buttons to make operating the submarine as simple as possible.

The sub was developed by Russian company called Marine Innovative Technologies Ltd (MIT) and is expected to cost £50,000 pounds although prices could drop to around £15,000 for bulk buyers.

MIT expect to sell to private buyers as well as companies hiring out the subs to tourists in popular resorts.

At 11ft long and 6ft 6in wide it is possible to transport the craft on the back of a car trailer. MIT will also offer a model with a low-power electric drive unit as well.

Safety features include an automatic system to release ballast for surfacing in an emergency.

MIT, based in St Petersburg, says the vehicle boasts a high degree of manoeuvrability and can go forwards, backwards, up and down, hover and rotate about its vertical axis.

Scientists at MIT say that no one has previously built an enclosed, pedal-powered submarine for tourists because they could not generate the required power.

However, MIT has patented an innovative design - utilising a phenomenon called the Coanda effect - which enables two people to create enough thrust.