Into the deep.
In 2004, Langford contacted Rainier Cast Parts, a small metalcaster in Shelton, Wash. After working out some details, Rainier agreed to cast the first ever aluminum, battery-powered personal submersible. Most personal submersibles currently on the market cost between $1.2 and $1.7 million, are made of steel and use propane. Langford's is considerably less expensive.
The 500-lb. creation is a one-seater, with dimensions of 64 x 21 x 30 in. To enter the chamber, Langford perches on the edge and slides in, where he sits in a reclined position, much like you would in a poolside lounge chair. The acrylic, 360-degree hatch, winch doubles as a viewport, comes down over his head. According to Langford, "It's like there is nothing separating you from the water." Right and left foot pedals are used for turning, while hand-operated control sticks direct up-and-down motion.
Langford is excited at the prospect of others being able to enjoy his personal submersible in the future. He believes film crews, port authorities, marine biologists, niversities, tourists and post-hurricane crews could benefit from the innovative design.
The "little sub" will make its maiden voyage this month at the personal submersibles convention in Holland, Mich. Langford says he would love to have to go to a metalcaster one day and place an order for 10 of his submersibles. "I think my submersible can far outperform others out there [on the market] right now."
Size: 64 x 21 x 30 in.
Weight: 500 lbs.
Depth Capability: 3,000+ ft.
Speed: Estimated 10-12 knots
Metal: A356-T6 Aluminum
Casting Process: Sand
Laura Brown, Editorial Intern