Posted by Russ Josephs on February 3, 2010 04:30 PM
If you’re Virgin, you build an airplane that flies underwater just because you can.
To augment their already voluminous list of products and services – Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Megastores, Virgin Cola, Virgin Galactic – Sir Richard Branson has added the strangely named “Necker Nymph,” a three-person “aero-submarine,” designed to mimic the flight patterns of an airplane below the water’s surface. Yet another feather in Virgin's eclectic, cutting-edge, and adventurous branding cap.
How, you ask, is Virgin's submarine different than a traditional submarine? Instead of using ballasts to sink into the water, it utilizes downward “lift” on the wings, enabling it to “fly” down to depths of up to 36,000 feet. How deep is that you ask? Deeper than Mt. Everest is tall. Dives can last up to two hours, and the open cockpit affords 360-degree views.
Designed by Hawkes Ocean Technologies, Virgin touts the Necker Nymph as a "a new class of high-performance, positively buoyant vehicles which safely extend the overall capabilities of scuba, while offering the unique experience of underwater flight."
However, before you start planning your underwater plane ride, you should know that the Necker Nymph is only available if you rent the Necker Belle, Virgin’s 105-foot luxury catamaran. This will set you back $88,000 for a week. To take a ride in the Necker Nymph will cost an additional $25,000 per week. If that’s too rich for your blood, don’t give up hope; you can experience Virgin's exciting brand promise via Virgin Balloon Flights, which start at $140.00.