Triton’s ‘Titanic’ explorer will reach new depths for bubble subs

Florida’s Triton Submarines has been making high-end civilian submarines for more than a decade now, dividing its sales between scientific explorers, commercial and cinematography clients, and ultra-rich superyacht owners looking to spruce up their wet garages with something more exciting than a jet ski.

According to News Atlas, the key to Triton’s market dominance has been its mastery of the acrylic sphere, with its bubble-subs giving drivers and passengers an ultra-widescreen panoramic view of the world under the water, totally free from optical distortion.

Triton’s new 13000/2 TE (Titanic Explorer) is designed to be the deepest-diving, acrylic-pressure-hulled submersible ever produced. It’s also the first with retractable Gull Wings. It was named following the 2019 exploration by a Triton of the RMS Titanic, according to the Robb Report, which was the first manned mission to visit the Titanic in 14 years.

The new model has a 13,123-ft (4,000m) depth rating for deep-ocean research. Triton says that the retractable Gull Wing design provides versatility during underseas operations. When the wings are retracted, the submarine is more streamlined for fast ascents and descents, while also being able to manoeuvre around tight spaces. When the wings are fully extended to nearly 20 feet, they become a platform for lighting and cameras and are designed for scientific observation or close macro video work.

“When we started thinking about the design of the Triton Titanic Explorer, we knew the unique visual capability of being the deepest diving acrylic hulled sub would need to be countered by the darkness at depth,” says John Ramsay, Triton’s principal design engineer. “What’s the point of going down if you can’t see anything when you get there? So, we developed the Gull Wings to counter just that.”

Used for filming the BBC’s award-winning Blue Planet II series, the submarine also has a “silent glide” feature for filming delicate species.

Dubbed an “aquatic DeLorean” by the Daily Mail, there’s currently no pricing available for the new Triton 13000/2 TE, but needless to say it’s likely to be out of most of our price ranges. However, to get a feel for the experience of exploring on Triton’s bubble sub, check out the video below.

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