LAKE TAHOE, Calif. -- When you're doing something fewer people have done than go into space, it's hard not to feel privileged.
That's especially true when it's riding inside a DeepFlight SuperFalcon, a two-person submersible that plies the depths of lakes and oceans like a sleek airplane.
Designed for owners of super yachts, and costing $1.7 million, these are machines only a few people will ever experience. But they allow those inside them to view the underwater world with clarity and closeness that almost no other method can offer.
Controlled on a fly-by-wire system, the SuperFalcon can dive to 120 meters, and has the nimble freedom of movement of a small plane. It can fly alongside dolphins, or dive with whales. And because it's positively buoyant, if something goes wrong mechanically, it simply floats back to the surface.
There are "no passengers" on a DeepFlight submersible like the SuperFalcon, explained Graham Hawkes, the company's founder and head designer. Each person aboard has flight controls, and either person can pilot it at any time.