Superyachts, Airplanes, & Submarines Mashup

Why choose when you can have both?.  Grape jelly and peanut butter in the same jar? Done! Chocolate and wine together? Done! The great tase of seafood and beer all in the same wonderful can? Done!  The recent trend of mashups on the internets is goes from awful to fantastic.  Perhaps some of these are not the best examples of human ingenuity at work.  But as Paul Sloane notessometimes weird combinations represent major advances.

When you combine two ideas to make a third then two plus two can equal five.  In the ancient world one of the great discoveries was that by combining two soft metals – iron and tin – you could create a strong alloy – bronze.  In a similar way combining two minor inventions – the coin punch and the wine press – gave birth to the mighty printing press.

Behold the greatness of Westside Connection’s, an American gangsta rap group consisting of Ice Cube, WC and Mack 10, Bow Down mashuped with Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla.

To the working combinations list, I would add Nereus.  The deep-sea transformer that tranforms from a remotely to autonomous underwater vehicle.

Two new design offerings for the mashup list are the superyacht that transforms into a submarine and an airplane that does the same.  The U-010 Undersea Yacht is likely to be produced within the next 5 years for multi-millionaire venture capitalist and former board member of Hewlett Packard, Tom Perkins. The current design features the best of underwater exploration and 1960’s, Ratpack, loung swankiness.  Describe new species and habitat, drink a Manhattan, all while wearing smoking jacket.

In 2008, DARPA called for a stealthy aircraft that could dive below the surface and approach an enemy from underwater. But can the design community pull it off?

Aircraft must be light to minimise the power needed to get airborne, while subs need massive hulls to resist crushing…”What the Americans want sounds incredibly ambitious,” says UK Royal Navy commander Jonty Powis, head of NATO’s submarine rescue service. “If they achieve half of what they want from this machine they will be doing well.”

Of course, the Russians developed plans for exactly the same thing in 1936 but abandoned the program when the technological challenges became insurmountable.

In the 1960’s the Reid RFS-1 was developed by Donald Reid but received little interest from the U.S. military

Dr. M (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

4 comments on “Superyachts, Airplanes, & Submarines Mashup
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  3. Bronze is not made of iron and tin. It consists mostly of copper with tin added along with some other ingredients.

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