A new underwater glider is past the design stage and ready for production, according to its inventor.
Glenn Faires, owner of Golden Rock Dive Center on St. Eustatius, first introduced a model of the “DiveGlider” at the 2012 DEMA Show.
“When I showed it at DEMA that model was so new it had not been in the water yet,” Faires told DeeperBlue.com. “The purpose of showing it was market research, which by the way was off the charts. After exhibiting my dive center for 18 years I never had a response anything like this, no one walked past my booth with out stopping for more info.”
Since DEMA, Faires has been testing and refining the DiveGlider, making it stronger and lighter and easier to use, with demos done in Bonaire, Curacao, and St. Eustatius for further market research.
“What we are seeing is that, experienced or beginner, everyone has the same responses: ‘Lots of fun,’ ‘more powerful than they thought,’ ‘want to do it more,’” Faires said.
“We are now offering what we call a ‘Test Flight’ similar to a discover scuba for gliding, and are now building gliders for several dive centers. We set up our web site a few weeks ago,” he added.
A water sports enthusiast and professional all his life, Faires said, “I believe bouyancy gliding could be like Kite boarding for divers, and everyone who tries it agrees.”
The DiveGlider allows divers to move through the water with speed like never before in a similar way to marine life without mechanical sound. Other attributes are no batteries, no electric motor or propellers, and very little maintenance. The energy comes from scuba tanks and weights and the forward motion is created by manipulating its buoyancy and changing the angle of attack of the wing.
The DiveGlider is presently being built to order and is available to fly in St. Eustatius with Faires, who is seeking manufacturing, distribution and licensing agreements.