Breakthrough Naviator is Aircraft and Submarine
As explained in a Technology report on Fox News, a two-tiered propeller system has solved the problem of transitioning from water to air and vice versa, enabling this “Naviator” hybrid to explore the depths of a body of water, then fly back to a ship or land base. The new design is only a tethered prototype, and its designers note that one of the challenges they face is scalability. Enabling larger versions to carry a meaningful payload that can perform work is a challenge, but it’s just a matter of time until this has been met.
F. Javier Diaz, a Rutgers University professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, explained that the breakthrough was using two sets of propellers. He said “the magic occurs” when the machine gets out of the water. This kind of drone could be launched from shore to inspect underwater portions of an oil rig, a bridge, a large tanker hull or debris that has fallen into the water. It would be faster and, it appears to us, less expensive than sending human divers undersea. See video here.