Necker Nymph

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Name: Necker Nymph
Owner: Virgin Limited Edition
Operator: Virgin Oceanic
Builder: Hawkes Ocean Technologies
Cost: £415,000
General characteristics
Class and type: DeepFlight Merlin
Displacement: 750kg
Length: 4.6m
Beam: 3.0m
Capacity: 3
Crew: 1

Necker Nymph is an open-cockpit submersible vehicle (a wet sub) that relies on hydrodynamic forces for anti-lift force, and is positively buoyant. It is the initial example of the DeepFlight Merlin class of submersibles manufactured by Hawkes Ocean Technologies, based on the DeepFlight submersible technology.[1] The Nymph is operated by Virgin Aquatic,[2] from the 105-foot yacht Necker Belle[3] that is based at the Virgin Limited Edition resort Necker Island.[4]

The Nymph is 15-feet long, capable of 360-degree "hydrobatic" maneuvers, diving up to 130-feet underwater, seating one pilot and two passengers in an open cockpit (necessitating wearing scuba gear).[5][6][7] Occupants have a "windscreen" to protect them from the water's slipstream. It is the first of the DeepFlight Merlin series of submersibles.[8]


  1. ^, "Necker Nymph: underwater flying becomes Virgin territory", Noel McKeegan, 21 January 2010 (accessed 25 July 2010)
  2. ^ Time Magazine, "Virgin Founder Richard Branson", Dan Fletcher, 1 September 2009 (accessed 25 July 2010)
  3. ^, "Necker Nymph ‘Underwater Aircraft’ announced by Virgin Limited Edition" (accessed 25 July 2010)
  4. ^ New York Daily News, "Richard Branson's latest toy? An underwater plane called 'Necker Nymph'", Catey Hill, Monday 1 February 2010 (accessed 25 July 2010)
  5. ^, "Richard Branson Has a New Toy: An Airplane-like Submarine!", 2 February 2010 (accessed 25 July 2010)
  6. ^, "What billionaires do on summer vacations", Katie Evans, 16 June 2010 (accessed 25 July 2010)
  7. ^ The Sun (London), "Submergin' Atlantic", Richard Moriarty, 29 January 2010 (accessed 25 July 2010)
  8. ^ Daily Mail, "What to get the man who has everything? An underwater plane of course", Claire Bates, 29 January 2010 (accessed 25 July 2010)

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