Graham Hawkes (born 23 December 1947) is a London-born marine engineer and submarine designer. Through the 1980s and 1990s, Hawkes designed 70% of the manned submersibles produced in those two decades. As late as 2007, he held the world solo dive record of 910 metres (2,990 ft) in the submarine Deep Rover.
Hawkes invented the first robotic machine gun, the Telepresent Rapid Aiming Platform (TRAP), the first weapon he designed. He had been inspired to create a safer way for police to deal with situations after watching a shootout in North Hollywood, Los Angeles on television.
In 1976, in association with OSEL of Great Yarmouth, UK, Hawkes designed the one-atmosphere deep diving suit Wasp. Two years later, he designed the one-man microsubmersible Mantis, which included remote manipulator arms. A Mantis sub was used in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only", which he himself piloted in a large tank at the Pinewood Studios, UK.
By 1982, he had completed the Challenger submersible, capable of diving 5,000 feet (1,500 m).
In 1981, he designed the first of the Deep Rover-series of 1- and 2-man submersibles. A Deep Rover submarine was used in the 3-D IMAX film "Aliens of the Deep". In the same year, Hawkes founded Deep Ocean Technology (DOT) with Earle.
An insight into his personality was provided by a scene that occurred during the sea trials of the first Deep Rover vehicle. Operating near San Nicholas Island, CA, from a converted mudboat the R/V EGABRAG, the sub had been launched after dark with Hawkes as pilot. He had dutifully reported the descent depth every 100 meters, down to 1000 meters on the Underwater telephone (UQC). Amongst the people on the bridge of the R/V EGABRAG, where the UQC was installed were the Captain and helmsman, his then wife Sylvia Earle, a reporter, cameraman and sound man from a San Francisco TV station, the Operations Manager from CANDIVE and the Diving Safety Officer from the University of Rhode Island, Phillip Sharkey. Hawkes reported, "1000 meters." There was a quiet ripple of applause on the bridge, and the reporter took the UQC microphone. He pressed the "push to talk" button and asked Hawkes, "What does it mean to you to be there, at 3000 feet?" The reporter was clearly expecting the flowery prose that Sylvia Earle was so justly famous for, but all he got from Hawkes was a clipped British, "It means my calculations were correct."
This exploit, in 1985, set the world solo dive depth record in a submarine. (3000 ft/1000m off San Clemente Island on Deep Rover), which was soon repeated by Sylvia Earle, and another team member.
Hawkes left the day-to-day operations of Deep Ocean Engineering to found Hawkes Ocean Technologies (HOT), with his third wife, Karen, in 1996. Hawkes became the San Francisco headquartered company's marketing manager. HOT launched the Necker Nymph and DeepFlight Super Falcon which Hawkes designed.
In 2000, he completed the DeepFlight Aviator, the first positively buoyant submersible that relies on hydrodynamic forces on its wings for diving. It was also the first research submersible to attain a speed of 10 mph underwater. The first example of the type is called Spirit of Patrick.
In 2010, the first example of his DeepFlight Merlin design was completed and delivered to Richard Branson. It was named the Necker Nymph and is a wet submarine that is positively buoyant and utilizes hydrodynamic forces to dive. It is also capable of hydrobatic maneuvers.
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The undersea explorers who announced last month that they might have discovered five Navy planes that vanished mysteriously in 1945, laying a foundation for the myth of a craft-swallowing Caribbean twilight zone, said that on closer inspection, the planes they found turned out not to be those of the fabled 'Flight 19.' ... Mr. Hawkes said at a news conference that in four of the five cases, the tail numbers of the planes his team had found did not match those of the lost aircraft.
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