DARPA has had a long-standing Christmas wish—a high-speed, durable, fast, agile tacticly-beautiful submersible aircraft. Such a thing has evidently been on the wish list of many agencies in many countries for many years.
I found the Royal Navy’s version of the DARPA wish in the 24 January 1920 issue of The Illustrated London News—the Tessaurian, a dreamable plane capable of long flight and long trips under the sea, as well as being able to float on the water and land on dry earth.
Even the modern Tessaurian has been evasive—certainly this 1920 version is nothing short of nothing. The craft just looks too bumpy to do well in any sort of fluid environment, air or liquid, the thickness of its skin (necessary for the heavy undersea pressures) looking just too heavy to lift off the ground. Of course the powertrain is suspect, and the retracted wings don’t look like they would do anything to glide the beast further underwater, assuming it got there (on purpose) to begin with. Even though I doubt that it could fly, it may be able to float a bit—I do think that it could sink like a champ.
so I reproduce these heady, unacknowledged and unclaimed drawings (“designed by
a leading aircraft company”), as I can’t find anything offhand online that
comes remotely close to its age and concept.
undergraduate (!) team (headed by Daniel B. Coltey et alia )at Auburn came up with
the following research paper earlier this year: “Conceptual Design of a
Submersible Tactical Insertion Aircraft” “This…senior design program…the
creation of a conceptual design for a submersible airplane is being undertaken
as a response in part to a challenge by the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA).” The authors then state the checklist of DARPA’s needs: “The design is expected to be a clandestine,
coastal insertion vehicle with specific abilities of an airplane, surface ship,
and submarine vessel, which would greatly increase the tactical ability of the