The latest Variable Attitude Submersible Hydrofoil is finally unveiled!
Tom “Doc” Rowe gives us a sneak preview of his newest BIONIC DOLPHIN: a two-place “pilot trainer” variant. Anyone want to learn how to FLY? J
The formal designation of the new vessel is BDN2T. Length is 18’ 6”. The engine is a General Motors CORVETTE LS2 aluminum V-8 engine producing over 400 horsepower to turn a radical screw. Performance specs are: 55+ mph surfaced; 35 submerged; 2.5’ snorkel depth; 50’ maximum depth for 20 seconds per dive. Operating range is 350 miles with two occupants.
The new BIONIC DOLPHIN features advanced composite double-hull construction with a syntactic foam core. It has taken approximately 16 months of dedicated construction to get it to the point where weight-and-balance float tests can be conducted.
I asked Doc if there was anything he wanted to say. His response: “Why do we do these crazy things we do?”
Don’t ask why, Doc. Just keep doing ‘em! J
Scroll down for pictures and info about this amazing new trans-environmental vehicle.
Computer-Generated image of the new two-place VASH “pilot trainer” concept.
The interior layout of the new two-place VASH, showing pilot’s seats, engine placement, snorkel, etc.
Another Computer-Generated image of the new VASH underway.
A Computer-Generated look at the view from the aft pilot’s station: note the forward video display.
A Computer-Generated image of the new VASH underway, submerged, at night.
Photograph of the actual boat, in the water during recent weight and balance tests.
An enhanced photo of the new VASH Pilot Trainer, with CompuGen canopies and engine cover in place.
NEW! Doc and the BIONIC DOLPHIN Crew recently returned from a 10,000-mile, 23-State road tour where they showed the new BDN2T hi-performance trainer to the public. Some of the following are pictures I’ve been holding onto for a while until such time as public disclosures about the new boat were actually made. Now that the USA tour is complete, I can show those to you, along with some new ones Doc sent to illustrate what the journey was like. There’s going to be a movie made about all this, so we all have that to look forward to.
Here’s a snapshot of the BDN2T in the shop during construction, showing an aft view of the Mercruiser Outrdive and engine compartment. One more example of an exceptional submersible achieved in humble surroundings. A big, fancy shop is not as important as the imagination, skill, and determination of the craftsman.
Here’s a look at the 400 HP Chevrolet Corvette V-8 engine that powers the BDN2T. Totally SICK, Bro! J
Of this photo, Doc said, “We ended up leaving home two days late, and then had to replace the trailer piece by piece all the way to Boston!”
BDN2T a the MTS show in Boston.
Doc gives movie producer Ron Howard and his wife the tour in New York.
Doc back in “Hollyweird” with Ross and Todd.
Ross getting some footage for the movie on the beach Doc grew up on.
Of this pic, Doc said he was “Chillin’ on the beach, waiting for some good sets”….of waves, I guess. J
Ben, Johnny Knoxville, and Doc Rowe at a private / premier screening of JACKASS II in L.A.
The BDN2T back at Lake Shasta. Can you imagine what it would be like to strap in and fire this puppy up? We’re talking pure adrenalin here. To most folks, your average, garden variety, boat or submersible is exciting enough. This is taking it to a whole ‘nother dimension. Next time I’m in California, I’m heading North. I have GOT to fly this machine!
Here are some computer-generated images of projected BIONIC DOLPHIN designs.
8 Passenger Sea Limo
“Cruisin’ the Bimini Wall in the 8-place Sea Limo.”
Five-Place VASH Taxi
All images and information on this page are provided courtesy of, and are copyrighted by, Thomas A. Rowe, TARCO Research / NoLand Corporation. Doc and I hope you’ll enjoy seeing them; but please do not copy, reproduce, distribute, or make unauthorized use of them in any way whatsoever without written permission of the owner. Thanks!
For more information about the BIONIC DOLPHIN, VASH, and other projects by TARCO Research, please visit their website via the link provided below.