Saturday, June 9, 2012

The FS-1 Flying Sub


One of my favorite TV shows as a kid was “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” It was made in the mid 60s as a futuristic show set in the 70s and later the 80s. The main submarine in the show called the Seaview (billed as the first privately owned nuclear submarine) was cool enough, but when they introduced a mini-sub that could fly in the second season, it turned a lot of heads. There were toy versions and models of it for sale in every department store. They called it the FS-1 (Flying Sub-1), but there was at least one other called the FS-2 (they kept crashing these in the stories, so the following week a new one would show up.)


Obviously most of the footage on the show, especially the underwater scenes were done with miniature models, but what I just found out is that the FS-1 was an actual flying sub made by General Dynamics and Reynolds Metal in 1964-65. It featured a pair of massive solid-fuel turbine engines and really could both fly and submerge. It was used by the Navy until the mid 70s. Here it is:


Some of the flying footage on the show was actually done with the real thing! It was built to look like a stingray, and they succeeded except for the yellow color. But who knew this thing was rea!? And here I was saving all those Bazooka Joe wrappers for the coveted human powered submarine prize thinking it might be as cool as the FS-1 when I got it—not!


16 comments:

  1. I was actually more of a Double Bubble kind of guy.

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  2. I wonder how much the stingray cost to building
    and where is it today?

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  3. I dunno. I'd like to know more about it too. There's not a whole lot of information to be found though.

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  4. Is there any video of the real FS-1, flying and
    submerged under water. Where is the real FS-1 now?
    I would like to find out more about the real one.

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    1. I've never been able to find out any more about it. I wish I knew where it was now too.

      As far as video goes, some of the shots of the FS-1 on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea were real shots of it flying and under-water. But many of them were faked, and it's hard to tell which is which sometimes. Other than that show, I don't know of any other footage. There's probably some out there somewhere though. Certainly the US Navy must have a lot of footage somewhere.

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  5. Was the FS-1 ever referred to "The Stingray" or am I thinking of a different ship??

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  6. Dude, I hate to break it to you, but the description of the FS-1 provided on the Sci-Fi Airshow page (http://www.scifiairshow.com/ships-the-flying-sub.html) is fictional -- it's meant to sound like a plausible story for an FS-1 that actually exists.

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  7. FYI, here's the actual cover the April 1964 Nat'l Geographic. You'll notice that the one on the SciFi Airshow page is not the same.

    http://i.imgur.com/YyKzgcg.jpg

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  8. Yea it is a dirty trick....fell for it myself over a few minutes time until i realized that i not only built the model in 1971, but that the Panasonic transistorized pocket radio and Schwinn's ten speed derailleur system didn`t come out until around 1967; how is something like this supposed to fly?
    A 1960`s navigation computer that supposedly landed on the moons surface was only as powerful as an old Texas Instruments pocket calculator, this FS-1 has no moving control surfaces. Either this thing was a movie mock-up or someone desperately needed to fulfill a boyhood fantasy at great length and expense and build one. The fiberglass molds and then all the complex contours. A boat shop of sorts no doubt did this.
    Cousteau`s yellow sou-coupe is the only thing that ever came close.

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  9. I wonder how much it would cost today to build another on with today's composite materials and state-of-the-art gear inside and engines ? Have it modified with 4 propellers for underwater Maneuverability within the fins ?

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  10. Yes, i saw it in 1969 or earlier. It broke the sound barrier from dead stop. Hubberring over over a telephone pole while i watched. Almost mad no sound. Just a brush of air, stopping and starting up again. All these years.I KNEW they built it but i also know that they the air force had anti gravity tech, that they never used in 1969. I thought it be a ufo for years but no. I WAS US.

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    1. Mr. Van Horne, The Flying Sub that you witnessed was it the original or was it an Upgrade of the original 1964 Flying Sub ? Curious if it's the same or does the Navy have 2 Flying Subs? Original and an Upgraded model ?

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