Fins for Aquaticans

Inhabitants of the undersea will need some form of mobility outside their habitats. SCUBA gear is an obvious answer but while conventional fins are far more efficient then no fins they are no where near as efficiant as a dolphins fins. The answer may be to copy the dolphin. That what the creators of the Lunocet have done:

Culminating decades of research, engineer and inventor Ted Ciamillo, an inventor and engineer in Athens, Ga., who made his name (and fortune) building high-performance bicycle brakes, created what he has dubbed the Lunocet, a 2.5-pound (1.1-kilogram) monofin made of carbon fiber and fiberglass that attaches to an aluminum foot plate at a precise 30-degree angle. With almost three times the surface area of conventional swim fins, the semiflexible Lunocet provides plenty of propulsion. The key to the 42-inch- (one-meter-) wide fin’s speed: its shape and angle, both of which are modeled with scientific precision on a dolphin’s tail.

These sprinters of the sea can swim up to 33 miles (53 kilometers) per hour and turn up to 80 percent of their energy into thrust.

“The mechanism functions like a wing to generate a lift force,” which is directed forward and turned into thrust, says Frank Fish, a marine biologist at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. “This propulsive mechanism is extremely efficient compared to conventional rigid marine propellers.” Fish, a specialist in the swimming morphology of marine mammals, provided Ciamillo with data from CAT scans of dolphins’ tails that he used to design his fins, which went on the market last year for $1,800 each.

(thanks to fellow League of the New Worlds member Sarah Jane Pell for the tip)


1 Response to “Fins for Aquaticans”

  1. 1 Swim Fins March 21, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Those are easily the craziest swim fins I have ever seen. the guy is like a dolphin. looks like so much power, Absolutely crazy!

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