HOW DEEP can they go?

The Ben Franklin - Grumman/Piccard PX-15

At 8:56 P.M. (EDT) July 14, 1969, Grumman Aerospace Corporation's research submarine Ben Franklin slipped beneath the surface of the Atlantic off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida.

Its mission: to investigate the secrets of the Gulf Stream as it drifted northward at depths of 600-2,000 feet; to learn the effects on man of a long-duration, closed-environment stressful voyage; to demonstrate the engineering-operational concepts of longterm submersible operation; and to conduct other scientific oceanographic studies.

This longest privately-sponsored undersea experiment of its kind ended more than 30-days and 1,444 nautical miles later, when the Franklin and its crew of six surfaced some 300 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, at 7:58 A.M. August 14, 1969.
Both craft and crew were A-OK.

As they say, the rest is history.....a history that largely remains untold.

General Specifications:

Displacement130 tons
Length48 feet, 9 inches
Beam (over motor guards)21 feet, 6 inches
Height20 feet
Operational Depth2000 feet
Collapse Depth4000 feet
Submerged Speed (maximum)4 knots
Life Support6 persons for 6 weeks
Payload5 tons
Total Power756 Kwh

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gene carl feldman ( (301) 286-9428