The Super Falcon, however, dives underwater like a whale, using thrust to generate "downward lift" to help the vehicle descend below the water's surface. Essentially, the submarine uses lift and drag - the principles of regular flight - to "soar" underwater.
This means the Super Falcon is always positively buoyant - or remains floating unless some mechanical device or additional weight is used - which is a key safety feature of the winged submersible, according to company officials. If an emergency occurs, or the vehicle loses power underwater, it will simply float back to the surface.
"It looks like a James Bond wild machine, but it is positively buoyant, so it's really safe," Karen Hawkes, Graham's wife and the vice president for marketing, told the Chronicle.
Hawkes Ocean Technologies, founded in 1996, got its start designing submersibles for the military and scientific communities. In the mid-1990s, the company began developing winged submersibles aimed at the luxury market.
The Super Falcon currently retails for $1.7 million, and includes on-site pilot and operations training. The vehicles are among the latest high-tech items geared at the super-rich, and the company already boasts some famous clients: Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire British tycoon, has already made several dives in the DeepFlight Super Falcon, and famed American adventurer Steve Fossett commissioned a single-seater sub capable of diving to the bottom of the Marianas Trench before his untimely death in 2007.