The 'Yellow Submarine'
A huge favourite and inspiration for kids of all ages!
We were lucky enough to obtain this vehicle from a public events company in Sussex, who had built it as a spatial disorientation vehicle for team building games. At just over 5 metres long, this is one of our most portable and entertaining exhibits. In great demand for both internal and external functions and educational experiences of all kinds.
Originally a submersible side scanning sonar towed behind a Royal Naval Frigate, the events company turned it upside down and added the conning tower, back axle from a Suzuki van, front wheel steering from a Land Rover and the front wheel from a Mini. Power was provided via a Honda stationary engine to drive the rear axle via a chain drive and Suzuki high/low ratio gearbox.
Because this is one of the most in demand exhibits, we have converted it to electric power for safety. This has been carried out using the rear axle, speed controller and motor from a golf buggy. We have also added the side door, portholes, music player and flag masts and flashing lights. Considerable technological issues are faced when chopping and adding motors and gearing ratios including power consumption, battery type, charging rates etc. Very little of this information is off the shelf.
We would not normally customize exhibits this way but the 'yellow submarine' is more a super imagination grabbing visual ambassador for the museum than a truly amphibious vehicle. Having said this, it did come with a guarantee that it would reach depths exceeding 5,000 metres! Spotted the catch - yes; no guarantee that it would come up again!
It is however hugely inspirational and its continued development lessons reflect much of the mechanical and inspirational resourcefulness shown by many of our other exhibits.