Volkswagen’s caged Beetle Convertible swims with the sharks — Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

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Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

Volkswagen’s caged Beetle swims with the sharks

expert and marine biologist Tipple navigated through infested waters

A convertible cage may be a complete oxymoron, but and partners have built one for Channel’s upcoming Shark More than just a exhibit, the shark cage is a watercraft with impressive Gizmag talked to Luke the marine biologist, shark expert and TV personality responsible for and driving the craft, to find out about what it’s to scooter around shark-infested in a skeletal Beetle ragtop.

is Volkswagen’s second straight as a presenting sponsor of Shark Last year, it commissioned a Beetle Shark Cage roved the ocean floor the help of two thrusters. This working with Tipple and his along with Discovery’s entertainment team, it pulled the top modeling the cage after the debuted 2013 Beetle The dimensions of the cage are within 1/4 (6 mm) of the production convertible.

Though Tipple’s team had the framework from last Beetle, this year’s entailed more than sawing off the top. Tipple it a ground-up rebuild completed the course of about two weeks of days.

They gave us the we turned it into a machine, says. All they said is want to make a convertible out of the old I said, well if we’re to do that, can’t we do some of the that we didn’t have to do last year, such as the power, making it fly, all the stuff that we had dreamed for it. And bought the idea; they it.

Last year’s model was to the ocean floor, using thrusters to roll its way through the of sharks. To give this one the ability of thrusting through the like a submarine (more an underwater small plane, as describes it ) the team added an power plant. The lithium scooters from Florida-based which Tipple classifies as the powerful underwater propeller in the world, were custom with fixed aluminum and 85 pounds of thrust.

With plenty of power on the team then had to lift the metal vessel off the bottom of the

Underwater submarines have big fins that stick out the typically up front, that your pitch, Tipple Because of the design specs, we put fins out from the actual Our challenge was having the fins

The team installed front-mounted planes tucked underneath the iconic rounded eyes. The of each plane is controlled by a left and right foot The steering wheel controls the propeller scooters and front moving them side to The pitch of the propeller scooters is with independent handles. An air increases buoyancy when air is into the tubular aluminum

It’s really accurately I can fly around, through, under, pretty much anything. I we were flying around sensitive coral that we never want to bump or destroy or damage in any way, and I was confident navigating within 6 of that coral pretty at all times.

Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

Tipple admits a few exuberant chuckles that the was a lot of fun. However, it wasn’t a cruise through the water. He and his had to learn on the job, testing the and figuring out the controls on the shoot, a that included a couple of

We knew the theory behind the would work, but we didn’t time to test it. So we literally had to go on the knowing that there’s be some bugs we need to out.

It was a big learning curve for me. ever done this, so it was territory. It’s quite work. I’m controlling my planes with my left and foot; I’m steering and right with my wheel; constantly adjusting the pitch of independent motors with the that you’ll see right the handbrake would be. Added to I’m also adjusting my air supply through the air banks and the of the vehicle.

The Volkswagen spots set to run throughout Week will show driving his Beetle Convertible at 4 knots, taking a subterranean trip through 50-foot, reef, lemon, and nurse waters off the coast of the Bahamas.

driving with the top down a bad neighborhood of multiple types of might seem crazy the outside looking in, it was just day of work for Tipple. He regularly freely with sharks, Great Whites, so the Beetle was more for effect than

I’m regularly outside the with hammerheads and tiger lemons, Caribbeans. In all honesty, are a very cautious predator. a vehicle like this, not really in any danger of them too close or trying to get in. Once motors are going and I’m along, I must look a great, big battleship coming them. They’ll swim

Shark Week begins on August 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. and Volkswagen also teamed up on a web feature that will 360-degree POV footage from the Beetle.

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