North Tulsa Couple Building Personal Submarines

Tuesday, June 1st 2010, 4:26 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- For years, The News On 6's Rick Wells has been looking for people building a submarine in their front yard so he could tell their story.

He found them! Or better yet... they found him.

So Rick went to North Tulsa and found a front yard with not one, but two submarines. They are owned by Doug and Kay Jackson, a computer guy and a teacher, who are into building personal submarines. They have the Seeker, they built in 2003, and the Argonaut Junior.

"This submarine we did starting in November of last year, last fall," said Kay, who is a retired teacher.

It is a real submarine, based on one built in 1894 by Simon Lake. He was looking for investors for a larger project, the Jackson's looking for adventure and fun. They started small, first a 1/4 scale model.

"It'll be a lot more fun once we get in the water, that'll be exciting," said Jackson.

As reluctant as Rick might be to go down in it, they are looking forward to the adventure.

Technically it's considered an ambient sub. It's not pressurized inside, so it can only go as deep as a person with scuba gear, maybe 90 feet. They'll test it at Lake Tenkiller at depths of 20-30 feet. Five tons of lead and water in the ballast tanks will help take it to the bottom and compressed air tanks aboard will provide air to breath, and help float it to the surface.

It could be a Beatles song…

"This would be the brown submarine," said Jackson.

The Jackson's have a website so we can follow the Argonaut Jr. project. Eventually they hope to have materials available to teachers with lesson plans on pressure and submarine history through the website as well.