Amazing ‘FLIPing’ Ship Turns 50
It is difficult to believe that FLIP, or Floating Instrument Platform, owned by the US Navy, was designed after a baseball bat.
First launched 50 years ago, the bizarre research vessel can go from a horizontal to vertical position while staying afloat and stable in heavy seas, even in 80-foot waves. That allows it to perform oceanographic research measurements with precision-like accuracy.
A normal ship rolls with storm waves, but FLIP is so stable it is almost immobile. The vessel flips from horizontal to a vertical position by pumping 700 tons of seawater into the ‘handle’ end. Air is then pumped into the opposite end, causing it to rise up out of the sea.
Everything on board is designed to flip along with the ship, including beds, ketchup and other condiments, and even the bathroom sinks…yes even the kitchen sink.