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Global James Bond Day... Thunderball SCUBA device

Discussion in 'Scuba Diving TV & Movies' started by Fibonacci, Oct 4, 2020.

  1. Fibonacci

    Fibonacci Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Today is official Global James Bond Day, an annual celebration of the 007 franchise held on October 5th. This date marks the release of the first James Bond film DR. NO, in 1962.

    Required to use up annual leave but still in hard lockdown here in Melbourne and unable to travel :(

    SO, in celebration of the official James Bond Day I decided to recreate that iconic twin cylinder breathing device featured in Thunderball... it always gets mentioned in any Bond film discussion by divers.

    Watched Thunderball again, and working off some screengrabs I found online plus known dimensions (for example, the Romeo Y Julietta aluminium cigar tube is 19.6mm ID) I was able to construct a fairly accurate 3D CAD model.

    Thunderball Breather Sectioned Tube 5 Web.jpg
    Hat tip to the original props department at Eon Productions... it is very difficult to get all parts to fit inside the cigar tube, there must have been multiple prototypes in the days before 3D CAD!

    I designed a rudimentary rotary on/off valve that fits the package constraints… sadly, laws of physics get in the way regarding a working LP regulator which fits inside a cigar tube!

    Thunderball Breather Sectioned Detail 1 Cartoon.jpg

    The model makers obviously based the twin cylinders on 8g CO2 Sparklet bulbs which would have been a common item in 1960's Britain, rather than externally threaded 12g C02 inflator cylinders. So in order to get clearance around the mouthpiece and still fit into the cigar tube they added an extender piece. Standard 12g threaded cylinders will fit into the cigar case using a different adaptor.

    Thunderball Breather Exploded 1 Web.jpg

    Thunderball Breather 12g with Tube 2 Web.jpg
    And what about cylinder capacity I hear you ask?

    I found the CO2 cylinder MSDS, and they are surprisingly strong... fill pressure 57 BAR, test pressure 235 BAR burst pressure >500 BAR.

    100 BAR could be considered a 'Cave Fill' or more accurately an 'Evil Genius Grotto Fill' :cool:

    So I calculated the tiny cylinder’s capacity at different fill pressures at surface and at 5m (omitting gas temperature/Compressibility Z factor for simplicity).

    Happy to stand corrected, but my calculations based on Atmospheric Pressure of 1.01325 BAR at the surface and 1.51847 BAR at 5m:

    Nominal_Capacity (L) = Water_Volume (L) × Working_Pressure (BAR) ÷ Atmospheric_Pressure

    CO2 Cylinder Capacity Calculations Summary.PNG

    The original Studio model filled to 100 BAR would have held 4.8 breaths at the surface, 3.2 breaths at 5m using a resting tidal volume of 0.5L per breath.

    At a working tidal volume of 1.1L per breath, our hero would have 2.2 breaths at the surface or only 1.5 breaths at 5m!
    Not very useful…

    I’m sure Q would have made an Extended Range MKII version based on the 12g cylinder.

    In that case at 100 BAR fill Bond has 7.2 resting breaths or 3.3 working breaths at the surface.

    At 5m 4.8 resting breaths or 2.2 working breaths… getting better.

    Q would not have to suffer tiresome budget constraints on his Black Projects, so maybe a MKIII device could use high performance custom Titanium cylinders and reach 235 BAR or even 300 BAR fills!

    For a 12g cylinder with a 300 BAR fill Bond gets a leisurely 21.6 resting breaths or 9.8 working breaths at the surface. At 5m he gets 14.4 breaths resting and 6.5 working breaths… sufficient to avoid rampaging Tiger sharks or aquatic Spectre goons with admittedly cool black double hose rigs!

    Clearly I have W-A-Y too much time on my hands, but at least its kept me busy and one step away from going crazy in the end room after months of WFH in CV-19 isolation… with actual diving still a distant dream.

    Enjoy :D
    Jared0425, JMBL, StefinSB and 17 others like this.
  2. Jcp2

    Jcp2 Literally virtually diving

  3. Jcp2

    Jcp2 Literally virtually diving

  4. Jcp2

    Jcp2 Literally virtually diving

  5. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    and thus endeth the lesson...

    Rich1280, jale and skippy311 like this.
  6. Bigbella

    Bigbella ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Francisco
    Fantastic! I sooooo want one!

    I recall that one of those godawful Star Wars prequel films, with Liam Neeson, if I am not mistaken, ripped that gadget off from Thunderball . . .
    Fibonacci likes this.
  7. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    @Fibonacci, but understand that Q and MI6 had access to extraordinary technology, far beyond what we've got now for mere mortals. They could fill those tiny cylinders to 10k bar.
    Bigbella and Fibonacci like this.
  8. OTF

    OTF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New England
    super high pressure carbon-wrapped steel or titanium cartridges could probably get you all the way up to 3 gulps of air at 5m. Using pure O2 might you a little longer as well, if you're able to hold your breath for a while without popping a lung.

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