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Sharks: '... then suddenly they attack'

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The hydrofoil
Ken Adam Artist
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This was a... a great experience for me and my department, and I... also there weren't any yachts fast enough, doing about 60 knots, which were to... to take the nuclear device and let it off in Miami, or somewhere, so I came up… Oh, I... Harry Saltzman and I, we... we found advertised a hydrofoil, in... in one of the islands – I can't remember which one – for $10,000, so we flew there. And the hydrofoil was one of the Rodriguez hydrofoils that they used in Italy, and it had been lying on dry ground and was not very shipworthy, but we brought it down to the shipyard at Miami and then found out that the Mercedes engines were useless. And so that's when the money builds up, and... and what I did, I built like a cocoon round the hydrofoil, so what it did, it increased the size of the hydrofoil, making it look like a good sized ocean-going yacht, and at the same time, it gave me the opportunity of the hydrofoil and the catamaran really dividing. And the experts in Miami said, 'You've got to be very careful because you can't have them solid, because of the independent movement', and so we had two one inch slip boards on either side.

So the two halves were separated, separately in the waves, and so on, and then the slip bolts came out and the hydrofoil just came out like... like a flash, you know. And it was a very exciting sequence. But, you see, everybody learnt, you know. I had, obviously, great shipbuilders in Miami who built... they repaired the hydrofoil, then built the catamaran, and... and all the underwater buoys and the sharks.

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Rodriguez hydrofoil, Mercedes engine, Miami, Harry Saltzman

Duration: 3 minutes, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 14 October 2011