was a fictional futuristic submarine
featured in Gerry Anderson
’s TV series UFO
, operated by the secretive SHADO organisation as part of Earth's defences against alien aggressors.
Like many Anderson vehicles, Skydiver was designed by Derek Meddings
. It could be distinguished from a conventional submarine by its prominent conning tower and by the supersonic twin-engined interceptor fighter that replaced the bow section.
An unspecified number of Skydivers (at least four) patrolled Earth's oceans. Each Skydiver was numbered and the composite sections were referred to as Sky or Diver 1, 2, 3 etc. Skydiver 1 was most frequently seen in the course of the series, and if a generic reference was made to 'Skydiver' (e.g. the command 'put Skydiver on alert') then this was the one that tended to be referred to. However, the ill-fated Skydiver 3 was seen briefly in the episode "The Psychobombs", and in the same episode references were made to Sky 4.
When a UFO penetrated SHADO's defences and reached Earth's atmosphere, the nearest Skydiver would be alerted. The Sky pilot would enter his craft by a hatch in the rear of the fighter and be fed by an unseen hydraulic system into the cockpit. The submarine would tilt up to an angle of about 45 degrees and the fighter would blast off into the atmosphere to intercept the intruder. (This was the usual operation; however, in the episode "Sub-Smash", the crippled Skydiver 1 is able to launch Sky 1 from a... Read More