RV FLIP: A Game-Changer in Ocean Research with Its Flipping Capability

The RV FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform) is a unique research vessel operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It was designed and built in 1962 by the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps.

The research vessel RV Flip is the only vessel in the world capable of shifting from horizontal to vertical position in the middle of the ocean.

RV FLIP is a 108-meter (355 feet) long vessel that can flip from a horizontal to a vertical position. This transformation allows the vessel to become a stable research platform in the ocean.

(U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams)

120630-N-PO203-310 SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jun. 30, 2012) Only 55 feet remain visible after the crew partially floods the Floating Instrument Platform, or FLIP’s, ballast tanks causing the vessel to turn stern first into the ocean. The 355-foot research vessel, owned by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and operated by the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, conducts investigations in a number of fields, including acoustics, oceanography, meteorology and marine mammal observation

In its vertical position, FLIP is extremely stable, withstanding ocean waves without significant rocking. This stability is crucial for various oceanographic measurements and experiments.

The vessel is equipped with living quarters for the crew and scientists, including sleeping areas, a galley, and workspaces that are functional in both horizontal and vertical orientations.

RV FLIP is outfitted with laboratories and equipment necessary for conducting oceanographic research.

FLIP under tow in 2012
U.S. Navy/John F. Williams/wikipedia