The R/P FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform) is an open ocean research vessel. The ship is a 355 feet (108 meters) long vessel designed to partially flood and pitch backward 90 degrees, resulting in
only the front 55 feet (17 meters) of the vessel pointing up out of the water, with bulkheads becoming floors. When flipped, most of the buoyancy for the platform is provided by water at depths below the influence of surface waves, hence FLIP is a stable platform mostly immune to wave action. At the end of a mission, compressed air is pumped into the ballast tanks in the flooded section and the vessel returns to its horizontal position so it can be towed to a new location. The ship is frequently mistaken for a capsized ocean transport ship.
The Marine Physical Laboratory of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography created FLIP with funding from the Office of Naval Research (TRF). The Gunderson Brothers Engineering Company in Portland, Oregon launched FLIP in June 1962. (In 1995, FLIP received a $2,000,000 modernization.)