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Josef Papp (1933?, Tatabanya, Hungary – April 1989, Daytona Beach, Florida) was an engineer who was awarded U.S. patents related to the development of a fusion engine, and also claimed to have invented a jet submarine.

Contents

Alleged submarine journey

On August 11, 1966, a fishing boat off Brest, France spotted someone floating in the water, clutching an inflatable life raft. They fished him out and found that he was dressed like a pilot with a flight helmet and goggles. He was barely coherent and badly bruised. When questioned, he identified himself as Canadian Josef Papp and claimed to have just bailed out from a submarine. When asked where the crew was, he replied that he was alone in his submarine and had just crossed the Atlantic in 13 hours.

Media storm

Thus started a media storm of controversy. Papp, a Hungarian-Canadian engineer, claimed to have built a special high-speed submarine in his garage that was propelled by a special underwater jet engine. However, on his maiden voyage across the Atlantic he encountered a stability problem and the submarine sank. The media ridiculed him, calling him a madman, a liar and a fraud. He protested against these accusations and even wrote a book entitled The Fastest Submarine, which described the design process, construction and the voyage in his own words. What the book does not describe is how the submarine in question worked. Nor did Papp ever reveal this secret or attempt to prove that it could indeed work. The media found it all too convenient that the submarine had sunk, that two plane tickets to and from France had been found in his pocket, and a man resembling him had been seen boarding a plane to France some hours earlier. So the story of Josef Papp fell into relative obscurity, as did his book. The submarine was never found.

Papp's work

Papp's alleged submarine was built as an elongated cone, looking like a long needle with a cylindrical engine compartment in the rear[1]. The pilot sat nearly flat on his back in front of this compartment, with a small periscope built into the hatch. Papp's theory was that the sleek shape would create a sheath of air around the submarine, like a supercavitating torpedo, allowing it to reach 480 km/h (300 mph), which he claims it did.

The engine was supposed to run off of very little fuel. Papp was notoriously paranoid, keeping his workshop under lock and key and covering every component in plaster to stop people from taking photographs. As a result the media claimed that his submarine was made of papier-mâché.

However impressive the photographs of his "submarine" may have been, David Ansley in the San Jose Mercury News reported that "The London Daily Mirror said Papp admitted it was a stunt, that he couldn't bear to admit to his friends that the submarine wouldn't work."[2]

The Papp Engine

Aside from the submarine debacle, his primary accomplishment was the development of an engine that ran off a mixture of noble gases consisting essentially of an inert gas mixture of helium, neon, xenon, krypton and argon, with argon constituting approximately 17% of the mixture by volume.

Papp was issued several U.S. patents for these inventions, including his noble gas fuel mixture (U.S. Patent Nos. 3,680,431, U.S. Patent 4,428,193, and U.S. Patent 3,670,494). The existence of these patents appears to contradict claims that Papp took his "secret" fuel mixture to his grave. [3]

Nonetheless, subsequent to Papp's death, no one has demonstrated a working version of his engine. But note that the engine was validated by Professor Nolan and his team from the University of Oklahoma at the time of the 3rd patent application, by request of the USPTO. Nolan's signed affidavit and C.V. is included as Appendix A in the full paper version of the Infinite Energy Magazine special issue on the Papp Engine, edited by Dr. Eugene Mallove.[4]

The engine continues to be considered by many scientists as a hoax. Papp's poor physics theoretic background is demonstrated in the abstracts of the patents which have been criticized by Richard Feynman. Mr. Papp presented to an audience, including Feynman, an ill-fated demonstration in 1966, in which his engine exploded, killing one man and seriously injuring two others.

Feynman's conclusion was that Papp was a fraudster and the explosion an attempt by Papp to avoid discovery.[5] After the accident, Caltech (Feynman's employer at the time) chose an out of court settlement of a suit brought by Papp against Feynman. If Feynman's statements were indeed true, it would seem the university would have wanted the case to reach a jury trial.[6] The police investigation following the accident showed no wrong doing on the part of Papp, such as explosives being preplanted in or near the engine.

See also

Notes

External links

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