posted on May, 5 2003 @ 04:42 PM
I just copied this off a local website for informational purposes. I left all warnings and disclaimers and changed nothing. This will be the last word
from me. Thanks for all the people who replied.
Date : 04 May 2003
Producer : Eugene Botha
Presenter : Derek Watts
Genre : Inventions and Innovations
For more than three centuries, Newton’s laws of motion and gravity have been accepted by scientists and taught in our schools to this very day, with
But here in a workshop in Klerksdorp a local inventor claims to have turned Newton’s laws upside down and is threatening to revolutionise earthly and
space travel as we know it.
Hannes du Preez: “I know that this thing is going to change your life, definitely. Eventually, it’s going to change the life of every person on this
Hannes du Preez has devoted most of his life to inventing gadgets of all shapes and sizes. As a mechanical technician working for Armscor and later
Denel, his innovative streak found ample expression. It all seemed to start at an early age.
Derek Watts, Carte Blanche reporter: “Hannes, were you a very creative little boy inventing alternative catapults and things?”
Hannes: “Most definitely. All my life I knew I had a knack for creating things.”
Derek: “So the mind’s always ticking over there?”
Hannes: “Always. My wife calls it tinkering.”
Derek: “Tinkering over…”
Hannes: “What gives me a great kick in life is to make something and design something, making it and at the end of the day it works.”
But all of this tinkering was just preparation for Hannes’ big dream – achieving the impossible: a propulsion system for cars and even aeroplanes that
defies the laws of nature as we know them.
Hannes: “I set an objective to build a mechanical device with which I can generate an internal force to propel a body or a motor or an aeroplane in a
predetermined direction without using any external forces.”
But this is impossible because according to Newton’s First Law, an object cannot start moving by way of its internal force. For example, this matchbox
will only move if an external force is applied to it. Even a small engine inside it wouldn’t help.
However, Hannes challenged this scientific cornerstone. He surmised that with the right propulsion system inside an object, he could get it to move
forward and even upwards. This is the stuff that science-fiction movies are made of and which no serious scientist would even contemplate.
For nearly two decades, Hannes kept his dream alive and finally in 1999 he was able to devote himself full-time to its practical pursuit in the hope
that it would one day revolutionise our entire transport system.
Hannes: “You’re going to have a vehicle with a much smaller engine. You’re going to have aircraft with much smaller engines. You’re going to have the
possibility for space travel.”
With this vision and a selection of his prototypes, Hannes then approached a number of physicists. Their responses to his outlandish ideas invariable
ranged from incredulous to downright rude.
Derek: “How many people did you go to who ridiculed you?”
Hannes: “[laughing] You know, a lot. Some said to me, ‘No man, if you want to do that, you must rewrite the laws of nature’. Certain people told me,
‘Man look, do not waste my time with work that belongs in a Grade 10 class.”
It was here at the University of Potchefstroom’s Department of Physics that Hannes finally found somebody willing to listen. At first a Doubting
Thomas, Prof Ockie de Jager started thinking twice about some of these seemingly crazy inventions.
Prof Ockie de Jager: “He told me that other people were sceptical about it, and when I saw the kind of stuff that he was working on, I understood
Sympathetic to Hannes’ plight, Ockie investigated his inventions but each time he was able to, by means of computer simulations and mathematical
equations that his prototypes could not possibly work. But Hannes just wouldn’t give up.
Ockie: “He’s got a tenacity to go on with things.”
Ockie spent nearly three years testing model after model that came out of Hannes’ workshop. There was a basic problem: they were largely static, they
did not produce enough forward motion. But in August last year, with prototype no. 42, there was a breakthrough.
Hannes revealed this – the 'Dup Drive' – which he claimed was finally proving Newton wrong. He again went to Ockie.
Hannes: “I begged Prof De Jager – Ockie – ‘asseblief man, please do us a simulation on this thing’. And he agreed to get rid of me and to his surprise
the thing worked.”
Ockie: “That was quite a moment because you do not have jet-like action like a rocket and that is the confusing part.”
Ockie was puzzled because model no. 42 seemed to transgress Newton’s Laws. Hannes had somehow managed to create a small propulsion system that seemed
to use an internal force to move forward and kept on accelerating of its own accord and with surprising efficiency.
A piston-like action propels Hannes’ device forward. According to Newton’s Laws, an opposite and equal reaction should occur that would ultimately
stop this device dead in its tracks. But somehow Hannes had eliminated this reactionary force and his “Dup Drive” managed to keep on moving forward.
Hannes: “You just see the action, as far as the complete unit. You just see the action, no reaction.”
Ockie: “It appeared to be transgressing ‘action and reaction’ to a large extent and when I saw that the machine was accelerating in a forward
direction, I was puzzled. I mean, I was puzzled for a long time.”
Ockie’s astonishment grew when his computer simulations and algebraic analysis also confirmed that Hannes’ device was functioning. Ockie then
organised for independent testing to be done at Kentron, part of the Aerospace Group of Denel, that also appeared to confirm the forward motion and
acceleration of Hannes’ internal force generator. Hannes’ critics had deemed this impossible.
Hannes: “I’m absolutely delighted with the findings. The physicists of this world are going to drive around in vehicles powered by this propulsion
system and they’re still going to wonder what the hell is going on.”
The “Dup Drive” is not in fact an engine but a propulsion system. For its piston to function, one would need to attach a very small power source, like
an electric or petrol engine.
Hannes: “I have connected it to an external air supply, but even this air supply … the pipe is slack enough not to cause any push effect on the
This is a motorcar engine, as we know it: it provides the power to turn the wheels through a series of gearboxes and transmission. If Hannes’ theories
work in practice all of this could be replaced by a box this size containing the engine and the means of propulsion.
Hannes: “What we managed with this technology is to change power (Watts) to push (thrust; Newtons) extremely effectively. We can get as low as one
Watt for one Newton. Compare that to certain aircraft – you sit with a situation of 103 Watt for one Newton. Motorcars – we can use an engine 30 times
smaller that is used at the moment.”
When we visited Hannes to film his brainchild, we took along Winstone Jordaan, physicist and engineer, whom we met last year in our story on the
Winstone Jordaan: “I was very sceptical and I wanted to see where the errors were in the reasoning of the whole thing. What I’ve seen over this last
two days is that there really is something interesting here. The reactive forces seem to have been suppressed. But as a scientist I must still say
that Newton’s Laws apply and therefore there’s just something that we’re missing.”
Derek: “Are you saying that our viewers tonight are seeing something that has never been done in the world before?”
Hannes: “Yes, most definitely. I am creating an internal unbalanced force. That’s not supposed to happen. I’m contradicting what Newton’s Third Law
Winstone: “Everybody assumes the laws and tries to adhere to the laws. They don’t try to breach the laws. I think most of the great inventions have
actually come out of very simple ideas and people with backyard ideas.”
There is no doubt that Hannes still has to face many obstacles in his quest to cheat Newton but the potential applications of the “Dup Drive” could
benefit our lives in ways that we can only imagine.
Hannes: “In future with this thing I believe you’re going to have a vertical take-off, out of the atmosphere, away from gravity. If you want to go to
Heathrow from South Africa, you’ll put yourself into orbit to Heathrow, accelerating halfway and decelerating the other half and then just have a slow
“A trip to Mars shouldn’t take longer than a week there and back. A trip to the moon shouldn’t take longer than one o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, go
up there, have tea at three and be back by five o’clock.”
Derek: “But some people must regard you as a crank?”
Hannes: “There’s nobody on earth that will prove me wrong. Nobody.”
Derek: “Are you willing to take on all the scientists?”
Hannes: “Anybody. Anybody … the devil himself.”
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: While every attempt has been made to ensure this transcript or summary is accurate, Carte Blanche or its agents cannot be held
liable for any claims arising out of inaccuracies caused by human error or electronic fault. This transcript was typed from a transcription recording
unit and not from an original script, so due to the possibility of mishearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers,
errors cannot be ruled out.