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Carsten Standfuss - Sgt. Peppers
Sub name: Sgt. Peppers
Designer: Carsten Standfuss
Builder: Carsten Standfuss
In 1987-88 I build a One man Submarine which is
called "Sgt.Peppers". During this time it was the
smallest manned submarine in the world and since
1989 it was in the Guinness Book of records as
"smallest manned submarine in the world".
Today it is not in order to work but displayed
in a German museum.
Also here some technical data:
First dive: 19.09.1987
Length over all : 2,98 m
Weight : 575 kg
Equipment: two bow thruster, one for side, one for deep control
two stern thruster, ond for side, one for deep control, one stern main engine
(rebuild car-engine-starter), Hull streamlined like a torpedo with the pilot
lying with his head to the bow acrylic front hemisphere, Four acid batteries in
the keel (from bigger vans filled with oil on top of the acid - pressure
compensated by a plastic bag - was orignial a bottle with hair cleaner soap-).
The keel with the batteries and the bow thruster and the outside deep measure
can be relased in emergency as droop weight.
The boat 8 mm thickness high density steel hull was designed for a
of 300 meters and more, so the working deep is maximum 150 meter.
But my private option is never to dive in areas deeper than 60 m because of the
option to leave the boat in emergency with the scuba gear.
The internal Live support system ist made from a old russian oxgyen circle fire
fighting scuba gear. I rebuild the gear, but for working I can use it in two
ways: First way is to cyle the oxygen/air flow with a electric thruster fan two
the absorber. But this works only some hours and stops action if you lost your
battery power. Better way is the pilot mask (same design like a face mask in a
fighter airplane) which cycle the oxygen by the lungs of the pilot on the
(Sorry about my languages - I am a german living near Bremen, Northern
no english languages speakers around here - conected to the internet only some
The concept desgin of the small sub is very good, later I built one of the four
batteries out and a small pressure proof bouyance-tank in, also I build in a
small hatch on the top, only usable on lake without waves.
But the electrical and mechanical equipment of the boat a made from low-tec
material so I had often troubels with leaking vales , burning switches etc.
Four every two hours diving I had to work after this one week on the sub, for
example to recarge the batteries - I have to open every battery cell which means
to put the pressure hull from the keel open many small screws etc.
The view from the submarine to forward is very good, but the view to the stern
is very bad (there is no way to look to the stern from the inside of the
submarine). The concept was to use the boat as a daughterboat from a sailing
yacht to hunting a treasure wreck in the bay of biscay. For this reason the sub
is so small - but sorry to small for offshore operation. The treasure project
was later cancelled beacuse of the impossible to sail with the sailing yacht
with the submarine on the forward deck (- impossible to lift the sails -) and a
other main reason was that the sub has no gyro-compass - and no place and power
for a gyro - and the normal magnetic compass works very, very bad because
currents of the thrusters and main engine.
After a couples of dives I stopped to use the submarine and today it is on
display in a Museum in Northern Germany as the "Smallest Manned submarine
world" (it is ?)
26 Aug 1999
Please add to my part on the page that Sgt.Peppers was reftit in 1999
and is sometimes in service but normaly on display in Germany on the
"Automuseum Asendorf" near Bremen, Germany. Also that the car starter
engine has removed and a Minn Kota is now the main engine. Also that all
engines and batteries are now air pressure compensatet for better
12 Oct 2001
Drawings of Sgt.Peppers
25 Apr 2002
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