I don't think so. Whether he could have done it eventually or not, the guy who was working on it ("Oscar Goldman" ) was killed by the id monster before he finished, and they never contacted Earth. In the end, they had to reinstall the main engine (assuming they ever actually took it out), before evacuating Altair IV. All that really makes it doubtful that it was ever actually built. He was still making the heroic effort. Well, I wouldn't have said that, though it's true that it seems someone's always unsatisfied.