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Wireless transmission of electricity + Ionocraft = actual 'antigravity' frictionless movement devices??[edit]

Seems to me this would be a good way of using some old-school Teslian technology and combining it with these Ionocraft devices to produce, say, a platform that could be able to resist gravity within a whole room/area.

Thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Even with a fractional (20%+) gravity nullification, this could be used to reduce frictional energy losses in cars, akin, but less than to the efficency of maglev trains. (talk) 16:10, 5 August 2009 (UTC)coexist

I fail to understand your ideas on this could you give some more detail? From what I remember about Ionocraft, this is simply a toy to promote unusual science. The bifeild-brown theory is a totally different subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JetJon (talkcontribs) 16:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Bold textAll science is science.

Bahnson Video on Google Video Shows TT Brown's Work in Vacuum[edit]

This recent link to a video of TT Brown working with a large bell jar vacuum chamber is a historically important document that Brown did indeed work with vacuum chambers. Further, as the film makes the point, why would TT Brown and his associates be celebrating with champaing in the video unless an electrogravitic effect had not been demonstrated in vacuum. Please see this video:

Nice soundtrack. Very scientific. — Omegatron 02:42, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for this rare video file. It seems clear that they are celebrating a positive result of electrogravitic effect under vacuum, but their vacuum is questionable since when the test is replicated with today's vacuum equipment, null results are always obtained. I have been personally involved in a similar experiment which was originally aimed at proving Brown's work right. As it turned out, the 'electrogravitic force' starts to reduce very fast when air is pumped out of the chamber. At vacuum levels close to the discharge region, see the curve at:

the force is much reduced but still measurable. Within the discharge region, the device is inoperable due to high currents which usually result in plasma generation. If one goes to lower vacuum levels at 3.75E-5 Torr, the force effect is totally nullified. The only forces which could be detected are sideways electrostatic attractions towards the chamber itself. Unfortunately, we have no records showing Brown's 'strict conditions' of the above mentioned video, in particular his vacuum level, but following the failure to replicate TT Browns results under the hardest vacuum levels achievable today, leads one to conclude that either Browns setup offered electrostatic attraction between the test device and the surroundings, or that his vacuum contained enough air molecules to generate the measured thrust. The replication of this experiment also gave negative results for NASA. Read Clive Thompson report on his visit to their facility:

The only force generated at hard vacuum levels and tens of kilovolts can be explained in terms of radiation pressure, due to X-ray radiation from the target surfaces, which is usually so small as to require special experimental setups to detect its presence, but still, this is not electrogravity.

If anybody can ever get positive electrogravitic results under todays strict vacuum conditions, it will be really fantastic, even though, the force will be useless for most practical purposes, but it's quite unlikely to happen. - Blaze Labs Research 18:43, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Tubular Lifter Disproves Ionic Wind Theory ?[edit]

Ionic wind is NOT the primary force in lifters. If you follow this link, you will see photos and videos of 'tubular' lifters. I have personally built and flown several models of tubular lifters. In the photos and video, you can clearly see that the free hanging aluminum tubes lift UPWARDS and actually pull the ship upwards. In fact, the upward pull on the tubes is so strong that the tubes are 'bent' from their original round shape into a more oval shape. Whe flying these ships, I can clearly see a very strong line along the aluminum tubes pulling UPWARDS. If 'ionic wind' were the reason lifters work, then why doesn't the ionic wind blow these tubes downwards when lifting the ship? Lifters are pulled upwards, as these photos and video clearly show: Agwholland 05:06, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Dear Agwholland, you are mixing up two different effects - electrostatic attraction between the electrodes, and EHD, of which you seem to know nothing about. The hanging aluminium tubes will lift upwards by electrostatic attraction. This effect happens in any capacitor and is a well know force which you will find in your O level physics textbooks. However, this attraction is NOT what generates the air flow for the EHD thruster to lift off. EHD thrust will not act on the lower tubes but on a larger cross section of air called the 'ion cloud'. In fact, if you replace the upper corona wire with another set of tabular foil, you will get the same tube lifting effect, and 'bending' but no lift! Try it, and come back to us to confirm I am right :) and please discuss these things here before messing up a Wiki page - Blaze Labs Research 17:03, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Dear Blaze Labs. You did some nice work on lifters on your web pages and I respect that, but you have made many assumptions based on a rather limited set of parameter values, especially regarding lifters in vacuum. Also, I do not think it is in the spirit of wikipedia to try and insult my knowledge of physics. I am not a professional Physicist and I suspect neither are you. We are both seeking the truth of the phenomena. We agree that a downward draft of 'ion wind' exists, this has been proven, however, calculations by the US Army Lab and in a paper from Purdue Univ. have indicated that the thrust from ion wind alone is 'several orders of magnitude' too weak to account for the lifting power of the ships... I refer you to this document by the Army Research Laboratory:

I understand that you were not able to make lifters work in vacuum, but did it ever occur to you that perhaps you did not have the right parameter values to truly test the experiment? The notebooks of TT Brown, several of which are available on the net at, clearly indicate that lifter's will work under oil insulation and the published letters from TT Brown in Rho Sigma's book clearly indicate that Brown had functioning ships working in vacuum at at least three different lab locations, why do you ignore this documentation? Further, the letters from Brown clearly indicate that 1) the voltage source for success in vacuum must be at least 300Kv (which you have not done) and 2) the dielectric must have a very high dielectric constant number. With all due respect to your fine experiments documented on the web, I do not see you achieving that voltage level, nor do you have a dielectric compound with a dielectric constant higher than 1. TT Brown clearly talks about dielectric compounds with dielectric constants in the THOUSANDS (he says in his notebooks that such compounds would make for ultrasonic speeds in flight!). As Thomas Edison said... paraphrasing.... I found 5,000 ways that the light bulb won't work.... before discovering the one way it would work. Several people on the net have found many ways in which lifters do not work in vacuum, but until you have tested lifters in vacuum under the following conditions, you cannot honestly conclude that they do not work in vacuum:

1. HV >300Kv 2. dielectric compound with dielectric constant much higher than air (air has a dielectric constant of 1, find one much higher, there are several!) 3. non metallic vacuum chamber

      If you go to my lifter pages on my website, look for the 'deep lifter' tests, done at a nuclear research lab here in the United States.
      There are some photos and a short video clip of my 'micro-lifter' in high vacuum.  We learned many things from these experiments,
      including.... the metal housing of the vacuum chamber was interfering with the shape of the field.  I note that the Bahnson labs 
      videos showing TT Brown's work, which clearly show a very large bell jar vacuum chamber, is all glass.... no metal at all.  TT Brown 
      clearly emphasizes the importance of factors which shape the field.

Lastly, you give no reason for having deleted the photo I posted of my tubular lifter. I have offered it freely to Wiki with no restrictions and will add the creative commons or gnu license tag very soon.

Agwholland 18:28, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Dear Agwholland, I fully appreciate your interest in the subject, and no offense was intended in my comments. I know what it feels like to have your content deleted, but hopefully you will soon agree with the decision. I did not delete your contents because it was original research (which other moderators will delete anyway) but simply because the content was wrong. Measuring ion wind, and measuring air flow generated by a drifting ion cloud is done in totally different ways, and results in totally different force magnitudes, which the Army Research Lab report you refer to, seems totally ignorant of. The ion wind generated by a 30kV corona wire is much different from the neutral wind flow generated by the force acting on the neutral air, given by F=id/k. Also, some references in the same paper point to antigravity enthusiast websites, and certainly does not help with the paper's own credibility. If you want to understand what's going on, please study papers like those of R.S.Sigmond, or the equations given on my website which were all discussed and compiled by competitive people working in the EHD field.
If you want to convince yourself, tie up the lifter and try to measure the air pressure underneath your lifters, hitting an external plate, and you will see that the air pressure measured upon the plate is eqaul to 100% of the generated thrust. This test is in fact a much better proof for EHD mechanism than the vacuum test. Ionocrafts work under oil using the same equation F=id/k, just replace k with the ion mobility of oil. Beware that JLN's site totally ignores all research that has been done in the past 50 years!, not to mention that his qualifications are those of a 'technician', one who searches overunity in most of his experiments, that is, searches to disprove the law of conservation of energy. In the case of lifters, he searches to disprove Newton's laws of motion. Finally, your photo was deleted because it does not comply to the descriptions given in the ionocraft article, since it was pointing out electrostatic attraction, rather than EHD. Also, note that we cannot put any original research content on Wiki (whether it's good or bad research), and this applies to both photos and articles. You can find all equations you need here:

All equations in the above document can be found in peer reviewed work or physics text books.

I really wish you perform the experiments which I have proposed to you before commenting again.

If you want more detail, or e-mail contacts of other professionals in the EHD field, kindly contact me from my contacts page, so we can discuss all issues. - Blaze Labs Research 10:36, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Dear Blazelabs: I am happy to see that we at least have a photo of a lifter on the wiki page, even if you deleted mine for the one published on your own website ;-( I think it is a very fine line to say that no original work can be published on Wiki, but then you publish a photo from your own website, deleting mine, which is also published on my own website. I could easily logon under my corporate name and add photos which were not created by my company, per se, so I think it is a little dishonest of you to suggest that you are not publishing your own work when you publish a photo from your own website. Nonetheless, I am happy that we have at least added a photo of a lifter to the wiki article, though it would be better to have a lifter which is actually 'lifting'!

You are claiming that your version of the Wiki article on lifters is documented in peer-reviewed sources etc. I should very much like to see your footnotes that lifters cause throat and lung cancer. I don't believe there are any such publications and this may be an over-reaction or alarm related to ozone created by the high voltage. You should delete that information unless you can specifically document it in the medical literature. In fact, electronic high voltage air cleaners, essentially lifter technolgy, are quite common here in the United States, being sold for use in homes, restaurants and pubs (bars). Also, there is a substantial portion of the alternative health care community which believes that ozone has beneficial health effects and you deliberately removed an internal wiki link I had put in for ozone therapy. Tesla, for one, believed in it, and he certainly worked around a lot of high voltage.... and lived a long life....not expiring from throat or lung cancer, but rather from being hit by a taxi in his 80's. You should remove the reference to throat and lung cancer, it cannot be documented.

Now as to measuring the ionic wind: I shall certainly try the experiment you suggest and look at your calculations. However, you seem to be ignoring a series of experiments by JL Naudin which seem to be designed to eliminate the ionic wind as the element of lift. For example, see his web page: which sends the + HV into a vacuum tube, thus eliminating ion wind or ion drift. How do you explain the results of that experiment then? Also, see Naudin's page: which is another example of the + HV wire in a vacuum tube, hence no ion wind/drift. Then there's Naudin's unlinked lifter in a box....sealed against any potential ion wind/drift: How do you explain all these examples where ion wind/drift has been eliminated? Here is another Naudin web page which seals the + upper electrode to prevent ion wind...and places a candle flame next to it at 41.9 kV wire, proving there is no ion wind disturbance of the candle flame, yet, the ship lifts. How do you explain this:  ?? On that same web page you will see a lifter enclosed entirely in a plastic bag...which greatly complicates the ion wind explanation as being the only force to lift the lifter. Lastly, on the issue of Naudin's work, since this Wiki article is on lifters/ionocraft, I don't know why you insist on deleting the link to the World Wide Lifters Recreation Log Page at Naudin's site. I think this is very germane to the issue and people searching Wiki would like to know about this site documenting more than 351 lifter recreations world-wide.

Finally, in your last comments, you neglect to address the three primary variables I raise regarding lifters in vacuum, or would you simply say a lifter flying in vacuum is only electrostatics?

Specifically: have you tried a lifter in vaccum with all of the following variables: 1. HV > 250kV ? 2. Dielectric compound with a dielectric constant > 1 (in the thousands would be called for really).

   Why do you ignore the importance of the dielectric constant?  Have you tried anything besides air (dielectric constant of only 1)?

3. non metallic vacuum chamber?

Until you have tried these variables and failed to raise a lifter in vacuum, then you have not achieved the criteria spelled out by TT Brown. Why do you ignore the comments of Brown in his letter published in Rho Sigma's book regarding lifter's in vacuum?

It seems to me you focus in only on the equations and ionic wind, but ignore all else that does not fit with your theory. If you can answer some of the issues I've raised, I'll be happy to stop changing the Wiki entry, but until you can document the Cancer business and respond to these other issues, I shall continue to change the Wiki entry. Agwholland 02:50, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Your internet access seems to be limited to one specific website. I already told you why I disregard both JLN's and T.T.Brown mumbo jumbo about dielectric constant and the magic that should happen at >250kV. They are both misinterpreting the force between the plates with the EHD force. For more information about the force generated between plates (the effect you are noticing within your tabular lifter) please read here:

As to ozone health hazards, please read the official limits set out in your own country, and check what they have to say about health hazards with ozone generators, and the strict restrictions imposed on the design of air cleaners you mention. Certainly these devices, are not allowed to operate at 50kV at saturated corona conditions! Also, these devices have been invented long before any 'lifter', and are based on EHD studies, so terminology like 'lifter technology' is non-sense.

As long as you have access to sites other than JLN's, I refer you to :

or simply search for ozone health hazards, which the rest of the world knows about.

One thing you do not mention is that Thomas Townsend Brown himself died of lung cancer in October of 1985.

As to your continuous vandalising to this page, I am sure others will love to take care of you. - Blaze Labs Research 10:52, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Dear Agwholland

I am shocked and surprised that the Lifters article is listed under 'ioncraft'. All that I have learned so far has shown me that lifters are not an ion wind phenomenon.

I know that personal opinions have no place here, and original research information is not permitted, this article must at least reflect the 'general consensus' out there about lifters and permit opposing points of view?

Who owns this article, and who decides to disallow anything that says that lifters can work in a vacuum? How has it been 'disproved' that lifters work in a vacuum?

Adding the opposing points of view will certainly be an improvement to the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Visiblecontent (talkcontribs) 06:20, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Future plans[edit]

This is a project of mine, I will be adding to it over the next few months in small pieces. Please bear with me as I have to learn many new ways of writing to build this page. Any suggestions and or questions are welcome. Any offers of help are also welcome.--JetJon 06:51, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

Well done, JetJon. Glad to see a scientific treatment of these neat toys. --Ben (talk · contribs)


Can it be renamed lifter (device) or lifter (ionic) or something shorter? — Omegatron 12:29, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

lifter (device) is too ambiguous, but I like lifter (ionic). -- Scott e 07:46, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I made a small edit at the start of the article to imply "Lifter" as that is what they tend to be called. Alan2here 15:02, 20 November 2006 (UTC) really needs to LOG IN before making big edits. somone else (not me) reverted his edit, was a bid odd for the article to change so much twice in such a short time. Alan2here 15:23, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

or Lifter (propulsion) or Lifter (thruster), or ... — Omegatron 20:23, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

or even Ionocraft? Or is that a specific subtype? — Omegatron 16:30, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The term Ionocraft has been well established and in use as from 1960's and so is the best to replace the lifter term. The lifter shape (triangle) falls within the scope of De Severski's Ionocraft patent. The term lifter is quite umbiguous, and is highly related to the (now defunct??) Transdimensional technology, and to JLN's lifters, both of whom own websites are aimed at promoting the lifter as an antigravity device, which goes against the content of Wiki's lifter page. — Blaze Labs Research 16:56, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

It's not perfect, but I would agree with moving Lifter (ionic propulsion device) to Ionocraft. If no one objects, I'll do it in a few days. — Omegatron 18:00, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
It looks like T T Brown's patents predated DeSeversky by 30 years, though. — Omegatron 19:49, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
We could use NASA's "Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster", but I don't like that name, either. It's not really a capacitor. — Omegatron 19:54, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
There are 2 problems with T T Brown's patents : (1) In most of them he gives no explanation for the effect, and describes it as an unknown effect. This can be clearly understood from other (patented) experiments he wrote in the same period. Remember EHD studies were yet to begin during those years, and Brown was one of the first people who explored the yet unclear electrokinetic effect. (2) He did not actually give any qualitative name or functional description to these devices.
It was not until DeSeversky that Brown's devices had been totally explained in terms of hydrodynamics.
I am totally against the asymmetrical cap thruster description. Believe it or not, at the time of print of that patent, NASA was still confused on the effect (thanks to American antigravity press-panic), and was still preparing to carry out it's own vacuum test to see whether the so called lifter or their own asymmetric device would work in vacuum. (due to their obvious interest to use such devices for space propulsion). Read this :
The asymmetric feature is an inherent part of any air ioniser, and does not necessarily result in any EHD thrust (for example in a wire to cylinder configuration). At least, following our own hard vacuum test, together with their own test, the right conclusion was accepted by Nasa, but they had left the somewhat ellusive patent hanging around. So, the first qualitative description and proper naming of the device was actually given by De Severski with the Ionocraft term. - Blaze Labs Research 06:41, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
NASA's understanding of the effect is irrelevant to the use of the term, and their vacuum test is just as appropriate as your own (trying to reproduce an experiment is a good thing, especially when previous experiments have inconclusively reported anomalous results).
But I don't like the term "asymmetrical capacitor" because, from an electrical engineer's perspective, it's not a capacitor. Capacitors have an insulating dielectric between the electrodes, while the thrusters allow a current to flow between them. But maybe from a physicist's perspective, any two conductors form a capacitor, regardless of whether a current can flow between them?
Ionocraft still sounds like the best title so far. — Omegatron 16:23, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

There was an excellent write up on ionocrafts in August 1964 issue of Popular Mechanics. I'm trying to retreive this article, in order to make it accessible to the general public, so if anybody still has access to the original copy, kindly let me know. - Blaze Labs Research 07:26, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

A google search finds this copy. — Omegatron 15:15, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Shooting down and Ionocraft[edit]

Incidentally, they claim the grid of electrodes would be less susceptible to damage, comparing it to broken helicopter blades, but wouldn't an aircraft like this be trivial to knock down by shooting conductive strings at it? Carbon fiber bombs were supposedly used to short out power plants and substations in Iraq. — Omegatron 15:15, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

In fact that's the only site you will find most of its content. About 6 years ago, Mark (the owner of that site) had a full scan of the whole article online but he had to remove it due to high traffic. Today I have ordered an original copy of the '64 issue,which should arrive here in a week or so. Shooting conductive strings could surely get the craft in trouble. The remedy for such a situation is to split the power to ionocraft into sectors, so that damage or short circuiting to one sector does not effect the rest. Also, I think that in the context of that article he means that since it's not a solid body, a missile can pass straight through it, without completely destroying the craft. Also, other flying machines like a helicopter have multiple vulnerable localised parts, like the 2 blades, the fuel tank, the body.... whilst an ionocraft might take a lot of shooting before one either hits its power supply or completely shorts out its electrodes. Also, new high power UV lasers might be used to replace the corona wires, which will make the 'electrodes' virtually indestructible. - Blaze Labs Research 12:18, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

You're right; a UV laser could be much better at shorting out the electrodes and shooting down the aircraft.  ;-) — Omegatron 13:00, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
You must have really impressive warrior skills :-) - Blaze Labs Research 16:35, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
In real life, of course, they'd just use the same missiles they use to hit jets. Yeah, maybe a bullet would slip through the electrodes with no problem, but it would slip through the rotors of a helicopter, too. The problem is when an guided missile explodes in the general vicinity of the cockpit or power source. Electrode arrays instead of rotors aren't going to help much. But this is all besides the point. Back to the article. — Omegatron 17:28, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

The article looks much better now, even though some things still appear twice. Shouldn't we take off the rename/move notice shown at the top of this discussion page? - Blaze Labs Research 20:53, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Recent Developments[edit]

Research at the University of Memphis have shown that the device works in a vacuum just as it would in air. New data needs to be added, as the current information has become outdated. I will do some research on the matter, and make some calls. Hopefully I can get enough information to add to Wiki.

Breakdecks (talk · contribs)

To me this sounds very unlikely since numerious independent investigations have shown that it does not work in a vacuum. Probably the most prominant is one done by R.L.Talley for the U.S. Air Force in 1991 called 'The Twenty First Century Propulsion Concept'. This included extensive investigation into specific asymmetrical capacitor design and found that at 19kV there was no detectable thrust in a vacuum.
There is also a more recent investigation led by Dr Jonathan W.Campbell into NACAP design published in 2004 for NASA at the Marshell Space Flight Centre called 'Barrel-Shaped Asymmetrical Capacitor'. This found that in both soft (1 torr) and hard (10E-7 torr) vacuum conditions, no performance was observed. Even upto potentials above 50kV. ---Michael Rodriguez (talk · contribs)

Future projections - autonomous thrusters[edit]

Just to clarify, there has been a bit of edit-jockeying over the following claim: "a fully autonomous EHD thruster is theoretically possible, and possibly already conceived". Fans of ionic propulsion take note: exciting though this phemomena might be, this kind of speculation is worthless. I can conceive of a future where all disease is cureable. Conception is one thing, application another! Please don't make vague assumptions like this on WP. Beerathon 21:33, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Blaze Labs recently added an "autonomous" thruster that uses helium to balance out the weight of the supply. I'm going to remove it.
The thruster and power supply could be removed completely and the device would still float upwards if you put enough helium in it. It's cheating, in other words, and not what is meant by the term "autonomous". — Omegatron 18:18, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi, Omegatron. I agree with your edits. This page still needs a lot of clean up and better grammar. Please note that when I mentioned the 'autonomous' thruster, I clearly specified it was a hybrid model (original quote : One such hybrid remote controlled model was developed in year 2002 by Blaze Labs Research which used helium to balance the weight of its lightweight on-board power supply, and a rotating EHD thrust panel to lift and manouver the thruster). So, I wouldn't declare it as cheating, but still, I will agree with you, to reserve the term 'autonomous' to the non-hybrid version that would hopefully be developed in future - just to eliminate any confusion, as there is enough confusion on this subject as a whole.

Now, about the dubious part, whether or not, an autonomous thruster is at all possibly conceivable. I am glad more people want to discuss this issue seriously. The answer can be logically concluded this way: present single stage ionocrafts are known to work at an efficiency level of 1gramme force/watt (1gF/W) and that half of the thrust is used to lift the thruster structure. So this means that in order to achieve a non-hybrid, 100% EHD single stage thruster, we have to power it by a power source having a capacity of 2W/g. Taking an off-the-shelf LiPo battery available from model shops, we get 3.7v 500mA (=1.85W at 8C discharge rate) batteries weighing just 1.4grammes, that is equivalent to 1.32W/g (or 0.76g/Watt), not so far from the required 2W/g. At this point, saying that is is theoretically possible to have better batteries giving 2W/g is not so farfetched, and I bet, they are available for the military market. So, a battery pack of such batteries in series giving 50kV would theoretically be able to power a single stage autonomous thruster for a couple of minutes.

Now, if one is still not happy with my bet, and wants to use the off-the-shelf available batteries, that is the 1.32W/g LiPo units mentioned above, you have the option to go to a lower electric field gradient in order to increase the efficiency level of the EHD thruster. For example, if the air gap is set to give an average E field of 0.2Mv/m, you will get a thruster at an efficiency level of about 2.55g/W, which requires a battery pack having a minimal capacity of 0.39W/g. Now, as already mentioned, a balsa model weighs 1/2 the weight of its total thrusting force, so for a balsa unit powered by LiPo cells at a voltage gradient of 0.2Mv/m, you actually need just about 0.8W/g, which can be supplied by the 0.76g/Watt batteries one can buy from a model shop. As you see, it's just a matter of selecting the proper E-field value, the proper batteries and size of the thruster,....and a lot of money, and you'll get a real autonomous unit. Hope this is now clear enough to delete the dubious tag from the article. If not we shall discuss it until you are well convinced of it. Omegatron, if you private e-mail me, I would be glad to send you an excel work sheet to follow my efficiency calculations. and by the way, thanks for getting rid of the 172.186... anon. Regards - Blaze Labs Research 15:44, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

but still, I will agree with you, to reserve the term 'autonomous' to the non-hybrid version that would hopefully be developed in future - just to eliminate any confusion, as there is enough confusion on this subject as a whole.

Excellent. I'm glad you agree.

Hope this is now clear enough to delete the dubious tag from the article

The tag is mostly about the sentences saying there is "no limit to shape, size, payload or thrust-to-power ratio". There are of course some limits.
As for your calculations about an autonomous thruster, we can probably put something like that directly into the article, as its just high school physics and WP:NOR has an allowance for "descriptive claims the accuracy of which is easily verifiable by any reasonable adult without specialist knowledge", which allows for short mathematical proofs without citation and the like, but it would be better if you have an essay about the possibility of autonomous thrusters on your own site and we linked to it as a reference. If not, doesn't that sound like something you would want to write, anyway?  ;-)
Also, there are more recent EHD designs that don't have the lifter name attached, which probably have much better thrust performance. For instance, Kronos claims 600 cubic feet per minute for an EHD-based fan replacement. Some of their patents are listed here.
And here they claim "850 cubic feet per minute (volume) of air flow at speeds up to 1,700 feet per minute (velocity)" With an air density of 1.29 kg/m3, that's [*+1%2C700+feet+per+minute+*+1.29+kg%2Fm%5E3 4.5 N of thrust. I don't know how that compares to lifters. — Omegatron 16:18, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi Omegatron, note that the dubious tag, in its position forces the reader to doubt on the possibility of the autonomous design. It simply contradicts the statement which it is following. Note also, that I have changed the statement 'no limits' to no 'theoretical limits'. Its the same like saying that theoretically there is no limits for the amount of money one can earn, even though we know that one cannot be infinitely rich. Of course, we all know that in practice everything has limits, but in the EHD design, these are only set by the design configuration. For example no one would go for a design having some ridiculously big cross sectional area, even though it is theoretically possible. So, if you agree with my arguments, the dubious tag may be taken off. I will try to find some time to put the mathematics for the efficiency level within the article within the next couple of days. As to Kronos designs, I would not mention them on the ionocraft page, since ionocrafts are defined to be propulsion devices. While Kronos design is still an EHD thrusting method, it's not meant as a propulsion device, so I think they would fit more onto the EHD thrusters page. - Blaze Labs Research 17:38, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Its the same like saying that theoretically there is no limits for the amount of money one can earn, even though we know that one cannot be infinitely rich. Of course, we all know that in practice everything has limits,
If that is the extent of the truth, there's no point in saying it in the article, just like, as in your example, the wages article doesn't say "there is no limit to the amount someone can earn". There's no point in talking about it unless there are limits.
I still think there are practical, technical, physical limits, however. There is a maximum voltage before breakdown, for instance, so it seems like there would be a maximum amount of thrust that could be created by a given pair of conductors, and therefore a maximum amount of thrust per unit area that could conceivably be achieved even given all kinds of fanciful future designs. — Omegatron 18:10, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course, all limits you mention do exist and should of course be always taken into account into the design parameters. (Note that there is no maximum voltage across the electrodes before breakdown, but only a maximum voltage gradient, that is a higher voltage can be handled by having a bigger gap). However, since you probably meant that the no-limits statement could actually be misunderstood as no theoretical limit for breakdown voltage, (and maybe other parameters which DO have a theoretical limit) I took it off. So the dubious tag has now been cleared as well. - Blaze Labs Research 19:02, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Recent anon edits and the Death of the "pedia" Part of "Wikipedia"[edit]

FYI, the proxy anon has recently used the IPs (AOL proxys):

  1. (talk · contribs)
  2. (talk · contribs) (definitely a proxy)
  3. (talk · contribs)
  4. (talk · contribs)
  5. (talk · contribs)
  6. (talk · contribs)
  7. (talk · contribs)

and more. This is the same user who has been making persisent POV-pushing edits of Biefeld-Brown effect, which has also received similar edits from

  1. (talk · contribs) (the anon; this machine is geolocated near Paris)

The anon may be associated with the link to which is apparently registered to an individual who evidently also resides near Paris.

Wikipedia must ban anon edits; the anons as a group are way more trouble than they are worth. ---CH 18:57, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

You're not the only one who thinks so, but it's not going to happen. — Omegatron 20:24, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Our benevolent not-quite-dictator, Jimbo himself, voiced his opinion to extend semi protection policy (a recent post on wikiEN-l). But he is mainly thinking about biographies, which would give the most obvious legal troubles. --Pjacobi 21:56, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Omegatron, I fear you are correct, but if so this will ensure the death by a zillion bad edits of Wikipedia, or at least of the goal of creating an encyclopedia. Wikipedia needs to decide whether it is essentially a public forum for the little guy, or essentially an encyclopedia. To some extent it can try to be both, but when push comes to shove it needs to know where its priorities are, and it needs to be able to enforce some rules. Banning anon edits is only the first in a long sequence of policy changes (I don't have a specific sequence in mind, I just recognize that many changes and possibly some backtracking will be needed) which are urgently needed if Wikipedia is to have any chance of providing a free on-line universal encyclopedia offering reliable and unbiased information. ---CH 00:22, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Pjacobi, you're probably right. As we grow larger, the incentive to allow anon editing diminishes, as there is a smaller ratio of people to revert bad edits, and more content already in existence that doesn't need editing. I'm glad that the ideology is flexible. It bothers me a little that we're being bullied into it by the threat of lawsuits, though.
CH, as I say to most people who think the Wikipedia is doomed to failure: The software and its content are completely open source. We have guides on this very site to helping others start their own sites with exactly the same content or exactly the same software. Anyone who wants to can copy our content verbatim as it currently is, and create their own version of the pedia with their own rules and content policies. Yet no one who has tried has reached any comparable level of popularity or size. — Omegatron 00:37, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I think anon edits should in general be banned, except for asking questions and making comments. It costs nothing to register, and most of us are trying to collect and expand human knowledge, but vandals are impeding our progress. Dessydes 02:42, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Omegatron, you pointed out correctly that Wikimedia is available to all. Indeed, many groups now keep private wikis to document within their organizations. I have considered doing this myself. As you also pointed out, none of the public wikis yet come close to rivaling Wikipedia in size or editor pool, although some project like Digital Universe may yet get off the ground. However, your point is by no means inconsistent with mine. I am saying that if

  1. Wikipedia fails to drastically reform its policies to curb cruft (banning anons is only the beginning)
  2. no other equally popular wiki which better controls cruft appears

then the original concept of a public wiki will have been shown to be fatally flawed. In that case, I predict that

  1. Wikipedia will continue as a social club and effectively a free universal webhost providing a homepage/blog for All the Worlds Citizens, but it will never be taken seriously as an encyclopedia by the mainstream, and will gradually come to be used for this purpose much more infrequently than is currently the case,
  2. wikis will continue to flourish, but they will be used within organizations as a kind of internal newsletter/blog/documentation source.

---CH 04:37, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

See also Talk:John Hutchison for the possible identity of our vandal. ---CH 01:53, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Has the Biefeld/Lifter anon ever edited John Hutchison from the same IP? I've never seen it. — Omegatron 02:01, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I was just checking that out. Not yet clear, and agree that the anon from Vancouver was probably talking through his hat. The anon seems too volatile to be the proxy anon.---CH 02:14, 12 June 2006 (UTC)


It's a decent article, but needs to be rearranged and re-sectioned. The sections have too broad headings, and overlap in content. There's not even a mention of the vacuum controversy. NASA explains as follows:

His report

is the only written report we have found from the last half-century that describes a measurement of a force while in a vacuum chamber. Talley ultimately attributed the force that he observed to the electrostatic interaction between the chamber and the device. Talley wrote, “Direct experimental results show that under high vacuum conditions… no detectable propulsive force was electrostatically induced by applying a static potential difference… between test device electrodes…” Talley concluded (page 91 of his report5), “If such a force still exists and lies below the threshold of measurements in this program, then the force may be too small to be

attractive for many, if not most, space propulsion applications.”

Coronal Blowers

There are many variants of the original patent where high-voltage capacitors create thrust, many of which claim that the thrust is a new effect akin to antigravity. These go by such terms as: Biefeld–Brown effect, lifters, electrostatic antigravity, electrogravity, and asymmetric capacitors. To date, all rigorous experimental tests indicate that the observed thrust is attributable to coronal wind. Quoting from one such finding: “… their operation is fully explained by a very simple theory that uses only electrostatic forces and the transfer of momentum by multiple collisions [with air molecules].”

Omegatron 20:10, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Ion wind force vs EHD force[edit]

One should be very careful when using terms like corona blowers, ion wind, etc... I've seen these definitions mis-used to describe EHD effects which take place in ionocrafts, even in reputable papers (including some NASA reports). Unfortunately this is due to the fact that 'ion wind' has been loosely defined over the past, and sometimes is used to describe EHD. However, if one takes a simple ionocraft, such as the 3 sided lifter, and do both ionic wind and EHD force calculations, he would find a BIG difference in the expected thrust, and if not careful enough, one would easiely get the wrong conclusion, as probably happened to a lot of people. Lets analyse the situation for one such device:

Consider a small ionocraft/lifter powered at 30kV, consuming 3.33mA (100Watts), having an air gap of 3cm.

  • Ion wind calculation

The speed of single charged particle with mass m and charge e accelerated between two electrodes with voltage V is: v= sqrt(2*V*e/m) Momentum of single particle is p=m*v = m*sqrt(2*V*e/m)

To calculate the number of particles flying at given power per second, we divide total passed charge by the charge of single particle n=Q/(e*t)=i/e current i we obtain from power P as i=P/V so n=P/(V*e)

Total force applied is equal to total exchanged momentum per unit time (assuming the ideal case where all momentum of accelerated particle is used for propulsion).

As result we have: F=n*p=m*sqrt(2*V*e/m)*P/(e*V)

If you put m=me=9.1093897E-31kg (electron mass) that gives an ion wind force of about 1.95E-6 N at P=100Watt, V=30kV. This is the kind of thrust one would get from an ionic thruster.

  • EHD calculation

On the other hand, the EHD thrust is given by the well established equation F=id/k (Refer to Sigmond's scientific papers), k=ion mobility coefficient (in air=2E-4), d=air gap, i=current F= 3.33E-3*0.03/2E-4 = 0.5N, which is what one actually gets from an ionocraft tested in air. If one wants to find the EHD thrust in oil, just replace k, by the ion mobility in oil.

The above calculations show the difference between an ionic thruster and an EHD thruster. The lack of knowledge and of a precise definition of ion wind, has led many people (including early tests from army research labs, universities,...) to arrive at the wrong conclusion that the measured thrust is too high to be ion wind.

This is the same reason for which people trying to measure ionic wind (using ion counters) underneath an ionocraft get much lower values than those measuring the actual air pressure. Only the actual air pressure reading will equate to the observed EHD thrust. - Blaze Labs Research 07:33, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Ion wind
EHD thruster
We actually had a discussion about this by email last October, but never finished it. You claimed that both forms of thrust were present in a "lifter" (and possibly a third?), but I maintained that only one was present, especially in an autonomous thruster, simply because of conservation of mass. Are you now agreeing that the EHD thrust (moving particles imparting momentum on neutral air/won't work in a vacuum) is the only effect present?
Do you have a reference stating that "ion wind" only applies to the one type of thrust? If it's used inconsistently by different people, it seems like it's simply an inconsistent term. Who was the first person to use the term? Has an authoritative source ever defined it for only one meaning? — Omegatron 16:45, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

The ion wind term dates back to the 18th century. As I said, it is a loosely defined term, which resulted in its inconsistent use. As far as I know, no authorative source has ever defined its proper meaning. However, most EHD researchers I know, reserve its use for the recoil force a plasma jet produces as it is expelled from the source. This is the way you'll find it used in most authorative literature. Theoretically, such ion wind can achieve supersonic speeds. This force is only present at the ionising top wire of an ionocraft, where plasma jets form. However, this force accounts only for a very small percentage of the total thrust, so small, that it can usually be neglected. You can see one such jets from a positive corona wire on the left wire in this picture (the wire on the right is a negative corona wire):

As to EHD thrust, we always agreed on that, is the main thrust in these devices. The maximum theoretical speed of EHD is much lower than the above mentioned ion wind, because EHD speed is based on the drift velocity of ion clouds. Plasma jets are in fact NOT a desired feature in a properly designed thruster, since they reduce the conversion efficiency, and are likely to develop into an arcing spot.

The 3rd effect, is even smaller than the ion jet force, much smaller in fact, and is the only one capable of producing any force in vacuum. In fact one could say that it's only possible in vacuum. This is the radiation pressure, which is generated when electrons leaving the ionising wire, are accelerated in vacuum, hit the lower foil, and generate X-rays. I think that this effect was also covered in one of Brown's patents. Here again, Brown was exploring new grounds, as it was only in 1871 that electromagnetic radiation pressure was deduced theoretically by the father of electromagnetic theory James Clerk Maxwell, and later on, proven experimentally by Lebedev in 1900 and by Nichols and Hull in 1901. However, this force is so small, that is considered to be virtually useless for any practical use. Also, ionocrafts/lifters are not the optimal design to take full advantage of this radiation pressure. An open X-ray tube design would perform much better (in vacuum).

Conclusion: The main thrust (almost 100%) from ionocrafts is due to EHD. The rest are just negligible forces, which can be fully explained and calculated in terms of ionic jets (in air/vacuum) and radiation pressure (in vacuum). - Blaze Labs Research 18:13, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok. My only contention is that an autonomous thruster couldn't have continuous plasma jets, simple from conservation of charge. If it's constantly throwing off charged particles, it would need a source to replenish the lost charge. If the power supply is tethered to earth, the charge is being supplied from the earth, and the ions ejected from the plasma jets are eventually neutralizing by contacting the earth, but this isn't a desired effect and wouldn't be applicable to an untethered device. — Omegatron 15:21, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
This is true for an isolated autonomous thruster. However, in practice, and especially in the case of tethered ionocrafts/lifters, in which the power supply ground is at the same potential of the surrounding environment, the ionocraft cannot be considered as a truly closed system, and charges are not conserved within the ionocraft, because of multiple ion return paths to the power supply ground through the surrounding objects. This can easiely be confirmed by measuring a current imbalance between the flow of current at the corona wire, and the flow of current at its collector. This imbalance varies with the proximity of nearby objects and the actual ionocraft design, (amongst other things). However it's true that this imbalance is much lower for an autonomous thruster, in which case the system is much closer to a closed system. - Blaze Labs Research 12:42, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Good. Then we agree. — Omegatron 13:01, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

History & Patents[edit]

This page needs a history section (instead of a list of patents). Include T. T. Brown, De Seversky, Naudin, etc. — Omegatron 13:11, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

I would keep it nice and clean with no detailed history. It's history involves lot more people, I can give you more patents on the same subject. It would probably be subjective and surely will create unnecessary hot debates and vandalism. However regarding the large number of patents under the heading "Below are patents and publications related to lifters, electrokinetics, electrohydrodynamics, and the Biefeld-Brown effect", note that Wiki now has seperate pages for ionocrafts, electrokinetics/ehd, and B-B effect, so I see no reason why we should have such a comprehensive list on this page. The listed patents should only be those specifically related to the use of electrokinetics/ehd for flying machines. All the rest have to be moved to their relevant Wiki entrance, and perhaps patents that are more relevant should be added. - Blaze Labs Research 14:05, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

U.S. Patent 3,223,038 U.S. Patent 3,130,945 U.S. Patent 6,919,698

Lets get a Lifter Picture[edit]

Can we have a picture of a lifter, the trangular sort, somewhere in the page? Alan2here 14:14, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

There was one, but it was deleted by User:Geni for not being free enough. In particular, it was licensed as such:

All informations in this page are published free and are intended for private/educational purposes and not for commercial applications

Awesome, right? — Omegatron 21:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Included the requested photo. I released this for public domain, absolutely no restrictions. - Blaze Labs Research 09:49, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Do you have any of better resolution? — Omegatron 21:30, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but not of the simple triangular shape. The reason being that, following our research, it was found that the triangular shape performs badly due to the fact that the current density of any two neighbouring EHD cells (distance from foil to foil=x) diminishes to that of one cell, as their distance gets less than 1.3x, so not much work has been done on that particular design. However I do have a lot of high resolution pictures of more efficient ionocrafts (not the triangular version). The spiral hex thrusters are a good example, with their performance (Newtons per watt) at twice that of De Severski's own model, or that of the simple triangular models. - Blaze Labs Research 12:01, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm confused as to why everyone builds triangles of foil and wire. It seems like there would be much better designs out there, especially in academic literature. There are things like this, for instance, that have apparently been designed to move a lot more air. — Omegatron 23:43, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

russian or american invention?[edit]

How can this artikle be in both "russian invention" and "american inventions" categories? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


Can anyone enlighten me as to why there's so little mention of the Biefeld–Brown effect in this article? I remember years ago being fascinated by lifters and searching around the internet for info, and everything I read pointed to Biefeld–Brown as the description of why these things float. Most lifter sites, including the French one that comes up most prominently (with the 250 gram lifter, [1]), says right at the top of the page, "The Lifter uses the Biefeld-Brown effect discovered by Thomas Townsend Brown in 1928." Similarly I think the lead section of this article should make prominent mention of that effect. Equazcion /C 14:41, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

I just noticed how old the other comments on this page are. I'm gonna make the edits myself -- feel free to comment here on this though. Equazcion /C 14:42, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Isn't that already implied by "electrohydrodynamic device"? Now it's redundant. — Omegatron (talk) 23:42, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


Having watched a quite few episodes of this Discovery Channel series I am of the opinion that the "tests" performed on this show is of little to no scientific value and certainly should not merit mentioning in a Wikipedia article as evidence for or against anything. The only mention these experiments deserve in my view is together with other appearances in popular media. It should be removed from the lead section of the present article, __meco (talk) 08:36, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Before reading this discussion page, I found myself reacting negatively to the reference to an episode Mythbusters in this article. I have nothing against the show, and I think it's wonderful that it promotes healthy skepticism and empiricism, but it seems a bit distracting to include it here. I'm likely to delete this section soon, but of course I'm willing to see someone else improve it or persuasively argue for its retention here. CosineKitty (talk) 01:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


I think the definition of "beamship" given here ('due to it being constructed from "beams" of balsa wood') is a little dubious. Beamship is a term that has been floating around UFO circles for a long, long time. Billy Meier refers repeatedly to Pleiadean Beamships in his writings and interviews and the word has almost become a synonym for "UFO" or "flying saucer". By his description, a beam is a mode of conveyance and is also used as a verb to describe being conveyed by such, apparently much like Star Trek's "Beam Me Up, Scotty" transporter beam. The term could go back even further to Edgar Cayce's Atlantis readings where he describes aircraft and ships powered by beams of energy originating from a central power station. I think it is significant that these lifters are also powered remotely and are steeped in UFO lore, which seems to me a more likely reason for the choice of the name. A citation is needed in any event. Xot (talk) 04:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Independent Clause[edit]

"Much like a rocket or a jet engine (it can actually be much more thrust efficient than a jet engine[1])." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

The wikipedia page about lifters it is a completely no science based[edit]

Please inform yourself before you can post world wide !!! Lifters was tested by NASA in full vacuum and :yes ,they work !!! If its hard for you atleast to navigate on the web then here i give you one of the Nasa video tests !!! Please check the link under and let me know what for lie you will invent more (talk) 19:08, 6 September 2015 (UTC)06 september 2015

"Flies silently" as a definition?[edit]

Under the description / definition the article notes " flies silently" ("An ionocraft is a propulsion device based on ionic air propulsion that works without moving parts, flies silently, uses only electrical energy, and is able to lift its own weight, not including its own power supply"). I've removed "flies silently" as I am not sure this should be part of the definition of an ionocraft. I'd welcome more learned people than me providing a reference to a good publication offering a definitive description of what represents an ionocraft.mgaved (talk) 10:24, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Problems with misleading definition of propulsion operation[edit]

After contribution to the article in note addition I was advised to bring this in talk page. The Ionic propulsion definition of this type of propulsion operation is misleading and incorrect in the article. My contribution was to encourage scientific groups to put hard facts on what makes this type of propulsion to work in vacuum by doing investigation experiments.

Can someone highlight this point in the article? The definition description has to be fixed. --Arunasp (talk) 11:33, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

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