Date: Thu Feb 8 06:24:23 2007

Author: William Beaty

Subject: Re: Another YouTube hoax?

On Wed, 7 Feb 2007, Bernard Cleyet wrote:

> Or just impractical?

Also called "DeSeversky's Ionocraft", invented in the 1950s. If we put
high voltage between a thin sharp wire and a large non-sharp plate, then
electric wind will blow from the wire to the plate. Here's another video:

Ionocraft (DivX AVI)

Also an old article about it:

Here's some guys who found that the thrust decreases to zero in
hard vacuum:

If some sort of particle-beam device was used instead of thin wires, then
it might be possible to build a useful aircraft, an "electrostatic
helicopter." Just deposit many tens of milliamps of ions at many
megavolts into many cubic meters of air above the craft. With
acceleration potentials above the megavolt range, "electron runaway"
occurs, and air becomes relatively transparent to electrons. Electrons of
relatively low mass would be flung many meters upwards, where they attach
to air molecules and are attracted downward as relatively heavy negative
ions; attracted to the positively-charged fuselage. An electrostatic jet
engine. A helicopter without blades. As a stealth aircraft it would be
silent, but wouldn't it have a purple glow that's hard to conceal? And it
might reek of ozone? Engine-powered electric generators might give off a
slight hum, and perhaps interfere with AM radio reception. The charged
fuselage would burn the grass when landing. Similar electrostatic
side-thrusters around the rim would appear as a row of lights which wink
on and off in organized patterns during steering. Heh. And finall, if
MeV electrons put out some x-rays, this would fire off any nearby GM
counters, and might even penetrate metal and temporarily short out the HV
ignition of nearby cars.

Perhaps some of those old UFO reports were actual sightings of military
"ionocraft" testing?

On the other end of the complexity spectrum, here's my genuine
non-electrostatic antigravity device made of cardboard:

(((((((((((((((((( ( ( ( ( (O) ) ) ) ) )))))))))))))))))))
William J. Beaty Research Engineer UW Chem Dept, Bagley Hall RM74
206-543-6195 Box 351700, Seattle, WA 98195-1700