The Ion Wind Tests on Transdimensional's Lifter
By Jean-Louis Naudin
created on October 10th, 2001 - JLN Labs - Last update October 25th, 2001
All informations in this page are published free and are intended for private/educational purposes and not for commercial applications

In the Birmingham Business Journal ( July 19, 2001 ) we can read : " The scientific community has also mistaken Power3 for ion wind propulsion, although Transdimensional says ion wind contributes less than 2 percent of the system's total motive force. "

So, I have conducted two tests to check if the fact of removing the ion wind is able to cancel the upward thrust.

Ion Wind Test #1 :

The Lifter1 that previously tested on Oct 1, 2001, has been used for these tests. The three thin copper wires has been completly insulated with Three 5 mm diam plastic tubes so as to remove the ion wind previously generated by these thin wires.

With these plastic tube the Lifter1 is not able to self-levitate, so it has been placed on a Roberval balance and insultated with a polystyren box.

TEST RESULT : When the High Voltage power supply is switched ON ( 41.9 KV @ 90uA - 37.7 Watts ), the Lifter1 goes upward and the needle of beam balance move to the left. ( see the photo and the video of the test below )

To see the videos, the free downloadable RealPlayer is required

The Ion Wind Test #1

Click on the picture above to see the video ( 533 Kb )

Ion Wind Test #2 :

To check again if the main lifting thrust is not generated by the ion wind. I have used a thick cardboard sheet between one wire and the main armature. In the case of the ion wind generates all the thrust, when a cardboard shield is placed below one of the wires, the Lifter must tilt on one side due to the resulting asymmetrical flow.
A such test has also been performed by Transdimensionnal Technologies ( see : )

TEST RESULT : When the High Voltage power supply is switched ON, the device remains stable and continue to hovering at the same level. ( see the photos and the videos below )

The Ion Wind Test #2

Click on the picture above to see the video ( 978 Kb )

Air Bag Test #3 :

The Lifter has been completly enclosed with a plastic bag and placed on a Robeval balance.

TEST RESULT : When the High Voltage power supply is switched ON, the Lifter goes upward with the plastic bag and the needle of beam balance move to the right. ( see the photo and the video of the test below )

The Plastic Bag Test #3

Click on the picture above to see the video ( 506 Kb )

Ion wind speed measurements : Test #4

The purpose of this test is to measure the ion wind generated below the surface of Lifter. I have used Huger Wind speed meter WSC100H. This windmeter has a measuring range for wind speed: 0 to 220 km/h, 0 to 115 knots, 0 to 60 m/s, 0 to 125 miles/h with an accuracy of +/- 3% from -30° to 70° C.

According to a calculation done by William Beaty :

Sujet : [jlnlabs] Lifter: velocity of ion wind needed to levitate 
Date : 10-25-01 07:43:26
De : William J. Beaty
A :
Envoyé via Internet

Regarding the controversy of ion wind thrust versus electrogravity, just how much wind would be needed to levitate the Lifter?

Below is a crude calculation for LIFTER3.  (I put this on freenrg-L, so some of you already saw it.)   If that device produces an air flow which is greatly different than the flow I calculate below, then we have a crude idea of the relative contributions of the air thrust versus the electrogravity thrust.

At sea-level pressure, air has significant mass: about one kg per cubic meter.  We live our lives immersed in an ocean of air, so we don't realize how heavy it is. If a device could throw out a cubic meter of air per second, this would be like throwing out a 2lb weight every second. Depending on the air velocity, the reaction force might be larger than we'd expect.

Let's assume that the air intake is from all directions (so it contribues zero momentum) and the "exhaust jet" is a parallel laminar flow with the same size as the entire device.  In that case, in order to lift the 16gm mass (.16 Newtons weight) of the device, the velocity of the jet would only have to be:

    f = thrust Nt
    d = 1.2 kg/meter^3 (@ sea level)
    a = area of jet, 0,6*0,5*sqrt(3) * 0,6*0,5=0.156 meter^2
    Mass of lifter =  0.016 kg
    Weight of lifter = 9.81*.016 = 0.156 Nt


    engine thrust = (air vel)^2 * area of jet * exhaust density


    air vel = sqrt(weight/area/density) = 0.913 meters/sec (2.04 mph)

(don't trust the above!  Double check this yourself.)

For ion wind to cause levitation, the air flow below LIFTER3 should be about 0.913 meter per second or 2.04 miles per hour.  If some air also flows outside the borders of the device, then the "virtual area" would be larger and the air flow somewhat slower than 2 mph.   If the actual wind is *far* smaller than 2 mph. (e.g. 10x smaller,) then I would conclude that most of the lifting force comes from electrogravity.  (Well, this is true if my calculation has no flaws!)


(((((((((((((((( ( (  (   (    (O)    )   )  ) ) )))))))))))))))))))
William J. Beaty                           SCIENCE HOBBYIST website                 

TEST RESULT : The Wind Speed meter is placed below the surface of the Lifter and moved along the entire of the this area, the average ion wind speed measured is about 1.5 mph ( 0.67 Meter/sec ). The ion wind contribution to the upward thrust is more than the 2% claimed by Transdimensional Technologies, but it is not sufficiency to lift the device.

The Ion Wind measurements Test #4

Click on the picture above to see the video ( 569 Kb )

Even if, in the worst case, a fluid medium is required to lift off, the Lifter technology is a good starting point for building highly manoeuvrable VTOL crafts which will flight silently without moving parts... Jean-Louis Naudin - April 30, 2002

Read the NASA Patent description and see the FULL NASA PATENT US 6,317,310 ( granted November 13, 2001 )
NASA MFS 31419_1 - Apparatus & Method for Generating Thrust Using a Two Dimensional, Asymmetrical Capacitor; - see the photo of the apparatus tested in vacuum by TdT

Electrokinetic Propulsion: The Ionic Wind Argument by William B. Stein - Purdue University - Energy Conversion Lab

A Proposed Electrodynamic Thrusting Mechanism by Charles A. Yost

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