The story of the Lifter Project
By Jean-Louis Naudin
Project started on October 10th, 2001 - JLN Labs
All informations in this page are published free and are intended for private/educational purposes and not for commercial applications
Toutes les informations et schémas sont publiés gratuitement ( freeware ) et sont destinés à un usage personnel et non commercial

The Lifter is an asymmetrical capacitor which uses High Voltage ( > 20KV ) to produce a thrust.

The Lifter uses the Biefeld-Brown effect discovered by Thomas Townsend Brown in 1928. The basic design of the Lifter has been fully described in the Townsend Brown US Patent N°2949550 filed on Aug 16, 1960 and titled "Elektrokinetic Apparatus", you will find in this patent the full description of the main principle used in the Lifter devices :
<< It is therefore an object of my invention to provide an apparatus for converting the energy of an electrical potential directly into a mechanical force suitable for causing relative motion between a structure and the surrounding medium. It is another object of this invention to provide a novel apparatus for converting and electrical potential directly to usable kinetic energy.
It is another object of this invention to provide a novel apparatus for converting electrostatic energy directly into kinetic energy.
It is another object of this invention to provide a vehicle motivated by electrostatic energy without the use of moving parts.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a self- propelled vehicle without moving parts. It is a feature of my invention to provide an apparatus for producing relative motion between a structure and the surrounding medium which apparatus includes a pair of electrodes of appropriate form held in fixed spaced relation to each other and immersed in a dielectric medium and oppositely charged. It is another feature of my invention to provide apparatus which includes a body defining one electrode, another separate electrode supported in fixed spaced relation by said body, and a source of high electrical potential connected between the body and the separate electrode. >>
( Extract from US Patent N°2949550 filed on Aug 16, 1960 titled "Elektrokinetic Apparatus" )

On October 5, 2000, the Hector Serrano's patent WO 00/58623 " Propulsion device and method employing electric fields for producing thrust " has been granted. This patent is very close to the Aymmetrical Capacitor Thruster ( ACT ) patented by the NASA ( patent US 6,317,310 , granted on Nov 2001 ) . These two devices use the Biefeld-Brown Effect for producing a thrust Vs the surrounding medium ( this effect was discovered by Townsend Brown in 1928 in his Gravitator, see the GB Patent N°300311 filed on Nov 15, 1928 "A method of and an apparatus or machine for producing force or motion" from T.Townsend Brown ).

On June 2001, Transdimensional Technologies has presented the Power3 Lifter1 and Lifter2 devices. The Lifter1 device was built with three capacitors joined so as to form a triangle assembly and the Lifter2 is three time heavier and three time bigger than the Lifter1. These devices are able to lift their own weight and they are a "modern version" of the Townsend Brown Electrokinetic Apparatus. The Lifters are using the Biefeld-Brown Effect to generate the main thrust to self levitate.

On October 2001, I have replicated successfully the Transdimensional Power3 Lifter1 and Lifter2. You will also find the full explanations to build yourself your own Lifter1.

On November 13, 2001, the NASA patent US 6,317,310 " Apparatus and Method for generating a thrust using a two dimensional asymmetrical capacitor module " has been granted.
On the NASA TechFinder web site ( Public Release Date : Nov 6, 2001 ), we can read :
<< Objective : NASA scientists have discovered a method for generating thrust from two dimensional asymmetrical capacitor modules. The results are potentially greater efficiencies and improved reliability over currently available electric thrusters.
Description : In the past, inductive technology has been needed to create thrust, rotational motion, or step an actuator using electricity. This new technology accomplishes these tasks and more by using high potential, low current asymmetrical capacitor modules. The dielectric material of a capacitor under high voltage experiences a force. Based on the geometry of the capacitor, its material properties, and ambient conditions, the force can be predicted and utilized to move the entire capacitor and its mounting in a predictable direction. It had been theorized that thrust generation from this phenomenon was feasible, but no working prototypes had been developed, until now. >> ( Click here to read the full document )

On November 18, 2001, I have fully replicated and tested successfully the NASA Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster experiment.

On January 19, 2002, I have fully replicated and tested successfully the Electric Field Propulsion Thruster patented by Hector Serrano from Gravitec Inc.

Recently, the two new NASA patents based on the Biefeld-Brown effect has been granted US2002012221 on January 31, 2002 and US6411493 on June 25, 2002.

On March 10th, 2002, I have fully replicated and tested successfully the NASA Orbital Maneuvering Propellantless Truster v1.0 described in the patent application US2002012221 " Apparatus and Method for generating a thrust using a two dimensional asymmetrical capacitor module ".

The Lifter is not a simple ionic wind device as Seversky's Ionocraft or as the Hagen's Flying apparatus. The Lifter uses a special asymmetrical capacitor geometry to produce an asymmetrical flow of EM energy around itself. The Biefeld-Brown Effect has been tested successfully in vacuum at 10e-5 torr by the Purdue University - Energy Conversion Lab with accurate and deep measurements in Sep 2000. These tests have fully demonstrated that the ionic wind is not the source of the main thrust.... Today, after some deep investigations and many experiments, I am really convinced that this technology is worth to be developped. In atmospherical environment the major upward thrust is provided by an electrokinetic effect on the medium ( air ), but there is also a minor thrust ( not yet fully explained ) in vacuum which can't be explained by a simple ion wind effect, this residual thrust ( in a milli-Newton range ) can be used in deep space for space propulsion ...

More than 100 Lifter replications have been done successfully by many experimenters and physicists Worldwide ( see The Worldwide Lifters replications logbook ).

On November 12th, 2002, I have fully demonstrated with the Lifter "Maximus" experiment, that a Lifter can be scaled up and also that such a device is able to lift up to 60 g of payload ( total weight : 194 g ). It is now possible to build a VTOL craft which will use the Biefeld-Brown effect to fly silently and without moving parts ( see VTOL Lifter-Craft Mk III ) only powered by electrical energy...

The Lifter has been fully tested by the [dstl], a part of the British Ministry of Defence

Click here to read the full document

Documents and references :

The NASA PATENT: US6411493 granted on June 25, 2002

Field of Invention :
The present invention relates to methods and apparatus which use capacitors charged to high potentials for generating thrust and, more particularly, to an improved apparatus using a two dimensional, asymmetrical capacitor to which a high potential is applied.
Although the asymmetrical capacitor module described in the preceding paragraph has worked well in the laboratory, one potential disadvantage or limitation thereof is that there is some tendency to arcing between potential surfaces. More generally, there is a need to further improve the module construction to enable use thereof for atmospheric propulsion and for propulsion in space.

The NASA PATENT: US2002012221 granted on January 31, 2002

Apparatus for generating thrust using a two dimensional, asymmetrical capacitor module
Patent Number: US2002012221
Publication date:   2002-01-31
Inventor(s):    CAMPBELL JONATHAN W (US)
Applicant(s):  US OF AMERICA NASA (US)

Abstract : An asymmetrical capacitor module for generating thrust includes two conductive elements of similar but different geometries separated by a dielectric member. Improved embodiments provided in the construction of conductive elements of smaller axial extent include those where the element is formed by an annular wire or a dielectric supported ring. Other embodiments concern the dielectric member and involve changes in the extent and shape thereof. 

At page 2 chapter [0034] <<Referring to the Fig 1.... a cylinder 12 made of copper or another highly conductive material. >>
page 3 chapter [0037] : << In this embodiment disk 14 is replaced by a ring or annulus preferably in form of a fine wire 24 made of copper or another highly conductive material. >>

See the tests of the NASA Orbital Maneuvering Propellantless Truster v1.0
A standard reply from the NASA about the Asymmetrical Capacitors (ACs), Lifters and Biefeld-Brown devices.. ( 06-07-02 )

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 Transdimensional Technologies

by Theodore C. Loder. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and presented at the 40th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno NV. Paper number AIAA-2002-1131.

Abstract :
<< This paper reviews the development of antigravity research in the US and notes how research activity seemed to disappear by the mid 1950s. It then addresses recently reported scientific findings and witness testimonies - that show us that this research and technology is alive and well and very advanced. The revelations of findings in this area will alter dramatically our 20th century view of physics and technology and must be considered in planning for both energy and transportation needs in the 21st century.>>

This paper can be downloaded at :


Patent Number: WO02073218
Publication date: September 19th, 2002

A plurality of asymmetrical capacitors that develop power in a propulsion system are disclosed. In one embodiment, the capacitor is constructed so as to have an elongated rear conductive element to provide a relatively long region within which electrons drift. in another embodiment, a plurality of forward emitters are positioned so as to create an ionization region in front of the capacitor, with a rear conductive element providing a region within which electrons may drift. In all these capacitors, a leaky dielectric region separates the forward and rearward conductive elements, with electron drift through the leaky dielectric generating motive power. In some instances, this region may simply be an air gap, and in other instances pure or ultrapure semiconductor materials, i.e. materials that exhibit both electron mobility and a dielectric constant, may be used. A plurality of such semiconductor materials are constructed in layers forming the leaky dielectric region.

Click here to see the full patent

Note from JL Naudin : In the Jeffery Cameron's patent from Transdimensional Technologies, all the theoretical part about the " Lorentz force propulsion system " working principle ( see pages 1-7 ) is fully inspired from the document " Review of the application of Newton's third law in physics " from Patrick Cornille published in 1998 in the Elsevier Science " Progress in Energy and Combustion Science " - Vol 25 ( issue 2 - April 1998 ), see chapter 9.1, pages 173-177 : The Lorentz force law and the stimulated force.

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