In the early to mid 50's the American inventor Townsend Brown invented a new form of air propulsion in which he supplied a wire suspended in front of the leading edge of an aluminum disc with a high voltage of 45 kv or more with the negative electric pole being supplied to a wire along the trailing edge. Two such discs were suspended by wires to form a carousel and when energized would fly a circular course. Initially, Brown flew 2 foot diameter discs supplied with up to 47 kv around a 20 foot diameter course at a speed of up to 12 mph. In 1955 in research he conducted near Paris France, he flew 2.5 foot diameter discs around an 18 foot diameter course at speeds of up to 20 mph (see Project Montgolfier). Also a few years earlier, he had given a demonstration to Navy admirals at Pearl Harbor in which he flew 3 foot diameter discs supplied with 150 kv around a 50 foot diameter course at speeds rumoured to be in the range of hundreds of miles per hour. The results were so significant as to be classified. In 1957 he is said to have been test flying 10 foot diameter discs. It has been proposed that Brown's electrokinetic propulsion technology served as the centerpiece of the B-2 bomber propulsion system. More about Townsend Brown's electrokinetic technology, what causes the forward propulsion, and the use of the technology in the B-2 bomber can be found in the book Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion.
Over the years various researchers have duplicated Townsend Brown's flying disc carousel experiment in small scale rigs; e.g., Larry Deavenport. More recently, in his laboratory in Texas, inventor Kim Zorzi has produced a stunning demonstration of Brown's flying disc technology. Rather than using flying discs, Zorzi designed his airfoils as 12 inch flying wings which bear a close resemblance to the profile of the B-2 bomber. He carried out his tests between 2009 and 2011. He attached ionizer wires to the leading and trailing edges of each wing and supplied them with 30 kv DC, with the positive polarity on the leading edge. Below is a youtube video he shot of his flying wings in flight. As seen here, at their top speed the wings appear to turn the carousel at about 1/2 rpm as they fly a 6 foot diameter circular course. This translates into a speed of about 9.4 feet per second or about 6 miles per hour.
Youtube video of Kim Zorzi's flying wings.
In a follow up experiment, using a carousel suspension, Zorzi flew electrokinetic wings having a wingspan of 24 inches around a 20 foot diameter course at around 1/2 rpm. This translates into speeds of 21 miles per hour which is comparable to the speeds that Brown was getting with his 2-1/2 foot diameter electric discs in the Montgolfier Project in Paris.
As further work in this area, Zorzi has built radio controlled planes whose wings are electrified with on board high voltage generators (see photos above). Their wings have a span of 32 inches and are fitted with propellers that allow them to take off and land vertically. Once the craft are airborne, the electric propulsion is switched on to propel the planes forward. No test result details are yet available.
Kim writes about his ongoing research on his website ultralightamerica.com and describes his electrokinetic experimental work on the following page 7: http://www.ultralightamerica.com/edavVII.htm