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Hal's Lifter Page
Updated August 5, 2006

The above photo is of my two latest lifters.
Click on photo for enlargement.

BE WARNED...      BE WARNED...      BE WARNED...
All of the devices shown on this page use HIGH VOLTAGE, which may inflict serious injury or death.
This page is intended solely as entertainment.  DO NOT ATTEMPT to reproduce any of the following devices.
Halice Internet Services will not be held liable for injury or death.

A lifter is a fragile custom-made high voltage capacitor.  It is a propulsion system that has NO MOVING PARTS!  The overwhelming draw-back to this technology is its inefficiency.  It takes a great amount of electrical energy to levitate a very light lifter.

I wanted to attempt to reproduce a lifter.  The photos and videos on this page show my success.  I was too cheap to spring for balsa wood and 50 gauge stainless steel wire, as recommended in the construction instructions written by Tim Ventura of, so I substituted thin plastic drinking straws for balsa and stripped the 50 gauge stainless steel wire out of the shielding of a computer monitor cable.  Thanks to Tim Ventura, the instructions to build a lifter can be found at

If you are using a PC, to save a photo or a video, right click on its link and choose "Save Link Target As...".

Video - flight1.rm
(2.76 MB  /  51 seconds duration) Photo of Flight-One
Click on photo for enlargement.

In March 2006, my first attempt to make a lifter was relatively successful.  I built a triangular lifter that was about 9" long on each side.  I constructed it from very thin plastic drinking straws, aluminum foil, 30 gauge enameled copper wire, Super Glue, Scotch tape and sewing thread.  That's it, honest.  For the power source, I used a 13" color computer monitor.  I removed the back cover of the monitor, sat the monitor screen down, disconnected the HIGH VOLTAGE lead from the picture tube (that comes from the flyback transformer), and connected it to the power lead extending from the corona wire on the lifter.  Doing this is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.  If you don't know what I am talking about, don't attempt it!

As per Tim Ventura's "Construction-Guide.pdf" document, found on the page referred to above, my initial construction used 30 gauge enameled copper wire as the corona wire, which has several negative effects.  First, the 30 gauge copper wire makes the lifter heavier and therefore harder to get off the ground.  Second, the lifter made a very loud buzz that was not very pleasant to hear.  Third and most important, the copper corona wire emits a blue sheet of ion leakage that filled the space between the corona wire and the aluminum sheeting.  Granted, it looked really cool BUT it emitted a ton of ozone, which is exceptionally harmful to breath.  I strongly recommend that you read more about the extreme dangers of ozone.  Never stay in the same room with a flying lifter unless there is plenty of ventilation, and stand upwind from the lifter.

After reading Tim's "Lifter-Advances-2002.pdf" document, I decided to modify my original stinky little lifter so that it would work and fly more efficiently.  So, I removed the 30 gauge enameled copper corona wire and replaced it with 50 gauge stainless steel wire.  Being one who hates paying too much for anything, I decided I would scavenge the needed wire instead of purchasing it.  I found an old computer monitor cable (the cable that goes between the monitor and the computer), cut the connectors off each end and carefully stripped off its plastic insulation.  On my cable, the shielding was made of braided 50 gauge stainless steel wire.  With great patience and about 3 hours work, I unbraided the shield, which yielded enough wire to make several dozen lifters.  The difference was astonishing.  As illustrated in the video, the lifter flew easier, was nearly silent and emitted much less ozone.  The reduced ozone emissions meant that I could fly it for longer periods of time before turning it off and leaving the room, while the ozone dissipated.

Video - flight2.rm
(1.98 MB  /  35 seconds duration) Photo of Flight-Two
Click on photo for enlargement.

Video - flight3.wmv
(5.76 MB  /  1:08 minutes duration) Photo of Flight-Three
Click on photo for enlargement.

After NOT being satisfied with Lifter-One, because of its extreme weight and small size, I decided to build a larger lighter lifter.  Avoiding the mistakes that I made with Lifter-One, I forged ahead.  While using the same basic design, Lifter-Two ended up being an equilateral triangle, 11.5" on a side.  This lifter flew exceptionally well.  Its initial tests were powered by a 13" color computer monitor, which gave it enough power to fly nicely about 10" above the table, as shown in the upper video to the left.  After frying the 13" monitor during a Tesla coil demonstration, I replaced the 13" monitor with a 17" color monitor, hoping for MORE POWER!  I wasn't disappointed.  The 17" monitor easily powered the lifter to a 10" elevation.  So, I increased the length of the lifter's restraining threads so that it would fly at an elevation of 20", twice its previous flight elevation.  The lower video to the left shows that flight.  I could have flown it higher but I didn't have enough space for a safe landing on my work table, so a higher flight with Lifter-Two hasn't happened yet.  I know that it will fly higher because I have already flown my 22.25" lifter, which is 4 times larger, to an elevation of 26", using the same power supply.

Video - lifter3a.wmv
(3.76 MB  /  44 seconds duration) lifter3a
Click on photo for enlargement.

Video - lifter3b.wmv
(2.71 MB  /  32 seconds duration) Photo of Flight-Three
Click on photo for enlargement.

Lifter-Three is the third single cell lifter that I have built.  It is 22.25" long on a side, which is nearly 4 times larger than Lifter-Two.  However, it is distinctive from the first two lifters because it requires vertical struts in the middle of each side to support its weight, as well as its 50 gauge stainless steel corona wire.

The addition of these three vertical center struts became an engineering challenge.  Since this is a single cell lifter, the challenge was to attach the struts without any of the sides collapsing laterally or vertically.  If I had chosen to build a multiple cell lifter, the additional horizontal struts (the thin plastic straws) would have provided addition structural support.  It took three months for me to come up with an attachment detail that would work.

This lifter turned out very light for its dimensions because of the minimalistic approach I took in its design and construction.  The problem with building a lifter this frail is that landing it will quickly pull the structure apart at its connecting points.  Also, landings cause the frail structure to flex upon impact, stretching the aluminum foil with every additional landing.  The challenge in building the second generation of this size lifter will be in designing it to be stronger, while not adding too much weight to its structure.

The day after completing construction of Lifter-Three, I flew it in two series of tests.  The first series of flights were done on my work table, as shown in the upper video to the left.  After adjusting the corona wire to the proper height above the aluminum foil, I coaxed the lifter to fly at an elevation of 14" above the table.  Very quickly, I realized that further testing required a larger area for landings and take-offs.  So that evening, I moved the lifter and its power supply onto the floor for its second series of tests, as shown in the lower video to the left.  With little trouble, I got the lifter to fly at an elevation of 26".  As mentioned earlier, the problem with flying it at this height is its landings.  It was obvious that each successive landing caused the structure to weaken and its aluminum foil to be stretched.

Stay tuned for Lifter-Four.

When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs.  Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation.  Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.  People vary widely in their susceptibility to ozone.  Healthy people, as well as those with respiratory difficulty, can experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone.  Exercise during exposure to ozone causes a greater amount of ozone to be inhaled, and increases the risk of harmful respiratory effects.  Recovery from the harmful effects can occur following short-term exposure to low levels of ozone, but health effects may become more damaging and recovery less certain at higher levels or from longer exposures (US EPA, 1996a, 1996b).

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