In early 1929, Thomas T. Brown published an article in prestigious Science and Invention magazine. Article’s title was simple: How I Control Gravitation. However, the topic was anything but simple. Brown proved that using electrogravitics he could control gravity.
He discovered an unusual effect while experimenting with a Coolidge tube, a type of X-ray vacuum tube where, if he placed on a balance scale with the tube’s positive electrode facing up, the tube's mass seemed to decrease, when facing down the tube's mass seemed to increase.
He elaborated that if using high enough voltage generated by a powerful engine, any object could be rendered weightless.
This of course didn’t went unnoticed neither by Americans nor by Soviets, with later being determined to unlock the mystery of gravity as soon as possible. Immediately after WWII a special sector was established under the Institute for Physical Problems (Институт физических проблем имени П. Л. Капицы РАН) in Moscow.
After few years the sector spun-off and become Gravity control propulsion research center. Soon large-scale tests proved that indeed gravity could be controlled. One of the experiment showed that a solid block of graphite with a mass of 500 kg doesn’t weigh the normal 4903 N but only 3236 N. Only 66% of original weight.
Next phase was of course moving this new technology out of the laboratory in and into the field. Sparing no time a special vehicle, Victory 357 (Победа 357), was developed. It was basically an ekranoplan using three small jet engines for horizontal propulsion and an enormous 15,500 HP Kuznetsov NK-12 generator for powering electrogravitics elements. Generator provided enough electricity to reduce the weight of the vehicle from 160,000 N (16,315 kg) to 85.000 N (8.667 kg) making it a reasonably nimble ekranoplan with limited flying capabilities.
Victory 357 was a technology demonstrator and had little space for crew or cargo. But it was the first step into the world of gravity-modulated vehicles.