Cyrus: each flat, electrode strip would go from the root of the wing to to the tip of the wing. Each wing would have several such electrodes parallel to one another. The sequence and polarity of energization would be as follows:
1. The leading edge elctrode is initially energized POSITIVE causing the first batch of air molecules in it's vicinity to become positively charged.
2. The adjacent elctrode is then negatively energized and attracts the positively charged air molecules. This electrode is then temporarily de-energized and the momentum of the air molecules in the first batch carry them past the second electrode.
3. The second electrode is then positively energized, "pushing" this first batch further toward the trailing edge.
4. The process continues until the first batch of air molecules (through successive electrostatic "push-pull" sequences) pass over the airfoil via the remaining elctrode strips all the way to the trailing edge of the wing.
Another way to look at it is as follows: An electric motor uses timed energization and denergization of electromagnets to "push-pull" the tangential edge of a rotor around and around. A linear motor or rail gun does the same, but in a linear, straight line form of motion.
So, the elctrostatic airfoil does the same thing with batches of air molecules being "push-pulled" in one direction, over the surface of an airfoil, by electrostatic means. Given the correct electrostatic potential, sequence and frequency of energization and de-energization of electrode segments, a laminar flow of air can be made to move across an airfoil at any desired speed.