The nonlinear electrical characteristics of corona motors are modeled through suitable transformation of the stator voltage waveform. This in effect produces an equivalent gap conductivity to serve as a linearized model. The analysis shows how a corona motor is able to generate very high speeds with DC excitation, and points out the basis for its asynchronous operation. Experimental tests of a macroscopic motor confirm that the analysis models the basic behavior of a corona machine. Operation of a small (100 μm) cylindrical motor is considered. The device expected to be capable of very high speeds with DC input and no special control.