Thanks to a number responses, both private and on the list serve, I 
see that I have started a lot of folks thinking and experimenting.

Robert Stephens and Malcolm's responses were most thoughtful.  Robert 
recognised that if DC did charge the dielectric air around the system 
with a huge toroid.  The RF bursts of energy would, at some instant offer 
a trigger to discharge via the coil's terminal to air all the stored 
energy in the ion cloud.

This is similar to what Kim Goins, our resident physicist, has done using 
plexiglass dielectrics (equal to our air load) by enjecting electrons via 
an electron beam accelerator (equivalent to the Tesla coil)into the 
plexiglass.  At some point during the beam's impact on the plexiglass, 
the material internally breaks down in a violent electrical discharge and 
a pattern of the electrical discharge remains.  It is called, a 
"Lichtenberg figure".  Sometimes, the material survives the beam 
unharmed.  The material may then be hand carried to a vise and tapped 
with a center punch (trigger energy) and always, the brilliant flash, 
explosion and discharge within the plexiglass occurs creating the 
permanent Lichtenberg figure as a record of discharge.

Much more work in this area has to be done.

Kim works as a research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory.  Our 
most highly decorated member.

Richard Hull, TCBOR