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Synergy aircraft project unveiled at EAA symposium

John McGinnis unveiled his new aircraft design, Synergy, at the fifth annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS V) last week in Santa Rosa, California. McGinnis believes Synergy will achieve performance capable of winning the $1.65 million NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge scheduled for this July.

McGinnis describes the design as half sailplane-half fighter jet. The “Synergy” name derives from the idea that the aircraft synergizes six proven aeronautical principles into a single, extremely efficient package:

  • Laminar flow
  • Non-planar configuration
  • Wake-immersed propulsion
  • Open thermodynamic cycle
  • Pressure thrust
  • Optimum volumetric displacement waveform

Synergy’s shape creates extremely low induced drag. Like the canard designs that inspired its drag reduction priorities, Synergy is designed to be incapable of unintentional stalls and won’t spin in computer simulation, McGinnis said.

Synergy is the first aircraft designed around the turbocharged, liquid-cooled, 200-hp diesel DeltaHawk engine, currently undergoing FAA certification at the company’s headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.

Some discussion of Synergy on page 15 of thread (begun in 2009) on 21st-century drag reduction on Oshkosh365.


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