No one likes to hang around in airports. Long lines, security hassles and flight delays could be a thing of the past, though, if John McGinnis, a composite manufacturer, has his way. With the help of his family and a few dozen volunteers, he has invented a personal airplane, called Synergy, that could be more inexpensive, quiet and fuel-efficient than traditional commercial aircraft.
It is the design of the Synergy that makes it so unique. The wings on the Synergy bend upward and into a rectangular shape for minimum drag. The top half of each wing comes behind the body and provides in-flight stability. This design makes gliding easier, as well, because it counteracts the vortices at the wings’ tips. Using a quarter-scale prototype, it has been determined that this unusual wing configuration will work.
There is no front-mounted propeller — instead, McGinnis designed an impeller that is placed behind the plane’s narrow body to quiet noise and add thrust. Additional thrust is added thanks to a 200-horsepower turbo diesel engine that expels heat below the impeller. In case of emergencies, the Synergy has a push-button landing system and a rocket-deployed parachute.
So how does a guy like McGinnis get into creating a personal airplane? He taught himself aeronautical engineering and fluid dynamics over the course of 20 years. After looking at some scientific studies, he came across a NASA paper that challenged the aerodynamic drag equation. Something clicked inside his head and the Synergy was born.
Synergy is currently being created in the garage of McGinnis’ father. He uses CNC machines and custom molds to create components for the airplane, along with 3-D software to model ideas. Having raised nearly $80,000 by crowdfunding, McGinnis and team hope to complete the full-scale version of Synergy later this year.
Via Pop Sci