Illustration of the all new 'Synergy' aircraft from John McGinnis in Montana
These illustrations and the 1/4 scale model seen here are of an all new aircraft called Synergy that's getting close to being completed in full scale form. Even more, this aircraft truly represents a 'synergy' of advanced aerodynamic ideas that just might see it revolutionize the world of aviation. It's some pretty exciting stuff that I've actually been aware of for two years now but wasn't at liberty to speak of. I'm hopeful that designer/builder John McGinnis is able to prove what appears to be a real quantum leap forward in aerodynamic performance.
John McGinnis with the 1/4 scale flying model of the Synergy aircraft
The ideas incorporated into the Synergy aircraft have been a lot of what John has been sharing for over a year now at Oshkosh365.com in the Beyond Streamling: Drag reduction in the 21st century thread. There's 15 pages of discussion there with over 51,000 views... and it's all very fascinating to read thru. I also posted about the thread back in June 2010. And tho John is essentially an unknown, you can see from that thread that he has a very detailed understanding of aerodynamics, and seems to have the facts to back up the things he believes. If you were at either of his forums at Oshkosh 2010, then you know this all the more.
The pilot-up-front-and-4-pax-behind seating configuration of the 5 seat Synergy
While the Synergy has a rather large cross section fuselage, the overall dimensions are actually somewhat compact. The prototype is being built with a 200hp 2-stroke, V-4 DeltaHawk turbo diesel engine, and as you can see from the drawing above, the airframe design is all very clean and simple. One of the lessons John has been pushing is that an efficient fuselage doesn't have to be narrow and cramped. Synergy aims to offer unparalleled efficiency while also providing a vastly improved interior experience.
1/4 scale RC model of the Synergy aircraft in flight (all images: Synergy via EAA)
I saw a video of the 1/4 scale RC model in flight 2 years ago and it was then that I could see without a doubt that this design holds a lot (as in A LOT!) of promise. John has been aiming for the 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge event to prove that his ideas are all for real... hopefully he'll have it all pulled together for the July 11-17 event in Santa Rosa, California. Regardless, Synergy stands a very credible chance of making the biggest leap forward in aerodynamics that we've seen in flying machines since the glory days of the late 1940's and the 1950's ushered in the era of supersonic flight.
This is a very exciting time to be paying attention to what's going on in the sky!