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Novel aircraft prototype raises $78,000 from Kickstarter for full-size mockup


A Montana aerospace engineer with a novel approach for a general aviation airplane has raised nearly $80,000 in a fundraising drive through the online site Kickstarter. John McGinnis’ airplane, called Synergy, uses an integrated design for its wings and tail, along with a pusher prop, to lower induced drag and make the plane much more efficient.  Winglets curve up and backward, eventually reconnecting with the trailing edges of the wings at the roots. The vertical portions serve as the plane’s rudders, while the upper horizontal portions of the structures, behind the wings, act as the horizontal stabilizer. McGinnis has a flying quarter-scale remote control prototype. He plans to use the Kickstarter funds to build a full-size mockup that can go through wind tunnel tests to verify whether the design really does reduce drag as much as McGinnis hopes it will. For now McGinnis himself admits the Synergy is more science fair project than anything else. There is no development timeline for bringing a version of the five-seat plane to market.