FAQ

Thunderstruck
Operators Rating

Here you’ll find the answers to our most frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t answered here or on our technical pages, you can contact us directly.

What are some of the benefits of the Synergy Technology Platform?
  1. The Synergy Technology Platform lowers induced drag to near the theoretical limit, increases 3D span efficiency up to 1.46 times a wing of the same span, is up to 16 times stronger than a cantilevered wing utilizing the same spar and utilizes a compact form capable of higher speeds than a cantilevered wing.
  2. The Synergy Technology Platform eliminates complexity. Simple, seamless flight surfaces eliminate controls and spanwise gaps. Two moving surfaces, elevons, provide a majority of flight control. Similar to a flying wing, pitch and roll controls are combined to eliminate control surfaces and complexity. Our two elevons are simple, one-piece airfoils, supported at both ends. Thanks to its natural turn coordination the V-tail mounted rudders are rarely required in flight. Reduced complexity translates directly into reduced weight and reduced cost.
  3. The weight distribution of the structure is inherently ideal for keeping the structural costs down and the balance right. When flown solo and light, from the front seat, the balance provides nimble handling. As the aircraft gains more people or payload, it remains in proper balance and increases in stability. At maximum weight the payload is carried on the CG itself thus achieving its most stable configuration.
  4. Laminar flow and high span efficiency allow a bigger wing in comparison to typical high-performance designs. This provides increased fuel storage and slower landings. The wings can be stronger and stiffer for a given span loading. The twisting tendency of a swept wing is balanced out of the system under G-loading by an always-proportionate, opposing downforce from the tails.
  5. The Double Box Tail or DBT configuration creates a patented method for the prevention of stalls. Many DBT aircraft exhibit pre-stall behavior similar to a canard configuration. Our full scale technology demonstrator includes conventional stall prevention—the controls provide full authority without ever creating excessive wing angle of attack. In other words, the aircraft will not stall.
  6. The volume of air that is progressively displaced in flight changes smoothly along its length in a way that properly matches an optimum ‘body of revolution’ shape in its speed range. This is called “subsonic area ruling”.  Its objective is to promote stable near-field pressure gradients in all phases of flight, drastically reducing the true source of catch-all “interference drag” and turbulence.
  7. The DBT configuration exhibits superior handling at all speeds, including ideal turn coordination. Most aircraft require a vertical tail and/or rudder input to counter adverse yaw.
  8. The DBT configuration creates a smoother ride in turbulence, and a noticeably more stable platform overall, thanks to moderate wing sweep and effective ‘decalage.’ Our remarkable stability provides the opposite of a ‘short-coupled’ aircraft. The Synergy technology platform intentionally leverages against the atmosphere with every flight surface, despite having a wing planform that does not, technically, require a tail. This stability is highly beneficial increasing as the angle of attack increases‑unlike many aircraft.
  9. The DBT configuration creates constructive, beneficial wing-tail interaction, rather than destructive “biplane interference”, allowing wing and tail to cooperate for lower drag. In addition, all airfoil surfaces continue the low-pressure or high-pressure assignment of the surface adjacent to it, virtually eliminating the interference drag problem common to box wing designs. On an airplane very wingtip or stabilizer tip is a drag source; there are no wingtips or stabilizer tips in the Synergy Technology Platform.
  10. Incredible visibility for pilots and passengers. The jet-like nose enables many entry and egress options for passengers, cargo, medical access and other purposes.

 

Do you have any additional safety features?

Yes, the Synergy Technology Platform includes many safety features such as energy absorption, outstanding low speed handling, patented stall/spin resistance and an almost instant recovery from a fully stalled flight condition.  A ballistic recovery system, auto-land and other safety features are possible.

Will Synergy Prime be Electric?

We are closely following the advancement of electric propulsion technology. The Synergy technology platform is propulsion system agnostic. Preliminary designs for battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, hybrid electric, internal combustion and other propulsion systems are in place. Our focus on energy efficient flight makes the Synergy family of aircraft ideal electric platforms.

Can I invest in DBT Aero before it takes off?

Yes. Accredited investors can express their interest by sending an email to [email protected].

What was the inspiration for Synergy?

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In 1974, champion model aircraft builder, Burt Rutan, having become an aeronautical engineer, flew his jet-like VariViggen homebuilt airplane to Oshkosh after eight years building. This was a feat that Pat McGinnis and his young son, John, admired greatly and hoped to emulate one day. In subsequent years Burt Rutan’s innovative designs continued to inspire John McGinnis and the world.  We knew there was a better way.   Humanity and the Planet needed something better.

Why do the tails push down, instead of lift?

Tails always push down while wings provide lift. Our proprietary split V-tail design provides the following:

  1. Superior pitch stability
  2. Superior yaw stability
  3. Superior turn coordination
  4. Enhanced ride quality
  5. Increased laminar flow through interactivity through constructive interference
  6. Increased aft weight margin
  7. Instant lift at high alpha (tails unload during slow flight at high angles of attack)
  8. Slower landing than cruise wing loading would normally permit
  9. Corner drag eliminated
  10. Dramatic structural advantage
  11. Reduction of wake vortex and the resultant induced drag
  12. The highest possible span efficiency
What differences do you expect between the scale aircraft and the full scale?

We expect the 5 to 12 seat full scale versions will fly better than our great flying scale aircraft. Our accurate scale versions are dynamically similar including full scale power loading. The scale aircraft slow down well, are very stable and easy to fly. The Synergy technology platform is ideal for piloted, remotely piloted and fully autonomous operation.

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Is Synergy a stable aircraft?

Absolutely! Pilots of our scale aircraft report that it flies like “a sled on rails”. Some of our patents specifically relate to the enhanced stability our the design.

Is there a place to see progress?

Yes, the team is again providing periodic updates via Facebook and LinkedIn.

Have you done any 3D CFD modeling?

Yes, our v32 design is the result of Advanced Computer Modeling including CFD.

How long before the prototype is completed?

We are working through a disciplined development plan from computer modeling through scale aircraft culminating in a full scale technology demonstrator. The technology demonstrator will be completed when each step of the development plan is achieved.

 

How significant is the Synergy Technology Platform?

The Synergy Technology Platform is the most significant aerodynamic breakthrough in decades. The high efficiency allows for the first time, practical, economically viable electric aircraft. The “form meets function” design provides strength, safety and manufacturing economy without complexity.

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Can it be a jet?

Yes. The Synergy Technology Platform supports a host of propulsion technologies to leverage the advantages of a jet without many of their drawbacks. In terms of efficiency and in keeping with the environmental noise advantages, a better propulsion choice would be a small, multi-blade turboprop or un-ducted turbofan. High torque electric motors—whether pure electric or hybrid—are the preferred eventual powerplant.

Do you have plans to develop other size versions?

Yes, the Synergy Technology Platform is scalable—larger or smaller with associated target operating speeds, payloads, altitudes & ranges.

How fast will it go? How high?

Our family of aircraft will reach unprecedented speeds for the energy used. The Synergy technology platform is optimized for efficiency. The greatest efficiency is in the mid-Mach region of airspeeds. Speeds will vary by size, capacity & payload. Faster speeds are possible when flown less efficiently.

The Synergy Technology Platform is capable of high altitudes. Design service ceiling will vary by aircraft mission.

What is the primary breakthrough here?

One of our breakthroughs is a method for high span efficiency through stability using the tails to reduce wing drag. The Synergy technology platform provides up to 32% more span efficiency than a normal wing. This advantage increases exponentially as payload—passengers, cargo or batteries/fuel—increases. Increased range or endurance can be optimized with payload trade-offs.