The founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft describes the unique personal airplane he is developing. In the news, we look at airliner nose strikes, new security measures at airports worldwide, the credibility of United Airlines top management, the A330neo maiden flight, and the passing of aviation journalist Ben Sandilands.
John McGinnis is founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft LLC, a seed-stage company developing a quiet, roomy, fuel-efficient aircraft using advanced aeronautical and manufacturing technologies.
John describes the process he employed in designing and developing the Synergy. Where some projects start with a favored design that then gets developed, John looked first at best practice principles that led to the design. These principles include biplane theory, laminar flow, and active drag reduction. They had been explored historically, and John assembled them in one design using advanced analytical tools.
The resulting “Double Boxtail™” wing-becomes-tail configuration is aerodynamically efficient, fast and quiet, and features a spacious cabin. Synergy has been testing scale models and John reports good results.
John is the founder of MC Squared Design USA (a service bureau providing 3-D design, CNC machining, 3-D printing, and composite fabrication) and MV Aero, a provider of state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. John is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and an EAA contributor.
A Delta Airlines flight experienced some kind of event that significantly damaged the aircraft’s nose. In UPDATE: Delta addresses Thunder plane damage en route to Chicago, the airline said, “Delta flight 8935, operating from Minneapolis to Chicago-Midway as a charter flight for the Oklahoma City Thunder, likely encountered a bird while on descent into Chicago. The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, landed safely without incident; customers have since deplaned and maintenance teams are evaluating.”
For some past nose strike events, see:
- Turkish Airlines aircraft’s nose cone collapses after bird hits it
- Bird strike tears open radome of SIA 777
- UFO suspected in Chinese plane nose cone damage
We talked with Marcy Heacker from the Smithsonian Institution, Feather Identification Lab in episodes 253 and 202.
In March 2017 DHS banned personal electronic devices larger than phones on direct flights to the U.S. from 10 airports. That restriction is now loosened, but additional DHS security measures are in place that affects 235,000 passengers on 2,000 flights daily to the U.S. on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.
Some financial analysts question the ability of United’s top management to pilot the company through the challenges ahead.
The Airbus A330neo made its successful maiden flight with a new engine and improved aerodynamics. The 1,400-hour flying test program will proceed with 3 prototypes and the first production aircraft.
Ben Sandilands covered aviation for decades and was the editor of the Plane Talking blog on Crikey. His last post was Malaysia will focus renewed MH370 search where Australia refused to look. RIP Ben.
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