Gallery: Synergy Diesel Glider Plane To Compete in CAFE Green Flight Ch...


John McGinnis of Kalispell, Montana, designed this diesel-powered glider plane, which seats five and has 200 horsepower on tap but maintains the efficiency of a glider due to the wing design. The compact 32-foot wingspan contains 144 square feet of wingspan area, according to McGinnis, which is the same wingspan area as a traditional glider with a 46-foot wingspan. McGinnis has tested models so far but will build a full-scale model for the 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge.

But McGinnis’s planes are all about scaling down: “Air travel sucks these days, and I think it is because of the scale. We’ve got huge planes jam-packed with people, that require huge airports and terminals which means many smaller cities are simply skipped over when it comes to aviation travel. I’d prefer planes that held between 20 and 40 people, comfortably, didn’t fly quite so high, and were able to land at smaller airports in smaller cities. I think that is the future, and who knows, this weird design might actually come into play.”

+ CAFE Foundation



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  1. he May 5, 2011 at 1:15 am

    If its nearly as efficient as a glider…I assume this plane does go very fast…?

  2. MarkBailets May 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    John, if you read this, it looks like you have been doing your homework. Intersections look right, fineness ratio looks to be optimal too. I know John Roncz, Burt Rutan and Bruce Carmichael. I have seen Linden Blue, yet we have not met. I am the sole person on the planet to have contoured and primed the forwaqrd wing (canard)on Voyager Aircraft prior to world flight. If you want to contact me for help with all phases of construction (primary and secondary structures)including systems installation. Thinl light weight, strong, with safety of flight criteria applied, plus aerodynamic efficiency. Laminar flow enhancement and drag reduction will win the CAFE 500 prize. I will travel to your facility. I live in St Helens Oregon.

  3. caeman May 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Long live the biplane! This is essentially a return to biplane methodology, with which you can have shorter wings and as much, or more, than a single wing.

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