Thoughts about Synergy Aircraft?

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Hi all,

   I've learned many interesting things by reading Philip's pages and
this forum. I'm curious to know what Philip and other forum readers
think about the new Synergy aircraft. They recently completed a
Kickstarter and and have been getting all sorts of press, so I have a
feeling many of you have heard of them and DO have opinions.
Their claims seem relatively well backed, but also dramatic enough to
be in the "too good to be true" category... not quite drifting into
"perpetual energy machine" territory though. Unlike perpetual energy
machines, however, they do seem keen to prove beyond doubt that they
can do what they said.

As for my own opinions - my background is someone who is unlikely to
ever "afford" private flying. By afford I mean - making the time and
money sacrifices necessary. So that's my background. But all the same,
flying is of interest to me, so I'm watching the bottom end of the
space with great interest - ultralights, LSA and planes which might be
attainable with part-ownership or rental. 

So thanks to great technology breakthroughs (supposedly) with the
Synergy, one could theoretically afford a LOT more aircraft for the
same price. That is what interests me most.

Secondly - independent from flying, I have a great deal of interest in
diesel engines. So their choice of diesel propulsion is fairly
inspired, I believe. As long as they are breaking molds, why not go
all the way, I guess?

-- Paul English, November 5, 2012


The site says Synergy has raised $100,000 or so. That's about half what we will spend to overhaul a Robinson R44 helicopter at our flight school (every 2200 hours this $350,000 machine needs new blades, transmission, engine, etc.). That's less than the depreciation so far on my Cirrus SR20 (very conventional) four-seat airplane.

Remember that a lot of designs that sound great end up gaining a huge amount of weight during FAA certification. You need a lot of redundant structure to satisfy the requirement that the airplane still be safe even if manufactured poorly.

If you want something inexpensive to fly within your lifetime, a used already certified airplane is the way to go.

-- Philip Greenspun, November 6, 2012