Synergy Finds Public Support

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Unconventional aircraft designer John McGinnis' public funding drive Friday surpassed its original goal and may help him prove if his five-seat double box tail Synergy aircraft is indeed "lighter, simpler, and more economical" than other planes. McGinnis turned to the online fundraising website Kickstarter.com to seek $65,000 from private individuals that he says will "maintain present work output until our next milestone is reached in September." By then, MicGinnis says, "we expect to have completion in sight." With ten days left in the fundraising campaign, McGinnis had reached nearly $59,000 in pledged donations. But McGinnis still couldn't be sure he'd see any of the money. That changed, Friday.

Projects that work with Kickstarter.com are only funded if they reach their funding goal. In the case of Synergy, that means $65,000. McGinnis' Synergy project met that goal, Friday. For that money, McGinnis has not stated that he'll provide a flying prototype. McGinnis says his next milestone "puts us 'on the wheels' and 'powered up.'" If the project continues beyond that stage of funding and if Synergy ever does fly, McGinnis goals are for the five-seater "to conclusively demonstrate stellar performance for this configuration" and "to be producible in volume at low cost." Until then, the project's full-scale, real-world performance, and existence, remain to be seen. At least 550 people have pledged money to Synergy. And two have each pledged at least $10,000 to find out what the Synergy project will produce.