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History and Status

Work began on design of the Synergy Prototype early in 1993. Initial efforts focused on concept definition and market analysis. The configuration of the vehicle was carefully refined by parametric analysis. Detailed design tradeoffs were used to compare drivetrain configurations. Major components were selected and characterized. A preliminary layout of all systems allowed detailed lofting of aerodynamic shapes. (The accompanying renderings show this nearly production-ready lofting). System layouts were refined as required and details were defined. All design of where, what, and how each system functions was addressed and incorporated into the CAD model. These systems included: Primary Structure, Flight Controls, Propeller Drive, Ground Drive and Mode Selection, Wing Folding (structure, mechanism, control pass-through, stowage, support), Landing Gear and Handling, Engine Design and Integration, Doors and latches, Avionics requirements, HVAC, and Lighting. Requirements for street licensing were addressed. Flight performance was modeled.

This detailed design allowed generation of complete bills of material for the various prototypes and the final product. Manufacturing plans and costs were based on these detailed parts lists and designs. Development planning also included creation of a comprehensive task list and schedule.

Because the design makes use of simple techniques and common equipment, it was imperative to protect the novelty of the design. A patent was filed in July 1998 to protect all novel design features to be incorporated. These included the wing folding mechanism, the methods used to convert the flight controls to driving controls, the method used to convert from propeller propulsion to wheel drive, and other miscellaneous considerations which arise when designing a dual use vehicle. Patent number 6,082,665 "Roadable Aircraft" was issued on July 4, 2000.

Currently, modeling of various systems is underway and parts are being procured allowing completion of the initial models and prototypes. The company has insufficient resources to maintain a dedicated facility or pay salaries. As such, development is progressing slowly using part-time volunteer labor of a few individuals.