Burt Rutan Hailed For Lifetime Of Achievement
By Daniel Baxter
November 13, 2011 - Burt Rutan, legendary aerospace
designer and founder of Scaled Composites, was presented
Flightglobal's Lifetime Achievement Award for bringing
to life some of the world's most unique and innovative
aircraft leading to long-range flight breakthroughs and
the beginning of commercial space travel.
Flightglobal, part of Flight International magazine, and
owned by Reed Business Information Ltd., a subsidiary of
Reed Elsevier, presented Rutan the award on Saturday at
a ceremony they hosted at the Dubai Air Show in which
individuals, teams and innovations in the aviation and
aerospace industries were recognized.
"Burt's vision and leadership in aerospace design is
embedded in many cutting-edge technologies today," said
Paul Meyer, vice president and general manager of
advanced programs and technology for Northrop Grumman
Aerospace Systems. "His revolutionary ideas and systems
have brought humanity closer to a time when mass
transportation access to space is a reality."
The iconic aircraft designer is best known for building
Voyager and GlobalFlyer, the first planes to fly around
the world on a single tank of gas without landing, and
SpaceShipOne, the first privately-funded spaceship for
The iconic aircraft designer is best known for building Voyager and GlobalFlyer, the first planes to fly around the world on a single tank of gas without landing, and SpaceShipOne, the first privately-funded spaceship for human transportation.
Model 76 Voyager was the first aircraft to fly around the world
without stopping or refueling. It was piloted by Dick Rutan and
Jeana Yeager. The flight took off from Edwards Air Force Base's
15,000 foot (4,600 m) runway in the Mojave Desert on December
14, 1986, and ended 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds later, on
December 23. The aircraft flew easterly 26,366 statute miles at
an average altitude of 11,000 feet. This definitively broke a
previous record set by a United States Air Force crew piloting a
Boeing B-52 that flew 12,532 miles in 1962.
SpaceShipOne was a suborbital air-launched spaceplane that
completed the first manned private spaceflight in 2004. That
same year, it won the US$10 million Ansari X Prize and was
immediately retired from active service. Its mothership was
named "White Knight". Both craft were developed and flown by
Mojave Aerospace Ventures, which was a joint venture between
Paul Allen and Scaled Composites, Burt Rutan's aviation company.
Allen provided the funding of approximately US$25 million.
Rutan began his career in 1965 as a flight test engineer at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where he worked on various aircraft including the C-130 Hercules and F-4 Phantom. "I had the best job in the world, even though it didn't pay much. As a project flight test engineer, I did a lot of flying and learned things that would later be valuable to me as an aircraft designer," said Rutan.
After his seven-year job as a flight test project engineer at Edwards, Rutan founded the Rutan Aircraft Factory in 1975, precursor to Scaled Composites. His start-up funding was provided by a $15,000 loan from his father, enough money for a facility at the small airfield in Mojave, Calif. While there, he pursued his passion in aircraft design and created the popular VariEze, a homebuilt aircraft that was stall resistant.
|blog comments powered by Disqus|
|?AvStop Online Magazine Contact Us Return To News|