Thu, Apr 14, 2011
Quietly Left Scaled Composites April 1st
There are five of his airplanes hanging in the Smithsonian
National Air and Space Museum. One of them flew around the world on
one tank of gas. One was the first non-government-built spacecraft
to fly to the very fringe of space ... twice.
Burt Rutan, arguably a genius and the man behind such notable
and varied designs as Voyager, Ansari X-Prize winner SpaceShipOne,
and the VariEze, retired from Scaled Composites on April Fool's Day
after a career spanning more than 45 years.
Rutan founded Scaled in 1982, and remains as chairman emeritus.
He will be feted at AirVenture at Oshkosh this summer. “Burt
is known worldwide as a legendary genius in aircraft design in the
aviation world. I am very fortunate and proud to have worked by his
side for the past 28 years,” said Scaled Composites President
Douglas B. Shane when the plans were announced last November.
“We wish Burt and his wife, Tonya, the very best the future
holds for them.”
The LA Times reports that Rutan has developed 367
different aircraft concepts, and 45 of them have flown ... one for
every year of his career. Rutan is known for not following
traditional aircraft designs, working instead to think outside the
ordinary to see what would work.
Burt and Tonya Rutan reportedly will move to Coeur d'Alen,
Idaho, for their retirement.
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