Fri, Apr 01, 2005
Legendary Engineer Cites Burnout, Pension
04.01.05 Special Edition: The legendary
aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan shocked the industry Friday by
announcing that he was closing the doors of his privately held
design and engineering company, Scaled Composites.
Rutan has accepted a position as an Aerospace Engineer II with
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he will
run lots of calculations for senior engineers. "I'm tired of doing
all the hard thinking around here," Rutan told Aero-News. "Plus,
the desert gets to a guy after a while. I'm ready for a change of
Rutan is known far beyond the industry thanks to his
world-circling Voyager and X-prize-winning SpaceShipOne, but he's
also an icon to aviators thanks to his paradigm-breaking VariViggen
and EZ series homebuilts, plans for which were sold in large
quantities in the 1970s and 1980s.
"This just got to me, all these years of single-handedly having
to keep the hope of space travel alive," Rutan said in an Aero-News
exclusive interview. "I'm pretty much burnt out at Scaled. So I
took a good long look at the opportunities at NASA. After all, the
public sector employs a lot of engineers now, and they're not even
flying! Imagine how much NASA will grow, if it ever does manned
Was it the challenge of manned spaceflight that compelled Burt
to move to NASA?
"Hell, no. We already did THAT at Scaled. It was the four weeks'
paid vacation, and they have a pretty sweet pension plan, those
federal workers. I mean, us federal workers. Sorry, I'm still
getting used to it myself."
Says Disregard For Rulemaking Process Warrants Withdrawal Of Cylinder AD Proposal The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) has warned the FAA that its disregard of basic >[...]
Fee To Increase 124 Percent If The Deal Goes Through The budget deal worked out between Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray would boost a tax paid >[...]
Also: Pilot Shortage, 777X Hopefuls, Volcano Warning, F/A-18 Anniversary, Pearl Harbor Vet Mistreated by Airline It flies... and apparently does so fairly well. The joint venture b>[...]
The Boultbee Academy This site came to our attention from a story about actor Brad Pitt purchasing a Spitfire airplane. This is where he will learn to fly his new acquisition.>[...]
The function performed by the FMS/ RNAV to alert the pilot at some time or distance prior to, or when reaching, the active waypoint.>[...]