Rutan, Burt

Rutan, Burt

Rutan, Burt (Elbert L. Rutan), 1943-, American aerospace engineer, b. Portland, Oreg., grad. California Polytechnic Univ. (B.S. 1965). From 1965 to 1972 Rutan worked for the U.S. Air Force as a flight test project engineer, developing an expertise in aircraft flying qualities. He founded (1974) his own company, the Rutan Aircraft Factory, to develop light aircraft and become known for his distinctive designs for the homebuilt aircraft market. In 1982 he also founded Scaled Composites, which specializes in developing prototypes for aerospace projects. Rutan designed the Voyager, which his brother Dick and Jeana Yeager flew (1986) in the first nonstop, unrefueled flight around the world; SpaceShipOne, the first private vehicle to achieve suborbital (62.5 mi/100 km) spaceflight, won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for making two such flights within two weeks (Sept. 29 and Oct. 4, 2004); and the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, which Steve Fossett piloted around the world in the first nonstop, unrefueled solo flight (2005).
Rutan may refer to:

  • Burt Rutan, American aircraft designer
    • The "Rutan Aircraft Factory", a defunct company founded by Burt Rutan, whose expertise was folded into his second company, Scaled Composites
  • Dick Rutan, American test pilot, and brother of Burt Rutan
  • Erik Rutan, American metal guitarist and producer
  • Any member of the fictional alien race collectively referred to as the Rutan Host, from the British television series Doctor Who

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