Burt Rutan

Burt Rutan has been fascinated with constructing aircraft from his own designs since his childhood. In 1982, he founded his California-based aircraft design, tooling, fabrication and flight testing company, Scaled Composites. Past projects include a single-place, twin-jet demonstrator for Fairchild Republic Company; a tandem-wing, three-surface technology demonstration aircraft for DARPA; and three NASA X-38 Crew Return Vehicle structures. Currently, Scaled Composites flies the high-altitude and long-endurance aircraft Proteus, which holds both the U.S. and world records for flying at 65,000 feet. The firm’s latest flying prototypes, the White Knight and SpaceShipOne, designed to take human passengers on the world’s first private manned mission to the edge of space, recently won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private space travel. In early 2005, the Rutan-designed GlobalFlyer, a single-plane, single-turbofan aircraft circumnavigated the earth, unfueled, in 67 hours.

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