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Elbert L. (Burt) Rutan

Elbert L. (Burt) Rutan

Elbert L. (Burt) Rutan
Elbert L. (Burt) Rutan was born at Dinuba, California on June 17th, 1943. As a schoolboy, he designed award-winning model aircraft. He earned his pilot's license at age sixteen and his aeronautical engineering degree from California Polytechnic Institute in 1965.

After civilian employment as an Air Force flight test engineer, he launched Rutan Aircraft Factory in 1974 to market his light aircraft designs which included the VariEze, Quickie and Long-EZ.

In 1982, Rutan founded Scaled Composites, Incorporated and developed prototypes of seven aircraft including the Beech Starship.

On December 23rd, 1986, Rutan's Voyager aircraft returned to its starting point at Mojave, California completing a twenty-five thousand, six hundred mile and two hundred sixteen hour non-stop and unrefueled around the world flight, the first in history.

Burt Rutan's designs are characterized by the use of light-weight composite materials, an innovation which is akin to the transition in aircraft construction from wood to fabric to metal. His genius extends to aerodynamic design, application of new materials and the inspiration to visualize beyond the established limits.
Elected to the International Aerospace Hall of Fame 1988