The Aircraft Designs of Burt Rutan
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts & Gifts Department Stores Electronics Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

The Aircraft Designs of Burt Rutan

The Aircraft Designs of Burt Rutan, Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites

Image Credit

            Among aerospace engineers, there’s no one who could rival what Burt Rutan achieved with his career designing airplanes to the peak of it designing space ships. From successful homebuilt designs to record breaking flights and the recent space projects which successfully attained the first civilian funded space exploration project in history, no company or single person have gone so far to get close to what his ingenuity have allowed him to achieve. I have here are some of Burt Rutan’s cutting edge designs which like the X-planes, he built to venture beyond what accepted and applied science could offer thereby expanding our knowledge as a race of creative beings.

Rutan VariEze

Image Credit

Considered one of Burt Rutan’s best selling homebuilt/experimental designs, this aircraft ventured the use of a canard which gave way for a spin resistant aircraft design with efficient long range cruise capability.

Rutan Quickie

Image Credit

Another homebuilt design which led to the Quickie aircraft marketed by the Quickie Aircraft Corporation in 1978. The original single seater design was made by Burt Rutan which was expanded into two versions.

Pond Racer

Image Credit

Designed by Burt Rutan and built through Scaled Composites by request of Bob Pond with the idea of a modern aircraft design competing with vintage aircraft in the Unlimited Class at the Reno Air Races.

Beechcraft Starship

Image Credit

A twin turboprop 6-8 passenger pressurized business aircraft produced by Beechcraft and originally designed by Burt Rutan via Scaled Composites which took flight in 1986. Only 53 were built and 11 sold which Beechcraft considered cost prohibitive to support thus leading to the scrapping of unsold models.

Rutan Voyager

Image Credit

Basically the first aircraft to fly around the world non-stop without refuelling and built by the Rutan Aircraft Factory with the help of volunteers. It took off 14 December 1986 at Mojave and returned after circling the globe 9 days later.

Scaled Composites ARES

Image Credit

Built owing to a US Army request for a Low Cost Battlefield Attack Aircraft (LCBAA)it was completed and flown in 1990. It remained a technology demonstrator as the US Army hasn’t signified further interests for development.

Scaled Composites Model 202 Boomerang

Image Credit

An asymmetrical aircraft design demonstrator aimed at minimizing the load imposed by single engine failure in twin engine aircraft.

Scaled composites Model 311 Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer

Image Credit

A single turbine powered aircraft designed by Burt Rutan which established the first solo non-stop airplane flight around the world in 67 hours and 1 minute with Steve Fossett at the controls on 28 February 2005 to 3 March 2005. The aircraft broke the record previously established by the Rutan Voyager.

Scaled Composites Model 281 Proteus

Image Credit

A tandem wing high endurance and high altitude aircraft designed by Burt Rutan as a High Altitude Long Operation (HALO) telecommunications platform. It is presently owned by Northrop Grumman.

Scaled Composites Model 318 White Knight

Image Credit

A twin jet powered aircraft used to carry Space Ship One at altitude for space launch in line with the Tier Program which won the Ansari prize for the first civilian organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space.

Space Ship One

Image Credit

A spaceship designed by Burt Rutan for the Tier Program which achieved the first spaceflight in 21 June 2004.

Scaled Composites' Model 339 SpaceShipTwo (SS2)

Image Credit

Basically a suborbital spaceplane for tourists to outer space who could afford the fare. Seen here underslung from White Knight 2 mother ship, it is under development by “The Spaceship Company”, a joint project by Scaled Composites and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group which aims to repeat what Space Ship One has achieved with civilians as passengers to space.


Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Airplanes & Aircraft on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Airplanes & Aircraft?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (14)

Burt sure did some beautiful designs! they look like the athletes of the air craft world!

These are cool air-crafts. Liked it and tweeted :)

What a fascinating read to which I can't even imagine designing such a flying instrument as an aircraft. WOW!

Voted up. Excellent article

Brilliant work.

Returning with a well deserved vote up.

These are unique aircraft designs.

Erison Pedroso

Fantastic the desing of Mr. Rutan, just missing it, a gravity propulsion..soon,soon...

I really know much of your wonderful article.Excellent presentation

Excellent article about aircraft. Voted up.

I love aviation. I worked as an aircraft mechanic for 15 years. These article is well presented! out of votes but I will come back to give you one.

Revisiting to give u a vote.

I am out of votes, so promoted this.

To; Burt Rutan only - When you get tired of messing around with Wright Brothers design , contact me.  Don D.