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Clark would later recall Rutan's quote in a piece he wrote about SpaceShipOne and comment, "Fortunately, we need not rely solely on governments for expanding humanity's presence beyond the Earth.

Burt Rutan Biography

His many aerospace innovations preceding his most recently conceived designs, SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo, chronicle a progressive, step-by-step attempt to break barriers with engineering know-how and a wondrous imagination, all the while remaining on the forefront of the burgeoning private spaceflight industry.

Rutan's X Prize triumph and subsequent spacecraft designs are not a beginning, nor an end, but are steps in Burt Rutan's continuing adventure to expand humanity's presence beyond the Earth and into space. Newsletter Google 4. Help pages. Prothero Michael J.

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The Magician of Mojave and His Flying Innovations

About this book Customer reviews Related titles. Images Additional images. About this book Years ago, Burt Rutan told a reporter for "Popular Mechanics", "If we make a courageous decision like the goal and program we kicked off for Apollo in , we will see our children or grandchildren in outposts on other planets. Customer Reviews Review this book. By: Dan Linehan and Mike Melvill. Rutan came up with a way to give it better in-flight stability and devised a recovery system for the times it went into a spin.

September 9, U. Army Lieutenant Frank P.

Built model airplanes

Lahm becomes the first passenger to travel in an airplane. Lahm rides along on a six-minute flight with airplane co-inventor Wilbur Wright at Fort Meyer, Virginia. March 16, American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard makes first successful launch of a liquid-fueled rocket, in Auburn, Massachusetts. October 14, American pilot Chuck Yeager is recorded as the first human to break the sound barrier of miles per hour in a Bell SX-1 rocket plane.

September 7, U. Kincheloe becomes first person to reach space after being launched from a B U.

Burt Rutan’s Race To Space: A Primer For Things To Come

Air Force plane. Kincheloe and his smaller Bell X-2 rocket plane peaked at , feet above Earth and landed safely. He died in another test flight two years later. March 30, American test pilot Joe Walker reaches an altitude of , feet in an X rocket plane. April 12, The Columbia space shuttle becomes the first winged vehicle in orbit, and also makes the first runway landing of a spacecraft in history. April 12, American Dennis Tito buys a seat on the Russian Soyuz craft and becomes the first tourist in space.

He also continued to work on his own plane designs.


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But Rutan felt that his innovative ideas would never reach others if he tried to work with traditional airplane manufacturing companies. It produced and sold designs for the VariViggen and other light aircraft that could be built at home by do-it-yourself enthusiasts. RAF quickly became a leader in aviation design, and Rutan a hero among the engineers and pilots who liked to build their own small planes. His VariEze aircraft, for example, was made out of lightweight composite material and had a small extra wing in the nose called a canard. If a plane experienced a problem in mid-flight, the canard lost lift first, not the main wing.

This allowed the pilot to stabilize the plane. For many years Rutan tested his planes himself, or had his brother pilot them. But Rutan had some near-misses, and quit testing planes after a friend of his died in His brother, however, was eager to take on one of the final challenges left in aviation: a non-stop, around-the-world flight. Over dinner one evening in , Rutan sketched on a napkin his idea for a new kind of plane. It would have space for enough fuel to make the 24,mile trip without stopping to fill the tank. Previously, the distance record was held by a U.

B bomber, which flew from Okinawa, Japan, to Madrid, Spain, in , without refueling or stopping. Air Force planes had made similar trips in the s and s, but were refueled in mid-air. The plane that Rutan designed, the Voyager I, made its historic flight in December of It carried 7, pounds of fuel in tanks that looked similar to a pair of outriggers on a canoe.

Its cabin, with room for Rutan's brother and his co-pilot, Jeana Yeager — , was the size of a small closet. They had to be in a reclining position to fly the plane, which was as loud as a lawn mower. The flight took nine days.

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During the entire time, Rutan kept in contact with his brother and Yeager from a command center at Edwards Air Force Base. He talked them through more than one bout of bad weather, including a typhoon over the Pacific Ocean. As far as the pilots' fatigue and their ability to stand up under even moderate levels of turbulence and so on, our data showed they would not even get to the Philippines.

But the Voyager I successfully completed its flight and touched down safely on December 23, Rutan donated it to the Smithsonian Institution, and then moved on to new challenges. In he founded another company, Scaled Composites Inc. It created prototype models for new aircraft, but Rutan also took on other interesting jobs that required solving aerodynamics challenges. He designed an eighty-five-foot rigid sail that was used on the winning yacht in the America's Cup race.

In he created an "Ultralite" show car for General Motors Corporation, which was made of lightweight plastics composites.

Burt Rutan's Race to Space The Magician of Mojave and His Flying Innovations

In he rolled out the Boomerang, a unique asymmetrical twin-engine plane capable of speeds of three hundred miles per hour. He designed an adjustable-wing aircraft capable of high altitudes, called the Proteus, which made its first flight on July 26, Rutan spent the next several years working on a new pet project, which he called SpaceShipOne. Space-ShipOne was a passenger rocket that could be carried aloft by a larger plane, also built by Rutan and his company, called the White Knight.

The passenger rocket and its test pilot could then be launched into space once it reached a certain altitude. The new aviation challenge had been announced in , and had a deadline of January 1, Sub-orbital space is where the laws of gravity that govern Earth's physical properties end and weightlessness begins.


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Rutan's longtime dream of conquering space with one of his planes came true on June 21, After a successful flight, the plane landed safely on an airstrip at the Mojave Airport. Melvill told reporters at a press Aircraft designer Burt Rutan's privately-funded spacecraft flies upside down over Mojave, California, April 18, He was delighted to see them spin in front of him instead of dropping, since the laws of gravity no longer applied.

This was the first successful test flight of a privately funded spacecraft, and made headlines around the world that day. Rutan watched the successful SpaceShipOne voyage from the ground in Mojave. He hoped that a new niche in adventure travel would begin thanks to his company's extraordinary feat. He imagined that space tourists might pay to visit "a kind of astronauts' training school, if you will," as he explained to Daily News writer Deborah Hastings. It would be like a regular two-week vacation with great food and things to do at night.

It's kind of like a ride at Magic Mountain It isn't just a roller coaster ride.

see url You are officially added to the list of astronauts.