Dubai Air Show

Aircraft Design Legend Burt Rutan Bestowed with Lifetime Achievement Award

 - November 14, 2011, 10:45 AM
Aircraft design guru Burt Rutan.

General aviation design guru and space pioneer Burt Rutan was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Dubai Air Show yesterday, though the founder and ex-CEO of Scaled Composite protested, “I haven’t done anything for months.” Rutan retired from his company earlier this year and moved to a home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but the feet-up posture lasted just a few months until, “I got bored,” he said.

Over the 46 years he operated Scaled Composites, the company turned out an average of more than one aircraft per year, from design concept to completed flight test. Rutan is perhaps best known for his work in civil space flight, winning the X-Prize with his suborbital design (funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen), and designing Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic craft, SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo.