Northrop Grumman Seals Scaled Composites Deal

 - August 28, 2007, 12:27 PM

Northrop Grumman now owns 100 percent of Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites. On August 24, Northrop Grumman, which already owned 40 percent of Scaled, closed on the purchase of the remaining 60 percent. Scaled continues to work on the program to deliver SpaceShipTwo to Virgin Galactic. “The relationship between Scaled Composites and the Virgin Group is unchanged by this transaction,” a Northrop Grumman spokesman told AIN. This is not Scaled Composites’ and its founder Burt Rutan’s first or even second venture into the corporate fold. During Beech Starship development, Beech Aircraft bought Scaled Composites in 1985 then sold the company back to Rutan in 1988. Rutan then sold the company to Wyman-Gordon, then Precision Castparts bought Wyman-Gordon and sold Scaled back to Rutan and other investors in 2001. Virgin and Scaled jointly formed The Spaceship Company in 2005 to manufacture spaceship systems for companies such as Virgin Galactic, which plans to use SpaceShipTwo for tourism flights. Scaled is still investigating the July 26 rocket motor testing accident that killed three employees.