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Elbert Leander “Burt” Rutan

Biographic Sketch:

Elbert Leander “Burt” Rutan is a legendary aerospace engineer and vehicle designer. As the founder of multiple aerospace companies, including the Rutan Aircraft Factory, Scaled Composites, Mojave Aerospace Ventures, and The SpaceShip Company, he designed nearly 50 flight vehicles throughout his career. Inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1995, he was a co-recipient of both the Collier and National Air and Space Museum trophies on two occasions. Five of his aircraft are on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Among the vehicles he is known for are the record-breaking Voyager, which in 1986 was the first plane to fly around the world without stop-ping or refueling; the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer which in 2006 set world records for the fastest and longest nonstop, non-refueled circumnavigation flight in history; and the suborbital SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 won the Ansari X-Prize after being the first privately funded crewed spacecraft to reach orbit, flying twice within a two-week period.



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