Elbert L. "Burt" Rutan Receives 2004 SAE Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson Aerospace Vehicle Design and Development Award
Warrendale, PA, Aug. 10, 2005 - Mr. Burt Rutan, president and CEO of Scaled Composites, LLC, has been selected to receive the 2004 SAE Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson Award. Rutan will be recognized during the SAE 2005 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition banquet on Wednesday, October 5 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Area, Texas, USA.
This award, established in 1993, recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions during their career in the innovative design and development of advanced aircraft and/or spacecraft, especially those vehicles that perform military missions. It honors the memory of Mr. Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson and the enormous impact he had on the aerospace industry as the aeronautical genius who created Lockheed's famed Skunk Works and who played a leading role in the design and development of more than 40 of the world's most advanced aircraft.
In April 1982, Mr. Rutan founded Scaled Composites (Scaled) to develop research aircraft. Since its founding, Scaled has been the world's most productive aerospace prototype development company, developing new aircraft types at a rate of one each year. Past projects include the 85% scale Starship 1 for Beech Aircraft Corporation, the Predator agricultural aircraft for ATAC, and the Scarab Model 324 reconnaissance drone for Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical, the Advanced Technology Tactical Transport (ATTT) for DARPA, among others. Recent projects include the White Knight and SpaceShipOne (SS1). On 21 June 2004, with Mike Melvill at the controls, SS1 flew history's-first private manned space flight. On 4 Oct 2004, SS1 won the $10M X-prize (two flights within 5 days flown by Melvill and Brian Binnie). The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer designed and built at Scaled made its maiden flight in March 2004 and a record setting solo world flight in March 2005.
Rutan began his career working for the U.S. Air Force from 1965 until 1972 as Flight Test Project Engineer at Edwards Air Force Base in California. His projects ranged from fighter spin tests to the XC-142 VSTOL transport. In March 1972, he became director of the Bede Test Center for Bede Aircraft in Newton, Kansas. Rutan formed the Rutan Aircraft Factory (RAF) in June 1974 to develop light homebuilt aircraft. Through this company, the VariViggen, VariEze, NASA AD-1, Quickie, Defiant, Long-EZ, Grizzly, scaled NGT trainer, Solitaire, Catbird, and the world-flight Voyager aircraft were developed.
As a student and during his professional career, Rutan has published 27 technical papers mainly focused on experimental aircraft and flight testing. He has been honored more than 70 times for his professional achievements, including being named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" and receiving the National Air and Space Museum's Current Achievement Award, both in 2005. He and his business have also been recently featured on the CBS News program, "Sixty Minutes."
Rutan is a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the International Order of Characters, the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Society of Flight Test Engineers, and the National Academy of Engineering.
Rutan received his bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Polytechnic University in 1965. His education includes the Space Technology Institute at Cal Tech and the Aerospace Research Pilot's School at Edwards Air Force Base. In addition, Rutan holds several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1987); Doctor of Science, from Daniel Webster College (1987); Doctor of Humanities from Lewis University (1988); and Doctor of Technology from Delft University of Technology (1990).